Delivery

Trashfish boxes put “underloved” seafood back on the table

By Kitty Knowles 13 November 2017
Summary

Bye bye HelloFresh, hello Trashfish!

Tuna, salmon, shrimp (or prawns for Brits).

You might think you love seafood, but honestly, when’s the last time you cooked up a fish dish at home without any of the above.

In America alone, almost 80% of seafood eaten is made up of these three types. And because the global industry decides what’s trendy and accessible, many people don’t get the chance to taste their local catch.

The reason this is bad is right now our seas are teeming with tasty local species, while more popular choices are threatened by overfishing.

Trashfish is trying to fix this – it’s a shiny new sustainable seafood box business hoping to transform how we harvest our oceans.

“Our mission is to expand our members seafood palates’ and alleviate pressure off of larger fisheries,” founder Ren Ostry tells The Memo.

“We focus on seasonal, underloved and sustainable fisheries consumers may not have had the chance to try before.”

Trashfish is far from trashy

Founded this September, Ostry describes Trashfish as “the grassroots version of a meal kit delivery service”. Think HelloFresh, Gousto or BlueApron, but with a special focus on seafood sustainability.

Ostry’s fish-filled boxes are lined with fresh, wild-caught seafood sourced direct from California fishermen, artisanal pantry items and exclusive recipes from prominent LA chefs.

One recent box featured kellets’ whelks with jalepeño chipotle jelly. Another included ling cod with artisanal olive oil.

Members can sign up for either one month, one season (three months) or two seasons (six months) of biweekly boxes. They can pick between different portion sizes, shellfish-free, gluten-free, and kosher options. And their boxes can either be picked up every two weeks at farmers’ markets throughout Los Angeles, or delivered to their homes.

“One day before delivery they’ll receive their newsletter, complete with a bio of the fishery, the chef, the pantry item producer, and an exclusive recipe and farmers’ market shopping list,” says Ostry of the service.

“Every subscriber directly impacts the true cost of underloved seafood at our docks and harbours.”

The bigger picture

In just a few months Trashfish has already won the hearts (and stomachs) of hundreds of members, and Ostry is working on bringing more and more fisherman and farmers’ markets on board too.

“We would like to serve more of California and beyond in the coming years,” says the entrepreneur.

She may not be thinking global domination just yet, but Ostry says everyone around the world should start thinking about how they can create a market for sustainable seafood.

“Curated meal kits are the way of the future. But if we leave vendors and food producers behind, we’ll create more problems than we solve,” she adds.

“When food and community come together we can solve our greatest challenges.”

Certainly food – or should we say ‘fish’ – for thought.