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Aquaculture, Food Systems and Climate Change | SXSW 2021

Andrew Zimmern
CEO at Food Works, Inc.
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SXSW 2021
March 16, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
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Aquaculture, Food Systems and Climate Change | SXSW 2021
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About speakers

Andrew Zimmern
CEO at Food Works, Inc.
Alexandra Cousteau
Explorer, Oceans Advocate, Storyteller at Oceans 2050
David Kelley
Television writer, producer at David E. Kelley Productions
Sarah Redmond
Studying Art Direction at VCU Brandcenter

Andrew Zimmern is a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer and teacher, who is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, host and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern," "Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World," and his new series, "Bizarre Foods America," he travels the globe, exploring food in its own terroir. From world class restaurants to street carts and jungle markets, it’s all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience as a way to interpret the way we live our lives so we can make better choices for our future.

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Ocean lover who could swim before she could walk; proud wife and mother of two little ocean lovers; advocate for transitioning from a conservation ethic to a restoration agenda; public speaker; lifelong explorer; storyteller; global thinker; adventuress; master scuba diver; filmmaker; strategic consultant to government, non-profits and corporations who want to make a positive impact on oceans; animal lover; advocate for women in STEM; world traveler; believer in a better world.

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David Edward Kelley (born April 4, 1956) is an American television writer, producer, and former attorney, known as the creator of Doogie Howser, M.D., Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal, Harry's Law, Goliath, Big Little Lies, Mr. Mercedes, and Big Sky, as well as several films. Kelley is one of very few screenwriters to have created shows that have aired on all four top commercial U.S. television networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC).

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I'm studying Branding with a focus in Art Direction from the VCU Brandcenter, and I received my Bachelor's in Photo & Video Journalism with a minor in Studio Art from UNC-Chapel Hill. I'm passionate about visual storytelling, creative problem solving, and Corgis.

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About the talk

In the context of the global climate crisis and the global health crisis, the immense challenge humanity faces is that of transforming our global food systems. Food is simply the biggest lever we have to combat climate change and improve the health and wellbeing of the planet’s growing population. Aquaculture- the farming of aquatic animals and plants, is vital as the planet’s fastest growing food production system. Seafood is one of the healthiest proteins to consume and one of the most efficient and sustainable to produce. Done well, aquaculture can be a powerful force for ecological and social good. This moderated panel of experts discusses aquaculture’s key role.

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Hello, everybody. I'm Andrew Zimmerman. I am the moderator for today's panel, the Southwest 2021 online features session, entitled, aquaculture Food Systems, and climate change. You all see on the screen synopsis of our conversation today, I would like to add before I introduce my guests that aquaculture can be a powerful force for ethological. Healing preservation, Economic Development, advancing Wellness, Health fixing our broken food sis system as well as a

variety of other social needs. I want to start out by introducing our panelists. We are joined by David E Kelley in the upper right of our screen, Sarah Redmond in the lower left and Alexander Cousteau in the lower. Right? I'm very excite All right, to talk to all of you. But today, Sarah, I'd like to just start with you first. And perhaps to ask a note in a very general sense, what brought you to this panel today? I think there's two answers to that. One is a personal Journey, which began when I was in high school, I grew up in Maine and didn't

know I was going to do and I grew up. So, I just combine my two favorite things, which was the ocean and gardening, I thought it may be pretty ideal to have a ocean Garden to 10. Of course, that didn't exist in Maine. At the time, we had farming in some shellfish, farming, so it took a while. But I ended up at grad school, where I put together the first Keltner Street system, which then really launched the aquaculture industry in the US, I think beyond my dream and being fulfilled at of having a kiwi farm

and I'm really trying to figure out what this all is, there something else that's going on here? I think seaweed has this really powerful way of attracting people in creating a like Apple. Pull into the natural world and its opening up opportunities than an exciting. The imaginations of the collective and I stink at this time there's really a need and desire to change things and to create new types of systems. And so I think having this type of panel and asking these kinds of questions. And having these conversations is really important,

really fascinating, that seaweed is one of these things that can transform the system that we know now and help us imagine new ones. Alexandra, I'd ask you the same question. What brings you here today? Well, it's been a long journey, Andrew, you know, I've been part of the Ocean Communities since I was an infant and joining my father and my grandfather, an expedition to explore the oceans and the communities that depend on them and over the course of my lifetime, I have Works

to advance that narrative that it's important to conserve the oceans and sustained. And I've watched the degradation of the ocean continued and continued. And today, we've lost 50% of whales, and fish used to swim there when my grandfather first started making his films and so, I realized that. If we are going to avert the worst case scenario, which is more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050, we need to change how we articulate. Our ambition is serving and

sustaining. What is last feels insufficient. And I think it's time that we start rebuilding regenerating restoring abundance to our oceans. And using those words to really articulate what we want to accomplish and give us very clear yardsticks to accomplish that. So oceans 2050 is the organization that I found it a few years ago uses the latest science and understanding how we can restore abundance Square Oceans by 2050 so that we can Enable and amplify

people, organizations company's initiatives to contribute to that, common vision of a more abundant ocean. And and it's been really exciting because this idea that we can rebuild our oceans and restore that lost abundance is catching on like wildfire and it excites people in a way that I haven't seen them excited ever. And so this work is tremendously for filling and seaweed actually is our first big project Global seaweed project using data collected by

21 Farms on five continents in and I'm including 23,000 Farmers most of whom are women. So we're hoping that that data will help us understand how seaweed Farm sequester carbon and bring together biodiverse. Me and help bring the oceans back to life. I want to come back to that whole issue because I find it absolutely fascinating and I I love how you just by changing the way we speak about this aspect of aquaculture, we can actually embrace a more aggressive a solution for David Kelly. What brought you here today?

If the story's a little simpler, right? I went one day and fell in love with the fish and the case of salmon like, Sara, I am also from me but when I grow up there were no salmon to be fish or there because they've been pretty much damned out. I was until 40 plus years later, a friend move to California that I went fishing in British Columbia fishing for salmon and I really just became Enchanted enraptured. And even in awe of of this miracle fish that the salmon, we all know the story. They're born in the river, they

go out to the ocean. They swim thousands and thousands of miles. They collect all these nutrients and vitamins and then return to the river of where they were hatched and born and return those, those nutrients and vitamins and minerals to the Riverbanks to the animals hunt. Two species of birds. It's not just an eco species. What is a great Beacon of ferocity and courage. So I I was I am in awe of this fish and as I learn more about it, learned that they were in danger cuz the salmon that is wonderful, as beautiful as they are. They got a problem and that is that they

taste good. Add to that. They're good for you and us if there's a food product that tastes good and is healthy to eat, humans are going to eat them and they are and it's a c. The same as a c food item of choice. Right now, consumption is exponentially growing as his global population. It's only a matter of time before we eat them into Extinction. Unless aquaculture comes to the rescue. I think this is 65260 metric ton. Gab and the fish consumption. So it really is incumbent upon aquaculture to answer the call here. I

got in it to take the pressure off, wild salmon stocks. We chose a land-based facility because we felt that was the best way to do it with a carbon reduce carbon footprint. Impact on the oceans about seven years ago we created this company called reverend. So I started with a friend of mine who was named Robbie Young Who Came From cattle farming generations of cattle farming who's also a technological Savant of sorts. And the two of us started, looking at lambaste, aquaculture systems, We gave rise to one called riverence. We

started with a brute facility in Washington, and we expanded to a grow up facility in Idaho that facility has since expanded. And now we are the largest trout reducer in the Americas. It said, Sarah. Let me, let me head back to you. Something that Alexandra, said through sparked, a question in my head she was talking about reforesting Notions and carbon sequestration at its very essence. You're, you're not only growing seaweed as a farmer but you're also an educator, and you're helping people to build farms.

I'm assuming that that the issues with Alexander raised, our is very core, why you were seeking to grow acolytes and end. Do people actually reforest the ocean? Am I right? Yes, this is all new and we have a lot of research and development and learning to do, but the way I see this going in the way I sort of, you know, visualize it is to create systems that not only just support new businesses or new forms, but creative a collaborative network of farmers and processors,

and puke people there supporting the seaweed aquaculture industry until we do that, through an organic sort of certification approach. I think that, we really should think about this concept of of approaching the system that you build in such a way that you're, you're building the integrity and respect, or both the living ecological systems around you and the, the human community that are working within that and organic principal, have those days. And so do all the work that we've done in terms of developing

organic, produce seaweed in our Nursery in, on our farms and in harvesting we share with others. And so we have founded a nonprofit called him and see what exchange and we offer workshops and education and networking and research to help encourage the growth of this new industry in a responsible, and transparent Manner. And so we train people from all over the world who are just really hungry to become involved and to learn more and to approach it from 3rd of this, this collaborative Network, kind of a system. And so that's been really

exciting to see that as we build our farm and footprint at our company is seaweed week. And then also go out and share and create a network of other organic farmer. And then we scale together and we can aggravate AR for a consult. A larger mark That way you're supporting small independent Farmers up and down the coast in a way that's responsible and respectful of the environment that they're working in. What what's the biggest hurdle that you have to growth because everything you said, I found my myself just cheering inside. This is exactly the kind of solution based

action planning that we need more of. What's your biggest hurdle to growth? I think right now its infrastructure. I think as a as a society, we tend to live on land and we don't really understand the importance of being involved in the ocean and creating a type of structure of working Waterfront bridges that we can communicate with the sea. I think our approach is to provide opportunity and allow Farmers to either share their processing, infrastructure order, create their own, and even just something as simple as, as building out new

greenhouses locally for drying, is a challenge for Rural communities. And so, just looking at these new opportunities for our society, how can we help invest in that really basic infrastructure that would need to help this girl at the help? This becomes something that's a viable opportunity for 4. Green Heritage communities. Alexandra. Does that challenge sound familiar to you? It would seem that a building of communities building those alliances and that infrastructure is key

in your quest to reforest, the ocean and especially when it comes to the carbon sequestration of the naturally occurs when we plant and farm the ocean Well, I think that one of the things that is really key is going to be socializing this idea. So that Regulators understand the opportunities of seaweed, for example, in some parts of the United States is easier to get a license to explore for oil and gas than it is to get a license for seaweed. So I think that there's a lot of socialization that we need to do an

education around the world. There are different challenges in different places but the market is growing the interest from investors is growing the opportunities to develop new technologies that can solve new problems is growing very quickly and the blue economy is accelerating. We are accelerating the rate at which we are extending ourselves into the ocean. Whether it's for seaweed farming, which is, you know, how fast regenerative and at worst benign to deep sea mining, which is

Disaster. So if we are going to develop the blue economy, as a regenerative Force for the oceans and not an exploited. And then we need to find ways to accelerate the scaling of seaweed farming and other regenerative. Aquaculture practices are the things that I think is important to understand about climate change in the oceans, is that the oceans have absorbed 30% of the carbon emissions that we've admitted as human since the Industrial Revolution. So that has

been a great assist in managing climate change and slowing it down. When were able to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere note. But I do admit that 30% back. Atmosphere. So understanding how we can. Really, really carbonized. The biosphere and decarbonise the atmosphere and convert the carbon in the ocean into shellfish into sediment in two. Different things is critically important because we really don't want to get to a place where we have succeeded and

so much around getting rid of the atmosphere and then have the, the ocean return, I'm kind of like, you know, alone and back. So it there's a lot of work ahead. I think what gives me a lot of excitement is the energy in this space and a growing momentum. And if we're able to articulate our goals, as I said, we articulating what we want to accomplish as restoration of an abundant diverse complex. Ocean ecosystem, where every whale is, is sequestering carbon where every The life in the oceans is so abundant that it is decarbonise. Has the atmosphere re carbonizing, the biosphere

sequestering carbon away and helping us turn the ocean into the climate solution that it can be and seaweed farming is a way for humans to practice agriculture in a way that is regenerative, and that's a paradigm shift and kind of paradigm shift. Tell you to go on up cuz I want to ask you about that paradigm shift. I mean, you're you're essentially taking the the single largest, a biosphere with a capital B which is the the blue biosphere of its dominant. There's more water than land on on planet Earth and you're essentially using. If I

understand it correctly, a, a new way to look at the idea of contribution versus consumption and I wanted to give you a chance to explain that as part of your oceans, 2050 work. Well, I think that when you use the word consumer to describe the way people use their Time treasure and talent throughout their life being a consumer, I mean, what what is that word means? You just consume you consume goods and services. And if you consume things that have been made and and oftentimes we don't know how they were made or where they came from. I think

what I would love to see is for us to transition to a contributor mindset and understanding that everything we do contributes and it can either contribute to the status quo or I can contribute in helping us get on to A New Path for the more abundant future and companies as well. You know, they treat us as consumers and a market products to us as consumers will treat me like a contributor. Let me contribute. To your success by creating goods and services that to a better future. And and I think of

that just really put us on a different track. And and if we all see ourselves as contributors and that mindset changes then, and frankly, I think that's what young people wanted. A people that I spoke to said, are well-known and vocal, and the ones that I know in my private life, they all want to be part of an economic system that makes them contributors and that's really important of it. A few years ago, I was hosting a documentary that was looking at the blue green algae blooms in Lake Champlain in Vermont and I spent the day with a Dairy Farmer

family-owned Farms that have been passed down through the generations. And he had taken his entire operation organic so that he wouldn't contribute to those blue green algae blooms and How does all of this make you feel? And he said, I feel amazing because For the first time in my life, I feel like I've been able to align my choices with my values with my beliefs and I'm leaving a better world for my children. A few months later, I was hosting another documentary for National Geographic on organic

cotton and one of the locations that we went to conservative and agrarian part of India and I was interviewing a cotton farmer who taking his entire operation organic. He was telling me about all of the benefits that he had gained by doing that. And at the end of the day, I am. So how does all of this make you feel? And he said, I feel amazing because For the first time in my life, I'm able to align my actions with my beliefs and I feel like I'm leaving a better world for my children and that's when I realized

that. Being able to live in alignment with what we believe is. One of the most unspoken unrecognized human needs that we have and are our modern society has has divorced us in many ways from being able to live that out. That brings us back to that place. And I think when you look at the oceans, and we look at what we've done in the state that they're in today. A lot of people would want to be able to enjoy healthy Seafood. Know the future of seafood can be one of the

greatest solutions to our degraded oceans. If we think through it and our progress as whether or not it has a net positive for the ocean and it does it will happen that positive for human communities as well. David I was wondering as I was listening to Alexandra, talk about the contributor mindset. You know, alpaca culture no longer has to be on defense for for so many decades aquaculture was on defense in the sense that there were a lot of Bad actors out there in the space and they were giving the practice

something of a bad reputation. That's, that's really changed over the last 10 years. But I'm wondering since you are, you know, in many ways, they get a fish farmer has a contributor mindset play in your world today, especially with the work you're doing River Rats. Well, first that was a fantastic response from Alexander. Very, very elephant moving at Fish farms in general, would do. Well, if we could all try to live up to that measure of aspiration, as we go about our business, with respect to fish in the stigma against

fish farming. You're right. It was bad for a while. It's getting better in part because the methodology is improving and proving in part because some of the Bad actors are tumbling to the conclusion, that it makes good business sense to be more stewards of the environment and to make it healthier Alex. And right now we're seeing growth explosion in the consumption of fished because aquaculture is enjoying Are the renewed or a first-time luster of a good

practices. With what we try to do is references which we try to take care of our product and not try to speak to the world. And if we are going to speak to the world or our colleagues, it would be in the way of influence and causing them to see that our standards and practices are resulting in business success. So they might want to emulate those R Us. It starts with brood strong, genetics program to breed a healthy fish. A fish welfare is extremely important to us. We move on to nutrition,

pure genetics, technology and the farmers. The people are very important. If you combine all those aspects in your able to produce a good product. We have no juice high in omega-3, as it tastes good. It's good for you. It's going to make you healthier to eat it. It's better than taking the supplements thought of people like fish oil supplements. It's not as good as eating the real thing and fish our goal and our kind of our mission is one step at a time, one

consumer to time to be impressed with the quality of our product, that they will tell a friend word of mouth will grow with respect to the the quality of our product. And I are also also are reduced impact on the environment and that we as a company will benefit in the long run. You used to you, use the word in there that for a long time and has been what I will call the pejorative term when it comes to aquaculture. But I think it's actually a defining term that we need to embrace.

And that is technology that used to be scary when you talked about in the aquaculture space. But can you talk for a minute or two about the role of tacit River ends and your experience with it? I mean, you're not a career scientist, you surrounded yourself with expert, but technology plays a large role in the success of your company. I've had a chance to eat your fish for years, then it's absolutely spectacular. Yeah, Technologies. A big thing had I known that going in at probably would have scared me when I would have run in the opposite direction. I am not

a technological, Savant, your engineer will tell you even getting me ready for this. A zoom conference was a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I surrounded myself with people who are good at what it is. It's a big deal. It's a text Centric business. If you start at your brood the sylheti, or dealing with Do you know your batteries are genetic selection? You're Crossing families, your biofiltration, and then oxygenation and AutoZone. It's a lot. You move, you. You're also using photo light to manipulate spawning.

It's to get your respond. When you moved to grow out your constantly, tweaking your your nutrition for growth deficiency, digestibility of being even a little things like getting your palate slow, so the fish can see them. So your Pharmacy can see the pellets and no, not to overfeed, it's like some fairy text. Aunt request when you get the processing, you've got your sorters in your eviscerator zand York Humane kill, we like to use Electro sedation because we feel that's the most humane way a lot goes into it. Then of course the

final chapters selling your product and that is the technology that we're all familiar with it. Bensimon social media, reaching out your consumer. So there's a lot of Technology involved in aquaculture, but I would be remiss if, if I defined riverence or really any fish farm as a pure tech industry because we're dealing with live animals, you need farmers, and I think at the end of the day, you've got to get dedicated people, running your hatcheries, running your fish science, your fish welfare, your nutrition, your grow up oscillot. He's the only way to

succeed is with a level of commitment from your people to show up every single day with it with a degree of passion. And if they have, they can't bring that passion to your Enterprise. All the check isn't going to save it you know it in my other job which is in in in writing I often adhere to a principal you know latest billion years ago by Robert Frost and and he said that no tears for the writer. No tears for the reader and what he really meant by that is if you don't feel it, if you don't put your heart into it then you can't expect your constituency or your consumer to

invest stairs and and I think that's equally true in the agricultural. Do you need dedicated performers at every level to show up and play their part? So I hear you on Aqua Culture, being declared technologically, intense industry and it is but at the end of the day we are farmers and it's very very Eccentric in the best part of our company. I think you suck people. It's, it's a, it's a fascinating take it. I'm really glad that that you brought that up because it,

it reminds me of something that I learned when I was reading up on Ocean's. 2050, Alexander on the train, my age. But I grew up on your grandfather's films and end his work and it was, it was mandatory family watching in our house. And, and if I remember correctly, your grandfather had a very strong belief and a passionate passionate believe in the need for us to be farming. Our oceans. And so I was wondering if you could talk for a minute or two about the future of seafood and edible plants, being grown as part of

a ocean 2050. Well, we want to catalyze the scaling of regenerative opportunities for the ocean. So our work will never be around actually putting help or seaweed in the water, we want to support the people who are doing that, obviously, and we want to advance the science, that really helps us create climate and, and biodiversity optimal Farms, how do we measure the carbon? That's been sequestered under a farm. How do we do a DNA analysis on those sentiments? So that we understand how those Farms

aggregated biodiversity by providing have so that we can get to a place where people aren't being compensated for exploiting the environment. But rather compensated for And I'm regenerating the environments are there. So many ecosystem services that come from seaweed. And here when you when you blend selfish with, see, if he'd they're there, there's even more. I think that was the vision that my grandfather had when he talked about moving from a hunting to a, a farming

approach to to seafood. And, you know, that I personally haven't eaten Seafood in decades. Because I didn't like not knowing where that fish came from not knowing if I was supporting Pirates, human rights abuses or Damaging aquaculture practices that's changing today. And I actually had my first just a few months ago and I look forward to being able to dive back in because I feel like this industry is getting to a place where that Vision that my grandfather had

actually makes sense in the context of that, that future that we can all strive toward and not too exciting. But we do need to continue investing and developing, and researching and doing science. And I'm making sure that that we don't make the same mistakes in the ocean that we've made on land. You know, when when humans are, are confronted with a complicated problem, we like to have clean beautiful Simple Solutions which often end up being a disaster because nature is complex and it's interconnected and your creatures Thrive when they're able to live

in a community of life. Where their symbiotic Jeppesen. And these kinds of things are really making big advances us actually in aquaculture feed. You know what fish are fed is the vast majority of their environmental footprint, which makes sense when you think about it. So advancing the science and not areas, not ocean, 2015 Purdue, but I think is going to be really interesting to follow as, as that industry makes their own advances and their own improvements. Yeah, we aren't. We are what we

eat. I've been telling people for 20 years if you don't know where your food comes from, no matter what it is, you might not want to, you might not want to eat it up. Sarah, David brought up a really interesting points in the first round of questions about salmon, talking about, its deliciousness and its popularity. And I was wondering, if you're finding on the consumer-facing side that, you know, ocean plants for want of a better expression or easy sell or is there an

appetite change going on here, you know, as a global traveler, I go to a lot of different countries and they're taking whole meals, from Ocean plan. And I know what a reset that would be for taking the pressure off of factory farms in this country if we could just take a few more meals. From the wild that were grown naturally. It seems like ocean plants is a big part of that solution, but I'm curious about the consumer-facing side. Are you, are you getting an Embrace from the consumer or is it at Topsail? People won't see weed.

I think the challenge is to create that sustainable, aquaculture organic system that will provide a wide range of amazing products. I can come from these crops and sell it. The way that we approach. It is to recognize that dried the dried kelp the drive to be that we grow very concentrated, very high in minerals, vitamins and unique, Vaio, active, and utilized as an ingredient or seasoning. And by providing this resource, you can spend encourage people to eat seaweed

every single day. So by operating a little bit of seaweed into your diet, every single day, you're helping to remineralize your blood, you're helping to balance out some of the mineral deficiencies that we tend to have. When we are forming on the same boiled over and over and over again. I need this connection to the Sea and our diets in our soils in our animals and put Celia's provide. This really interesting package of of ocean. Life that can then be translated and brought back into the land, into the soil and into the people and animals that need it until our approach.

As ingredients means that all of the food that we grow can be incorporated into any food that we eat, any food system that we rely on, on land to grow our animals and plants to feed the soils and and the animal and can be also incorporated into all of our regular industrial processes as a biomaterial. And so that's kind of one of the enticing and fascinating aspects of seaweed is it can actually be utilized for nearly anything in the world and then see you couple that with the ability to grow a tremendous amount of

it in the Coastal Waters in Maine in the winter crops. And so we can create, you know, hundreds and hundreds of farms. I can produce hundreds of thousands and millions of pounds in the winter. And so it's really exciting to see the potential that this holds. And I think, you know, the real potential lies within our soils and live in our ocean and within photosynthesis in Plants, really? We are Planet needs more plants and so if you want to help save the world, best thing you can do is to grow more plants, whatever that looks like. I'm so so

abundant, you can create your own rainforest every winter. It's just really exciting to see where that can go before the markets, are there in the world wants. We need to eat and in every aspect of our lives and and so it's just waiting for us to figure out how to scale and how to bring that. Back up in your system. Well, I'll give you I'll give our audience one one little hot. If everybody thinks of seaweed is something that can only go into a salad or maybe it's part of a, another type of meal that's based on the

cuisine of another country. With every vegetable sautee that I make. Now, I put Seagram's in and I put help a dice rehydrated and diced as 20% of the vegetables. And in every soup and stew that I make, and nobody knows that seaweed is in there, everybody starts eating it. And, and is just amazed text Julie at how that choke holds up. When it didn't raised issues, whether it's made with fish or chicken, or beef, and it adds a salinity, that's absolutely magical food. And I know it's really, really healthy for my family. So

it's fully twenty-five 30% of our vegetable consumption in our house and encourage others to expand With it the same way we have 15 minutes left and I was hoping that we could sort of get into a bit of a lightning round here. I'm going to ask our panelists if they could respond to a question. I have just in a minute or two so that we can be cognizant of the time. I think we might be able to get through all of these hot-button issues. The I'll start with the

with you Alexandra. It is clear by everything that we've learned today and and as folks who work have been working on these issues for years and years that this broader sustainable Food Systems approach that you've been talking about. The David's, been talking about that Sarah has been talkin about, is is absolutely vital. You said that you just started recently eating fish. I'm just curious as a consumer who knows more than the average consumer. How this broader sustainable

Food Systems approach is a, is being embraced by embraced by those young people that you were talking about earlier. Cuz I'm finding in my life, they certainly are much more aware of the issues. I totally agree with you, Andrew. I think that young people are aware about so much more than I ever was at that age. Even with the influence, they think about where food comes from and what it's doing, what it's doing to the farmers here in the west of France, we have food

in France, whether it's organic or not, it tastes grades and those wonderful stress here know how to prepare it. But the quality of the produce that you got from these small I'm working from a culture farmers who are inevitably young maybe with a small child or two small arms, they're selling locally in the markets and and Two Chefs in the region and and they have nearby at the farm days and in an hour. Only place that we got to get our food and it's fantastic. And it's

thanks to the energy to, to agriculture to a local sense of what is a taste like, and how how it impacts the land and the animals. And, and that's really refreshing, and I love it. And I am constantly looking for more ways that I can support this, you know, and in my own Community. But also, you know, to Seafood that I, that I eat, very rarely, I have to look abroad. And, and David, if you ever sell your, your fishing in France, please let me know. But that's the

Meat and Fish. I eat rarely and when I do, I really take care of it comes from cuz I want to make sure that it's it aligns with my values and that I needed to support the people that do it in a way that I feel as is consistent with that. David. We were talking earlier about, you know, food production systems, and aquaculture is the fastest growing food. Production system on planet Earth. Can you speak a little more about the the growth of your industry? Since River ends was founded what only 8 years ago. Little over seven years ago.

Yeah, yeah. Aquaculture is booming, that's the good news. Or, or our company is also the bad news because the terms of getting market share, there are just so many then doors and purveyors out there. How do you get Market distinction? How do you separate yourself from the other vendors? And it goes to the question that you just touched down with Alexandra and that goes to Consumer awareness. our company really started with a fundamental assumption in a

Don't know what that it's right. Is that if people know the difference and they know the distinction in their choices, they will make a choice that is healthier for them and healthier for the planet. As long as it tastes good first, and foremost, it, it, it has to be in the old people in a tree want to eat that in public. Education of the consumer though, is it is a slow build and there are a lot of aquaculture fish Farmers making claims that they don't live up to.

So you're not only battling other Farms with practices but also in their, their, their marketing. But with chefs like yourself that have been great champions of good product in consumer awareness, building Dance to the future of Agriculture. I think the public now is becoming aware that it is the better choice in terms of the impact on the planet at the food conversion ratio. I think with meat is 8 to 12 to 1, depending on the scientist you listen to with

fish, it's almost down to 221 in some cases 121 it. So it is to reduce carbon footprint. It's a great source of protein, so it's easy for people to get excited about it. It tastes good and you're you're doing the the planet, a favor. When you, you make that food choice, I don't need to walk into the grocery store and say, I'm here to make an ecological statement with my food Choice there. First and foremost going to want to go in to be able to feed themselves and their family. And it's something Taste good in this is good for their own hell, but it's say it doesn't hurt

that. In addition to those two components that eating fish is friendlier, the plan is as well. Well, that's that's what I believe, so much in the educational component, because I certainly think that way when I go in an obviously, I have the ability to transform or foods from my stores, that I shop in into something that my family enjoys to eat because of the skill set that I have. You built over a career in food, but I think education is absolutely key. And especially amongst young people, my sixteen year

old is way more aware of sustainable choices issues and, and how he can vote with his feet with his wallet with the choices that he makes in every aspect of his life, Sarah, we know, What Seafood is more sustainable to produce and more helpful to consume then all comprable terrestrial animal proteins. I was wondering since you're up in Maine and a different part of what level or panel is much different places in the world, what you're seeing on the ground

from, you know, people in your daily life at the at the hardware store. At at the gym at the school, wherever your perambulating need your daily life or are they becoming more woke to this especially in a state whose economy relies so much on the food that it produces on the land and in the water? And on the tourist, who travel there to eat it? No, absolutely aquaculture is really growing in Maine and just like, land, agriculture mean, at the track thing, a lot of young people in a lot of energy in this

career choice, people are attracted to the idea of working with the planet working with the water working, with the land, and really creating a livelihood. And in a place that isn't defined by the financial goal. I think main has a really interesting Marine Heritage, and our historical Fisheries, the building that I'm actually operating out of now used to be an Old Cannery, and so you can see behind me. This is an incredible area for wide range of Fisheries, that sort of went through a boom-and-bust cycle over and over and over again. And so we

really have to just start from the beginning. We have to start with the the base of the food chain and say, how does this work, how can we start to change and shift? Relationship to the fishery is in our ocean and seafood and start to really return that abundance that, you know, Drew Drew people here in the first place. The ocean has everything it needs to create the food, and create the life. And it's our job to tend it like the Garden of Eden to enhance the ecosystem to enhance up when trying to create the food in the resources that we rely on that. We don't have to wait for a

Fisheries to come and go. We have to really decide. How do we, how do we take our Innovation and, and learn how to work within these natural system, return that abundance that supports all of us? Oh Sarah, you make such a great point in a food. Demand is projected to increase. What's a double by 2050 and protein demand to increase by 32 50%. We we, we we almost can't squeeze more out of our terrestrial a systems when it comes to animal proteins. In fact, it's that it's bad on a quest to do more, that's actually done more damage than then, it's done good. I think

the secrets are does fly in our oceans and end to that point, Alexander, before I wrap up, I'll let you have our last word here. I'm a firm believer that responsible aquaculture is needed to play a significant role in transforming Global Food Systems to feed Humanity through sustainable production trade in Gumption all of that takes place in this in this blue world that you don't forget her. Ations your family has been a steward and around which oceans 2050 has based a huge part of its its focus that we Retreat. The

water as a is something to to add to and harvest from an increase, its health and wellness. Can you bring us home with a what your outlook is? Cuz we're a 2021. What we can look to in the coming decades as we near 2050 when it comes to a being responsible to our oceans and the food that it can produce. Will Andrew, you know that the future Seafood is going to come from two places. It's going to come from wild-caught fisheries and it'll come home. If they were managed for abundance feed up to a billion. People a day, that's twice

as many as it feeds now. And so there's a lot of work and transparency traceability, you know, and and technological advances to to be able to get that to where it needs to be as well with Aqua Culture. I think the same is true. We are going in a direction where aquaculture will continue to grow and that's great news. I think that the transparency and traceability and technology that can can use to get incorporated into that practice is just going to make it a better option. Every year that it continues and that's really exciting as well.

Because frankly, if those Done right and the future Seafood. Contributes to more abundant ocean, then we are all winning, you know. It's, it's, it's not just the ocean. We all depends on the ocean on how we're able to manage and mitigate climate change is dependent on the ocean, and being able to feed people creating a socially, just Society. All of those things are very connected to the Future seafood. And, and I think that's, you know, influencers like yourself Andrew and innovators, like, Dave, and

Sarah is doing such a great job with expanding our understanding, inability to scale. Seaweed, these are the kind of things that will make us successful in the future. Well, I am so inspired by the, the three of you and I I have a year several years ago. I decided that, you know, of all the food pillars, I could devote a healthy portion. My time to it would be aquaculture for a whole variety of different reasons and the three of you represent all of the best reasons and confirm to me that that I made the the right choice in to wear to lend my voice.

I'd like to leave everyone with this phone, but it is the desire I believe, for all of us to make sure that we maintain focus on the immediate need for you. That the viewers to Consumers and our producers and water Farmers to all be pulling together. Not tomorrow, next, not. Next week, not next month, but to start to make choices today that We influence our planet and to consider aquaculture as a way forward and something that we all can participate in immediately. I would like to thank our panelists

today, David E, Kelley Alexandra, Cousteau and Sarah Redmond. And most of all I would like to thank the folks at South by Southwest who have allowed us to have this platform. Now, I'll include last year even though we weren't able to all get together for the last three years. Because they understand that this intersection of all of these needs takes place in the water, whether that's water on land or water, where it naturally exist in producing food for hungry. Planet, thank you so much for joining us. Have a great rest of your day, everyone

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Andrew Zimmern
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