A Lesson In Seafood Economics

While lots of school stuff really did fall into the “things I will never need to know again” category, economics is something I use and think of every day. Thanks to rising gas prices and dropping dows, the whole world has a front row seat in Econ 101. I recently continued my real world education with a little lesson from Megan Westmeyer of the SC Aquarium.

During my chat with Megan, I thought about my mindless buying decisions at the supermarket. For years I’ve been buying fish from the counter without a second thought. If it was on sale and looked good, I’d buy it. So I asked Megan, if I want a pound of local, sustainable fish, where do I go? Can a typical Harris Teeter/Publix shopper find something fresh and local this weekend?

The answer is yes. Really, all you have to do is ask “Is any of this fish local?” or look at the sticker on the package. All packaged seafood will list its country of origin and whether it was farm raised or wild.

Just like the whole supply-demand theory, Megan assured me, the more local fish we ask for, the more we buy, the more selection we’ll have and the cheaper it will be. A-ha. It really makes perfect sense.

While many people are throwing fish filets on the grill this summer for a light dinner, local fisherman are struggling. Help them out! When you buy fish, try to buy something local. If you can’t find anything at the big markets, check out some of the seafood shops around town. Think about joining Abundant Seafood‘s Community Supported Fishery. Keep the SC Aquarium’s Seafood Availability Chart handy. And of course, let someone cook for you and support your local Fish and Raw Bar…

With many options and an ocean just a few minutes down the road, why not eat a Charleston catch?

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