Quantcast

5 Ways to Help Stop the Destruction of Our Oceans

© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

By David Pinsky

Every day, roughly half of the money Americans spend on food outside of the home is gobbled up by the U.S. foodservice industry.


Wait, what's foodservice?

Companies that buy, transport, cook or serve the food you get at Subway, Burger King, a Beyoncé show or the Super Bowl, Walmart corporate cafeterias, the University of Kentucky, Chicago Public Schools, Yosemite National Park, Hilton hotels or even in the U.S. Capitol's cafeterias.

Foodservice is one of the largest industries we frequent often, though many know nothing about.

These companies buy and sell tons of seafood and some of it is destructively caught and potentially connected to forced labor.

So … how do the companies rank that supply and serve up tuna at Subway, fried shrimp at Disney World or a tuna salad sandwich in a cafeteria for Toyota employees.

Glad you asked.

Today, Greenpeace released Sea of Distress, its first seafood sustainability ranking of foodservice companies.

Sodexo, Compass Group and Aramark led the rankings as the only companies that passed—barely—while Sysco and US Foods are among the 12 failing companies.

Many companies are supplied by Thai Union Group, the largest tuna company in the world that owns U.S. brand Chicken of the Sea and supplies supermarkets too, including Walmart and Kroger. Thai Union is notorious for ocean destruction. And some of its seafood supply chains have been linked to human rights abuses, where seafood workers were forced to work under horrendous conditions for months with no escape. From the halls of Congress to your university, favorite restaurant or workplace—you could be eating seafood connected to ocean destruction or even human rights abuses.

You have the power to help transform a global industry ripping up the sea and exploiting workers.

It's time for companies profiting off of ocean destruction and mistreated workers to change. You have the power to tell companies not to destroy ocean life and to protect workers' rights from Southeast Asia to right here in the U.S.

Ready to help? Here's how:

1. Know the facts. Check out Sea of Distress to see which are the best and worst ranked companies.

2. Eat tuna? Tell the foodservice provider of your company, school or favorite restaurant that you want responsibly caught tuna and express your concern if it is coming from suppliers that cannot guarantee sustainable and ethical products, like Chicken of the Sea or Thai Union.

3. Speak your mind. Join Greenpeace Greenwire to connect with volunteers. Together, ask how your foodservice provider is working to stop forced labor, labor abuse, illegal fishing and protect workers' rights. If it's a lousy response, take your business elsewhere.

4. Eat less seafood. Reducing seafood consumption now can help lessen the pressure on our oceans, ensuring fish for the future.

5. Vote with your dollar. If you or someone you know eats seafood, use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app. Only buy green-rated "Best Choice" seafood.

David Pinsky authors Greenpeace USA's annual seafood sustainability report for the nation's largest supermarkets, holding major companies accountable and shifting seafood practices that have global impacts on our oceans.

Sponsored
On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.

Read More Show Less

This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.

"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Over the past few years, it seems vegan cooking has gone from 'brown rice and tofu' to a true art form. These amazing cooks show off the creations on Instagram—and we can't get enough.

Read More Show Less
The USS Ashland, followed by the USS Green Bay, in the Philippine Sea on Jan. 21. U.S. Department of Defense

By Shana Udvardy

After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.

Read More Show Less
The Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky. CC BY 3.0

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.

Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.

Read More Show Less