SAN DIEGO–BlueNalu, a leading innovative food company developing a variety of cell-cultured seafood products directly from fish cells, announced this week the winners of the Eat Blue™ Essay Contest in collaboration with the Research Chefs Association (RCA). The contest, which brought in essay submissions from culinary students around the world, prompted discussions around seafood sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water, representing BlueNalu’s commitment to the next generation of future-forward culinarians. The announcement coincides with Earth Day and highlights the role that chefs and food scientists play in shaping sustainable food systems – a critical component to human and planetary health in the years ahead.
Open to all 280 culinary student members of RCA, the contest asked students to answer the questions: “What does it mean to you to Eat Blue™? How do you incorporate this into your daily life and find inspiration to Eat Blue™ in your personal and professional journey?” Three finalists were asked to present their essays to a live audience at the RCA+ Culinology ® Conference held virtually in March 2021. Contest judges from BlueNalu scored the presentations based on a rubric that prioritized empowerment, inclusivity, and ocean optimism. BlueNalu will provide the first, second and third place winners, Clarissha Vallerie Widjaja from Malaysia, Ayesha Arshad from India, and Sarah Caballero from the United States, with a scholarship to support their educational expenses.
The contest is based on the principles of Eat Blue™, BlueNalu’s corporate social responsibility platform for ocean health and seafood sustainability. Founded in accordance with 10 of the 17 United Nations SDGs, particularly SDG 14: Life Below Water, the platform features content from international ambassadors on topics inspired by ocean health, animal welfare, human health and the blue economy. BlueNalu has invited all three essay competition winners to become Eat Blue™ Ambassadors and share their culinary leadership with a global audience that is hungry for safe, healthy and sustainable seafood.
“As a company dedicated to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve life below water, we understand that real change happens because the market responds to a generation of enlightened consumers. It is critical that we collectively make conscious efforts that support and impact the sustainability, health, and biodiversity of our ocean,” said Lou Cooperhouse, President and CEO of BlueNalu. “All of us at BlueNalu are inspired by these students and essay contest winners for their commitment to the principles of Eat Blue™. We share their vision for a world that prioritizes ocean health and seafood sustainability, and welcome others to join us in this global call to action.”
The contest represents BlueNalu’s growing culinary focus and role in food innovation. This marks the first collaboration with RCA, and the organizations plan to continue partnering on culinary education and other projects in the future. “I’m very pleased with the success of the Eat Blue™ Essay contest collaboration. The submissions from all our student applicants were moving and genuine. As the future generations of the culinary movement, there is nothing more important than highlighting the voices of our student members,” said Chip Potter, Executive Director at the Research Chefs Association. “RCA is looking forward to collaborating again with BlueNalu to promote culinary innovation in seafood and provide opportunities for students who are passionate about food and the role it plays for our ocean and for our health.” The Research Chefs Association is the leading professional community for food research and development. Its members are the pioneers of the discipline of Culinology® – the blending of culinary arts and the science of food.
BlueNalu’s cell-cultured seafood technology is designed to allow it to produce a wide array of seafood products from a variety of species that perform the same as conventional seafood in a range of cooking applications, are 100% yield, pre-portioned and provide a consistent supply of quality seafood without seasonality for chefs and food service operators. With global demand for seafood at an all-time high, and supply chains from both wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture becoming increasingly vulnerable, BlueNalu’s expects its products to offer a food security solution that is traceable, secure and safe, and that allow fish populations to regenerate.
“The next generation of chefs and food scientists possess the opportunity to create change through food. As an educator, I tell my culinary students that their purchasing decisions and their voice gives them the ability to shape consumer perceptions and drive food trends through their creativity, intention and passion for sustainable food systems,” said Chef Gerard Viverito, Corporate Chef for BlueNalu and Associate Professor in Culinary Arts. “Cell-cultured seafood products are as delicious and nutritious as conventional seafood and offer a third option to complement wild-caught and farm-raised fish, in a way that is healthy for people, humane for animals, and sustainable for our planet. And the fact these products are pre-portioned, 100% yield and consistently high quality is a gamechanger for foodservice.”
“The Eat Blue™ essay contest inspired me to take action for the ocean by coming together with people who want to make a difference in preserving this earth and celebrating ocean biodiversity. I feel encouraged to bravely pioneer the ‘One Planet, One Ocean’ concept in my life, especially in my home country,” said Clarissha Vallerie Widjaja, a student majoring in Culinology® with a Nutrition and Food Analysis extension at Taylor’s University in Malaysia, and the first-place winner of the Eat Blue™ Essay Contest.
In celebration of Earth Day 2021, all three winning essays are available at www.eat.blue.
To learn more about BlueNalu, please visit www.BlueNalu.com.
BlueNalu’s mission is to develop great-tasting, healthy, safe and trusted cell-cultured seafood products that support the sustainability and diversity of our ocean. BlueNalu is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for our planet. BlueNalu began its operations in 2018 and is based in San Diego, California.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements related to BlueNalu’s ability to produce a wide array of seafood products and provide such products to its customers consistently, the ability of BlueNalu’s products to perform the same as conventional seafood in a range of cooking applications, have 100% yield and be traceable, secure and safe. These forward-looking statements are based on BlueNalu’s current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks that BlueNalu’s actual future financial and operating results may differ from its expectations or goals, BlueNalu’s ability to commercialize and successfully launch its products, risks relating to BlueNalu’s ability to successfully implement its business strategies, competition, including potential generic competition, the ability to protect intellectual property and defend patents, regulatory obligations and oversight, including any changes in the legal and regulatory environment in which BlueNalu operates among others. BlueNalu undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information.