20 September 2020
In partnership with Mail Metro Media, we’re sharing stories of how Tesco and our supplier partners are tackling some of the key environmental issues associated with food production.
While many people have had to cancel their holidays this year, those craving a taste of Continental Europe will still be able to get their fix
The Scottish mussel season begins in October, so what better time to enjoy a plate of moules frites cultivated on our very own shores?
Millions of people have been enjoying staycations by the coast this year and discovering British seafood, so perhaps it’s no surprise that mussels have been growing in popularity.
‘We’ve seen sales of mussels rise by 20 per cent on average compared to last year,’ says Helena Delgado Nordmann, Responsible Sourcing Manager at Tesco. ‘Lockdown has meant customers haven’t been able to eat out as much, so they’ve been trying these finer foods for themselves at home instead.’
As MSC’s first Sustainable Seafood Week draws to a close, the good news is that you can also enjoy mussels guilt-free, safe in the knowledge they are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Tesco sources all its mussels in the UK from long-term supplier the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG), a co-operative of Scottish farmers that co-owns a processing facility. Each of its 14 enhanced fisheries grow mussels naturally on ropes left in the water and are fully certified by the MSC. You just
need to look out for the blue fish label on products in store.
A REAL CATCH: Mussel-fishing boat in Scottish waters
Michael Tait, a Shetland Islands mussel farmer and member of the Scottish
Shellfish Co-operative explains why these tasty molluscs are good for our health and for the planet.
‘Mussels are a very sustainable resource,’ he says. ‘Growing them doesn’t damage the environment. In fact, they filter out potentially damaging nutrients such as phosphorus. They also use carbon dissolved in the water to build their shells, meaning they actually absorb carbon. So when it comes to climate change, the more mussels we can grow, the better.’
Tesco has been working with both suppliers like the SSMG and experts at the MSC to increase sustainable fishing practices – not just for mussels, but for all seafood.
Erin Priddle, from the MSC, knows only too well how essential this commitment is.
‘With oceans under threat from overfishing, plastic pollution and climate change, the choices we make as consumers have never been more important,’ she says.
‘By choosing seafood certified by the MSC, people can reward sustainable
fishing and play their part in protecting the oceans and ensuring there are fish left in the sea for future generations to enjoy.
‘As one of the UK’s biggest sellers of MSC mussels, Tesco is making UK-grown seafood sustainable, affordable, healthy, delicious and readily available to consumers, who appear to be really enjoying it.’
What’s more, mussels are incredibly good for you. ‘They are a really high-protein, low-fat choice, that’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids and full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be hard to find elsewhere,’ says Michael Tait.
So why not pour a glass of something chilled and tuck into Tesco’s brand-new range of mussels, available in garlic and white-wine flavours? Better still, pair them with some warm, crusty bread and you’ll be transported to the European seaside.
Why not make a night of it!
For the perfect way to transform any night into an occasion, simply pop British mussels into a pot with some garlic and cream, and in minutes you’ll have a special meal to enjoy with some crusty bread and a glass of wine.
Fresh mussels also add wow factor to dinner party dishes – guests will certainly remember digging into a stunning plate of seafood pasta or paella placed in the middle of the table.