Just back from a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where I was enchanted by The Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit. Leafy sea dragons, pipehorses, pipefishes, potbelly seahorses — fascinating creatures one and all. Plus it’s the male seahorse who gets pregnant. How about that little factoid to bring a smile to your face?
While there we learned the aquarium has updated its Seafood Watch list. This guide recommends which fish are best to buy, which make good alternatives, and which to avoid because of overfishing or unsustainable practices. So albacore tuna (troll/pole caught) gets the green light, yellowfin (long-line caught) a cautionary yellow, and bluefin tuna a red no. It’s a good little resource when shopping for fish at the market or eating out at a restaurant but, since it’s a paper guide, it often gets left at home. Mine lives on the fridge, which is of no help when facing fish dinner choices.
That problem has been solved for the pescetarians and omnivores among us. The guide is now available as a free iPhone or iPod touch app. That was welcome news to my techno-savvy son, 11, who is delighted that his mama has emerged from the Dark Ages and now totes a groovy new 3G iPhone. (I’m still figuring out how to use all its features.) Technology trumped politics: My strident vegetarian son begged me to let him add this new application to our growing list.
The mobile guide, also available online and downloadable for other devices, contains a national list, six regional versions, and a sushi name finder. It offers more details than the pocket guide but has a few flaws, as noted in this PC World Review. (I won’t pretend to be an expert, apparently sometimes pertinent info spills off the screen.)
That said, it’s probably better for the planet to leave home with a phone that has the skinny on what salmon is sustainable than not having this information at all on your way to the store.
Speaking of which, what other cooking-related info can be stored on these so-called smartphones (Blackberry users that means you too)? I gather generating grocery lists and finding recipes is possible, though I’ve yet to do either. Are there any particular foodie apps or phone functions that really help make getting a meal on the table easier that you’d care to share with clueless me?