Ned Bell is one of Vancouver’s top chefs but you won’t find him in his kitchen at the Four Seasons this summer. He’s cycling across Canada instead.
This all started last year when Bell launched Chefs for Oceans and cycled across Vancouver Island to raise awareness and show support for keeping our lakes, rivers and oceans healthy.
This year Ned decided to cycle across the entire country.
He started on Canada Day at Raymonds Restaurant in St. John’s, NL and from there cycled to Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John, Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa before riding into Toronto just last week.
At a reception at the Four Seasons Ned, along with representatives from Ocean Wise, encouraged everyone in the restaurant industry to become activists for sustainable seafood.
Chefs can affect change in how people eat fish and shellfish–if they stop serving open net farmed salmon and switch to more sustainable options like closed containment farmed salmon. Or switch from Thai black tiger shrimp to B.C. spot prawns.
We’re seeing change already.
Ten years ago it was worth boasting on a menu that you’re using black tiger shrimp from Thailand, but now we know better. We know local is better and sustainable fishing methods are better and that all farmed fish isn’t an eco disaster in the making.
But it isn’t enough, we’re still treating fish the way we always have. Even when we make better choices we still eat it like it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The reality is that we’ve overfished to a really scary point and Bell is taking on this cross-country tour to scare us into not taking the fish we buy and cook at home or order off of menus for granted. He’s scared that when his kids grow up there won’t be nearly as much selection as we have now.
As Bell cycles across Canada, aiming to return home to Vancouver on Sept.12th we can show our support for him by making the right choices at the fish counter and at the restaurant.