As technology continues its relentless march, it is becoming easier than ever to have all the information about sustainable food you need on your phone, meaning you can keep checking while you are doing your shopping.
As well as websites, there are dozens of smartphone apps centred on fish, providing all sorts of information
Unfortunately – like many things on the internet – it can be hard to sift through everything out there to get the information you want.
On a rainy day at EcoEats, we had a browse through what’s out there and came up with the best 3 apps (all free of course!) for your phone. All are readily available from the iTunes store.
Hugh’s Fish Fight
Coming off the back of the popular Channel 4 show of the same name, the Hugh’s Fish Fight App follows a similar ‘challengey’ theme. Straight from entering the app you are invited to sign up to receive a different seasonal recipe to cook every fortnight. There is a lot of information about the whole collaboration project, as well as general alphabetical guides about which fish to eat and what to make with them.
The real strength of the app though comes with Fish2Fork’s Restaurant Guide. This alphabetical list covers numerous UK restaurants, ranging from Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (just 1 and a half stars as it happens!) to eateries in Edinburgh and Leith. The five-star rating system covers both the menu and sourcing policy of each restaurant, and also includes the date reviewed. Most of these times are within two years so the system couldn’t be called outdated, but it does mean that some rankings may be old as two years is a long time in sustainable food.
Best for: The restaurant list is very good if sustainable policies make a difference to where you eat out. You won’t find every restaurant in the country on there but you’ll get a fair idea. Also, the app really is an addition to the TV programme. If you’re a fan of Hugh and his work, you’ll be a fan of this app.
Avoid if: You’re not a fan of the show! Away from the recipes, there isn’t that much general information available about how to eat sustainably at home rather than in restaurants.
Sustainable Fish City
This is the official app produced by the company of the same name, which aims to make London the first Sustainable Fish City, after making all fish sold in the Olympic Park from sustainable sources last year. This app is really for the home, teaching what are the best fish to buy and cook. There are several links to other useful websites and apps, and plenty of opportunity to sign up for more information.
The highlight of this app comes in the ‘Top Ten Swaps’ category. Covering tuna, salmon, haddock, cod, prawns, plaice, swordfish, sea bass, skate, and halibut, the app offers alternatives to the mainstream or traditional ways of buying them, and mentions which supermarkets they can be bought at.
Best for: Home shopping. It is an excellent way of teaching yourself which fish to buy for everyday cooking that stays committed to the pledge of sustainability while not shirking on quality. There are also several points of reference on various pages, so if you’re keen to know more then it is a very useful app indeed.
Avoid if: The title page of the app – a sardine can that you peel back – is inventive but not the most practical, so could annoy some. The overall design of the app could be seen as bit 90s too; it is very blocky. Also, if you don’t do much home cooking then you probably can’t learn a lot directly from this.
Good Fish Guide
This app is the creation of the Marine Conservation Society, one of the key lobbying groups pushing for change in this area, and it serves largely as an encyclopedia of the latest status of fish around the world. Set out like an iTunes library and alphabetical, each fish has a traffic light rating of Green – Eat, Yellow – Think, and Red – Avoid, alongside advice on what to do with the fish and detailed information where available of where and how they are caught currently.
The list is updated as and when the status of the fish change, and the Marine Conservation Society is in as good a position as any to know when these changes occur.
Best for: Comprehensive knowledge of every fish: what it is, where it is found, and what you should currently do/about it. There really is no better app for that level of detail about fish.
Avoid if: It really is what it says on the tin – a good guide to fish. This means it is quite specific, it doesn’t give the prices that you get from Sustainable Fish City, nor the recipes that you get with Hugh’s Fish Fight. It is certainly the best at what it does, but it doesn’t cover everything.