The Gulf of Mexico seafood businesses have been greatly suffering since the BP oil spill caused fear that the shrimp and fish that come from the area wouldn’t be safe to eat. Well, these companies in the Gulf have gotten a boost from a deal that was made between an organization that has been helping out the area since Hurricane Katrina, Ready 4 Takeoff, and The Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. The contract has brought the fish and shrimp to 72 military bases across the country, where it will be sold under such names as Emeril Lagasse, the famous TV chef. This deal is a good idea to help out the failing Gulf businesses, but my one question is; why isn’t the whole entire government promoting the Gulf food as well?
No one can argue that since the BP oil spill, many companies that make their money off of the fish and shrimp from that area have struggled to stay in business. Deca, which is the grocery chain that is located on all of the military bases, is doing a good thing by starting to stock Gulf seafood in their stores instead of importing it from other countries. When a tragedy like the one that happened to the Gulf arises, we all need to step up and help out in any way that we can.
And while many still have their concerns over the safety of the seafood, the Food and Drug Administration has said many times it is completely safe. While smell tests, which consist of the FDA smelling samples to see if they perceive a chemical smell all came up negative, that still didn’t appease consumers. So, the FDA then did tissue samples of some seafood, and less than 1 percent of 1,735 samples came up positive for trace amounts of chemicals.
Even with all of this evidence, people are still wary when it comes to feeding the food to their families. But if the government wants to promote the safety of the seafood, feeding it to the military families who have limited incomes, and are not likely to have many other options when it comes to buying any kind of fresh seafood, is not the way to go. In order to really bring more consumers back to the markets in the Gulf, and back to the famous seafood restaurants, the Obamas need to start eating and serving this seafood in The White House, not just posing for a photo op where President Obama can be seen eating some of the fish from the Gulf.
The government as a whole has to show that the Gulf seafood is good enough for their family as well. Consumers look to Michelle Obama for everything from her clothes to her health food choices, so her vouching for the seafood from the area would go a big way in helping out these businesses. The people who can afford to buy the most expensive, freshest food need to be shown eating some shrimp from the Gulf, not just military families. And until the government steps up and practices what they preach, the Gulf seafood industry is still going to be suffering…