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Beyond Data

For the past decade Beyond Data Podcast host Ret Talbot has been a freelance journalist and science writer reporting on fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. He frequently uses the hashtag #datamatter because, well, they do. But what happens when the data simply don’t exist, are insufficient or unavailable? What happens when so-called alternative facts are considered just facts and people operate under the impression that the plural of anecdote is indeed data? How do we reach consensus when everyone espouses his or her own data—his or her own facts? In the Beyond Data Podcast, Talbot and his guests go where he's often been unwilling to go in his reporting--beyond data.

Dec 1, 2017

Episode 2 - Meal Kits and Sustainable Seafood

Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and Sun Basket are uniquely positioned to radically change Americans’ relationship to seafood. These services remove many of the barriers to cooking fish at home by providing step-by-step directions and precisely measured ingredients—ingredients they frequently claim are sustainable. But are there data to support those sustainability claims when it comes to seafood? In this episode of Beyond Data, my guests and I take a deep dive into meal kit delivery services and sustainable seafood.


(in order of appearance)

Ken Plasse, CEO of FishPeople Seafood

Michael Tlusty, Associate Professor, Sustainability and Food Solutions, School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts at Boston

Monica Jain, Executive Director of Fish 2.0

Karen Talbot, Scientific Illustrator

Max Miller, Chef at The Landings Restaurant

Gavin Gibbon, VP Communications at National Fisheries Institute

Tim Fitzgerald, Director of Impact Division of Environmental Defense Fund's Fishery Solutions Center

Ryan Bigelow, Program Engagement Manager at Seafood Watch

Justine Kelly, Co-Founder and Executive Chef at Sun Basket


PART 1 [00:00]

Blue Apron

FishPeople Seafood

FishPeople Pacific Cod Traceability Page

Marine Stewardship Council

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

NOAA Office of Science and Technology

Chef Rick Moonen on ShareCare

Seafood Expo North America

Sun Basket

Fish 2.0

PART II [11:36]

University of Massachusetts at Boston School for the Environment

New England Aquarium

PART III [20:21]

Karen Talbot Art

Meal Kits and Waste

Anchored Inn


Barramundi - Truly a Better Fish

Celebrating Previously Frozen Farmed Fish 

PART IV [30:35]

The Landings Restaurant

Chef Massimo Bottura on Why the Future of Food is in Our Trash

Max Cooks an Oyster Toadfish [begins ~13:49 in EP1] 

PART V [41:47]

National Fisheries Institute


Environmental Defense Fund - Tim Fitzgerald

Seafood Watch - Ryan Bigelow

Seafood Watch Partners

Sun Basket - Chef Justine Kelly

Tennessee State University Study

Oceana Seafood Fraud Report

Images from This Week's Episode

Chef Max Miller Reading the Blue Apron Barramundi Recipe

Chef Max Miller Getting Ready to Cook the Blue Apron Barramundi

FishPeople Seafood Pacific Cod Included in the Sun Basket Meal Kit

The FishPeople Branded Pacific Cod that Arrived in the Sun Basket Meal Kit with a Traceability Code

Blue Apron Barramundi

The Farmed Australis Barramundi that Arrived in Our Blue Apron Kit and Labeled under the Anchored Inn Brand (Anchored Inn is a trademark of Blue Apron)

Labeling on the Back of the Farmed Barramundi Package from Blue Apron

Blue Apron Includes the Seafood Watch Wordmark on Its Seafood Packaging

Tennessee State University Study Results on Mislabeling of Seafood Products Purchased Online 


Dr. Sandria Godwin R.D., LDN Professor of Food Safety and Nutrition Department of Human Sciences College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University

Vanessa Miller 

SpliceSound for the Sad Trumpet 

Clay Groves, The Fish Nerds Podcast

The Angler's Pint

Music: "Xi" by Andy G. Cohen

If you’d like to ask a question or make a comment about today’s show, email me at, leave a voicemail at 207-370-1575, send a Tweet to @rettalbot, or comment on the show’s Facebook page, which is We’ll follow-up on your comments and questions in next Friday’s Follow-Up Friday podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please consider subscribing on iTunes, where you can also rate the podcast and post a review—that really does make a difference.