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As a working mom who lives in New York, I take pride in getting dinner on the table, even if it’s glitzy orange mac and cheese in a box. But when I manage to serve my husband and son fish, which are known to be exceptionally healthy and filled with calcium, protein, vitamins, and the most important omega-3 fatty acids, I feel like a super mom.
To be clear, cooking the fish is simple enough. It is the purchase that is complicated. Seafood is a murky industry, fraught with problems: mislabeled fish in markets and restaurants; bred against wild and that’s more sustainable (Both? Neither? I still don’t know); Overfishing and biodiversity depletion (appalling, scientists have theorized our oceans could be no fish until 2048!); and all of these in essence not recyclable, plastic-wrapped styrofoam trays (the most popular Packaging selection for seafood, meat and poultry). What can a super mom do with all of this?
The answer to my request came in January when a PureFish rainbow box landed on my doorstep. The San Diego-based company that like restaurants Soho house (nationwide), Lionfish in San Diego and Florida and Wynn Las Vegas had just launched its direct-to-consumer arm, promising to deliver the same “sustainable, premium quality seafood” to US households
When I unpacked my gem-colored amount of shrimp, salmon, tuna and striped bass, the first thing I noticed was the packaging: No styrofoam in sight! Each meaty piece of fish was wrapped in oven-ready recycled aluminum trays – and those trays were encased in packaging insulation made from recycled cotton and denim sourced from places like Goodwill. Although there has been a switch to take-away paper and coffee cups in recent years (thanks to plastic and styrofoam) Prohibitions in some cities and states) and paper folds instead of peanuts, styrofoam – that does 30 percent from landfills worldwide – is still the norm for raw meat, poultry and fish. PureFish not only uses styrofoam, but also uses less single-use plastic than is common in other fish packaging.
But not only the more environmentally friendly outsiders impressed me. There were two frozen, fully cut, and cook-ready center cuts in each tray (as opposed to cuts made near the head or tail of a fish where there is less meat). I’ve always been skeptical of frozen fish because it looks like it just isn’t that fresh, but PureFish shock freezes its fish the moment it’s caught – and each one I’ve tried has been delicious. I also loved that the fish is carefully sourced and fully traceable as I discovered when scanning the QR codes on each tray that you could use to ‘meet the fisherman’.
After lightly seasoning and searing some thawed tuna fillets to serve with a soy-ginger sauce and charred bok choy, my family and I dug into it. It was tender, flavorful, and delicious. Better still, I had finally found a way to buy fish that I was completely comfortable with – even if I still couldn’t convince my son that it was better than mac and cheese in boxes.