Thanksgiving is a holiday often characterized by two things: gratitude and food. But how often do we think about where that food comes from? How often do we look down at our green bean casserole and trace the path thousands of miles across the United States where those green beans were grown, transported, canned, shipped, sold and finally put in your shopping cart?
Knowing where our food comes from is critical because without tracing its origins we could be unknowingly supporting corporations that don’t have Maine’s best interests at heart. This is especially true for farmed finfish. Industrial-scale finfish farms, or raising fish (usually salmon) in pens or cages to be harvested to be eaten, is a huge threat to our local food system. Not only do these massive operations produce incredible amounts of pollution from chemical flow and fish waste, but they also threaten the clean and healthy waters that Maine fishermen, farmers and lobstermen rely on for their catches.
These corporations are eyeing Maine’s waters right now. We have already seen land-based facilities proposed in Belfast and Jonesport, and ocean-based facilities in Gouldsboro with more propositions on the horizon. Now is the time to stand up against these corporations and protect Maine’s identity as the premier source for sustainable, fresh, and above all, tasty seafood. This holiday season, be thankful for the ocean. Even more importantly, show your gratitude by keeping farmed finfish off of your plate.