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Environmentallity That We Need For The Future

December 5, 2019

 

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but the other day I was watching the Patriots game and an Exxon Mobile commercial came on about how they are growing algae for the fuel of the future yadda yadda yadda. It was so well made, and it subconsciously screamed that Exxon Mobile was this pioneer of environmental ethics. Where do they get the nerve to promote themselves on that platform? BP did the same thing after they blew up the oil rig in the gulf a few years back. It makes me angry that in this day and age all the false claims made by businesses, politicians, or whoever. In the information age why is the information so flawed? Enough ranting. I suppose all you can do is be true to yourself, and the rest will sort itself out.

Our company has always had an environmental consciousness and the mentality that “Mother Nature is the CEO”. This stems from our close working relationship with natural resources, fisheries, and weather to contend with, and in some cases combat. Lately we have been fighting the same battles, but we have been working the other side of it as well; riding the sustainability wave in the 21st century.

The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition is a band of farmers from around the country that have partnered with The Nature Conservancy. We are identifying the main issues around climate change and working to come up with solutions to mitigate the damaging effects on our coastal waters. A lot of this is done at a policy level, and the farmers are advising the lawmakers on how to best preserve and enhance the coastal waters. The waters where we harvest our seafood need to be healthy for the seafood in them to be healthy. Simple as that.

Members of the SGCC agree that:

Human impact on the Earth’s climate system is well documented, scientifically understood and profound.

• Taking action to address climate change is imperative to secure the viability of our businesses, our communities and the natural resources they depend upon.

• Improving people’s understanding of climate change and its impact on our businesses represent an important way to promote and enact climate policies that guide America to a low carbon future.

The SGCC is committed to shining a light on how climate change is already affecting food production in the United States, and using the stories of shellfish growers and other businesses endangered by climate change as a way to start a broader conversation about the urgent need for climate action. Consumers care about where their food comes from, and whether the foods they love will continue to be available to them. We want more policy makers to recognize that it is not just jobs and the communities they support at stake as a result of climate change, but whether or not we will be able to feed a growing human population.” (https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/tackle-climate-change/climate-change-stories/shellfish-growers-climate-coalition)

The Chefs collaborative is another organization that we work closely with that is constantly thinking about the foods they serve and how it effects our world. Their motto is “change menus, change lives” and that translates to eating local, eating with the ecosystem, using under utilized species instead of wiping out the last of the bluefin tuna to make a quick buck. The chefs spearheading this effort are incredibly talented, and passionate about their work. The ideas they come up with are crazy; taking brine shrimp, drying them and using it as a salty seasoning! We are very grateful to be involved in this group especially when its time to test out their newest menu items.

Another avenue we are traveling down with vigor is waste management. We have employed a self-proclaimed recycling czar that once upon a time chained himself to trees out in Oregon to preserve them from being cut down by logging companies (so you know he’s hardcore about the environment). He is making waves by finding useful ways to reuse and recycle the variety of organic and inorganic materials that come into our facility on a daily basis. Initially it starts with separating the rocks out from the shells on the mussel processing line. The organic waste, or shells and meats will be used for fertilizer for agricultural crops because the high nutrient content (nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and many other micronutrients). The difficult part is figuring out the process to get from meats in the shell, to fertilizer. We think we have the solution though, and I’m already fertilizing my home garden for next year with the byproducts!!!

On the shellfish farming side of things, we are always striving to make things better and easier. Now all our processing is done on the water so zero waste when oysters are landed, also zero fresh water used in the processing of our Salt Water Farms oysters. Working in harmony with nature is not only the healthier choice, the smarter choice, and the better choice, but it is inevitably the only choice for the long run if we want to continue to thrive in the Ocean State.

Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down by the day to day hustle that is running a business. Supply issues, demand issues, trucking, and everything sucking. Whatever your day job is at American Mussel Harvesters it is nice to once in a while, take a step back and realize that what we are doing promotes good food for the people, good food for the ecosystem, and good food for the future. A satisfied mind is not easy to come by, but it starts with a meaningful life.