Visit any number of sushi restaurants and take a look at the never-ending parade of sashimi, hand rolls and nigiri on tiny colourful plates.
Now imagine the amount of fish and seafood shifted through each restaurant daily.
According to Kristofor Lofgren, founder and CEO of the Portland-based restaurant Bamboo Sushi, in a year they will serve well over 10,000 pounds of fish. Lofgren recognised that fish consumption on that level was an unsustainable practice and as a result, has made Bamboo Sushi an incredibly eco-conscious seafood restaurant.
With this rating, Bamboo Sushi is classified as “an outstanding restaurant in every sense…that adhere[s] to the highest standards of marine stewardship and sustainability.”
Bamboo Sushi achieved this score through a number of key practices, the cornerstone of which is consumer regeneration, an idea developed by Lofgren whereby consumption ultimately restores the environment.
In order to maintain fish stocks, Lofgren has implemented a policy where for every ounce of fish consumed at the restaurant, twice as much live fish are released into the wild.
The two-for-one concept is not a marketing gimmick – Lofgren takes the depletion of fish stocks seriously and works closely with the Nature Conservancy and World Wild Fund to establish and maintain marine preserves where fish are able to breed and multiply.
A portion of every dollar spent at the restaurant goes towards supporting these preserves and Bamboo Sushi is about to purchase its own marine protected area in the Bahamas.
The restaurant seeks to not only serve fish “from populations that are plentiful and in good health” (which are also caught by fishermen “in an environmentally ethical way”) but to operate in a sustainable manner. This means the power is via renewal energy sources, paper products are recycled, produce is composted and take-away containers are biodegradable.
The lengthy dinner menu ranges from two pieces of wild Alaskan salmon for $5 to a $17 Sumo burger made with Kobe beef.
The house signature rolls demonstrate the creativity and artistry of executive chef Brian Landry. An example of this is the ‘ring of fire’; at $13 for 8 pieces, the roll consists of “fried oysters, cucumber and yamagobo inside with a mixture of chopped albacore, jalapeno and jalapeno marmalade on the top, then seared and finished with fried rings of shallots and yuzu juice.”
If dining at Bamboo Sushi, be sure to leave room for dessert – the azuki bread pudding with brioche, Japanese red beans, yuzo cream cheese, mixed berry sauce and honey orange ice cream is an innovative adaption of the traditionally hearty confection. After choosing to dine in an environmentally conscious restaurant while simultaneously supporting the regeneration of fish stocks, one should indulge in a bit of end-of-the-meal decadence with a relatively guilt-free conscious.