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SOCAP13 Session Recap: Sea Change Storytelling

SOCAP Global September 6, 2013

In talking about narratives that move the market, the speakers explored how we mobilize people to take action by engaging them in empowering ideas through powerful stories. By connecting people in a deeper way with the world they live in, we give people the option to make informed choices about things such as what they eat.

Food for thought:

Carl Safina expressed that people are disconnected from their food and do not know where their food comes from. Once they know and understand where their food comes from, people begin to feel empowered to make decisions on a moral basis because they are no longer ignorant to the source of what they are fueling themselves with. By orienting people, they feel inspired and called to action.

Maria Finn’s book, Eat Like an Animal, stresses that everything we do is part of interconnected ecosystems. This means that environmental movements are also human right movements and work stressing ocean sustainability is also reinforcing healthy coastal communities. Because of this interconnectedness, we should get to know our ecosystem by catching or growing our own food. This may call us to appreciate our food more, avoid waste, and respect our bodies by being selective about how we eat.

Since most of the seafood in our country is consumed via restaurants, the menu becomes the perfect place to inform diners about sustainable, local seafood. Steve Vilnit thinks that using menu cards is one way to inform consumers about their food, but even more, we should inform people about HOW their food is caught, not just where. We can change consumer behavior by telling good stories. For example, snake egg is a disgusting and looking and sounding fish, but by informing people of the fact that it is caught in the night via bow and arrow since it is overpopulating certain waters, snake egg has increasing demand and has become the most expensive fish in Maryland, selling for more than Bluefin tuna. Another example, by informing Maryland consumers that most Maryland restaurants serve crab meat from China, demand is created for local crab meat and pressure is put on restaurants to use local crab and identify the source of their seafood on their menu.

By SOCAP13 Volunteer Noelle St.Clair

Photo credit.

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