Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local food, farmers markets and farms.
If you eat local produce seasonally you know that the best tasting strawberries are available mid April to early June most years and that the freshest corn comes only in the Summer months. But were you aware that shrimp, tilefish, mackeral and dozens of other seafood varieties available from NC coastal regions have peak seasons for freshness and abundance? If not, that’s OK because Locals Seafood knows which fish is in season.
You may have noticed Locals Seafood among the vendors at a few area farmers markets during a recent visit (to Chapel Hill Farmers Market, Western Wake Farmers Market and inside the Market Shoppes at Raleigh State Farmers Market). Locals Seafood started in 2010 formed by long time friends and Fisheries and Wildlife Science majors from NC State University. Initially, Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson began selling shrimp at a roadside stand out of the back of a pick-up truck. Today the pair continues to share their passion for fresh seafood from NC fishermen, selling directly to consumers and to many Triangle area restaurants weekly (a quick scan of their Twitter feed reveals which restaurants). Not only will you learn which fish or shellfish are freshest, Locals Seafood will share which fisherman caught or harvested the catch (usually within the last 48 hours), allowing you to know your fisherman like you know your farmer.
Why is it important to seek out NC seafood and know the source? When you choose to source your seafood items locally, you’ll get a better tasting product from a market carefully managed under regulations that protect the marine environment and the health of consumers. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, in 2011 about 91% of seafood consumed in the US was imported. Not all countries meet (or even measure) standards for seafood sustainability and safety. Also, by purchasing NC seafood you support the economies and communities that help keep our seafood supply safe, healthy and sustainable. It’s kind of a no brainer for those who care about such matters.
Learn more about items available from Locals Seafood via their website (and watch for an announcement about their Spring CSF shares). Like their Facebook page and follow along on Twitter for delicious recipes and tips.