“Dear Black People”

Dear Black People,

WE have got to do better when it comes to our “food neophobia” — the fear of trying new foods.  I am not talking to all of us but definitely more than a few.  When it comes to seafood I need for us as a community to be on the same page about this. So once and for all, let us together affirm that there are more seafood options in this world besides Catfish, Tilapia, Shrimp, Lobster, and Crab Legs. Yes, I know you and your entire church and go to Pappadeaux every Sunday after service, of course you’re an expert on good seafood but please just hear me out.

I’ll use myself for example. I am from in a neighborhood in Chicago that had a sketchy pop-up shop type restaurants on every corner. You know the ones I’m taking about, last week it was the check cashing place… Now they frying fish and next month it will be a Title Pawn or The Payday Loan Store. Let’s be honest, for some of us this is all that is accessible to us, because it’s all we have in our neighborhoods. So, I truly understand why that’s all we eat because that’s all we’ve ever known.”People who have limited opportunities may not realize their entire world can change in unimaginable ways if they simply take that first step towards educating themselves.” 

This, in itself is an entirely different conversation that we also must have very soon.

Nevertheless, as I began to grow and venture out beyond those kinds of establishments, I discovered an entire sea full of sustainability.

So, if you consider J & J Fish or Joe’s crab shack “good seafood” YOU my friend should  pay attention because I’m about to blow your mind.

The year was 2009, and I just started a new job working in a fine dining restaurant.  In my first pre-shift staff meeting the chef asked me “What kind of fish do you like to eat?” and my reply was Tilapia and the ENTIRE room gave me this:

WTF FACE

What I didn’t know was that tilapia also known in the food business as “aquatic chicken” or  as my granny calls it “St. Peter’s fish” can actually be worse for your heart than eating bacon or even a burger, So you might as well be doing this…

BURGER SMASH

My transformation had officially begun, I  became team #Nomoretilapia.

The Choice

I’m trying to free your mind. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the sea and all of its deliciousness and the door to your left, of course leads back to the Matrix.

So, before you stock up on Tilapia, during your next trip to the “Food for Less”,  I’m going to give you a few other choices I would like you to consider:

The Three Tiers to Superior Fish

I know and understand the fear of trying new foods so this will help make it a lot less scary.

Level 1: Seafood you’ve probably  heard of but never tried.

These are good, non-threatening fish that would be nice starters to try. Something to “ease” you into it, so to speak.

Pollock                 Calamari               Grouper         Amberine               Cod                     Halibut

Level 2: Seafood that will require an open mind.

Get into your car. Find a Sea to Table restaurant and look for these:

Ahi Tuna         Bluefish                Sole             Scallops            Oysters               Mussels

Level 3: Becoming a Seafood Guru

You are stepping outside the box and smashing it because it is no longer your home. Trust me try these and thank me later

 Octopus              Hake                Conch                  Monkfish            Swordfish           Skate

So now, the choice is officially yours. But we  already know what you are going to do, don’t we?  I can already tell that the chemicals in your brain are being overwhelmed with logic and reason. This knowledge has already empowered you to the simple and obvious truth: You must become team #NoMoreTilapia. Join the movement now.

Tee-shirts and buttons coming soon.

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