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Feeding a generation the Icelandic way

Matis, independent development organisation aligned to the food and biotechnology industry, spoke to IceFish organisers about the future of Icelandic fish in the diets of the local people.
Traditionally, Icelandic people include a high percentage of fish in their diets, however changing behaviour and access to larger supermarkets has meant a decline in local fishmongers over the past 20 years. Children and teenagers are turning towards high sugar diets which is of concern to the Icelandic Government who aim to reverse the trend before obesity and diabetes take hold of a generation.

It has long been known that fish is an excellent source of protein and Omega 3. With great anti-inflammatory properties, fish is also perfect for restoring muscle mass, improving brain functionality and boosting the immune system.

Matis, along with the Icelandic Government, is looking for ways to educate children, teenagers and parents about the benefits of fish in their diet. An encouraging up-turn is the popularity of Sushi by young adults in Iceland.

Although Sushi is traditionally an Eastern delicacy using pelagic fish, recently some forward thinking individuals in the Icelandic food industry have promoted 'Icelandic sushi' and other fish dishes using RUV television 'Beautiful Fish' (Fagur fiskur) to film cooking demonstrations on harbour-side. This may be the way forward to promote fish to younger generations.

Matis is also keen to provide information about the food chain and sustainability. To this end it is working in partnership with the Grimsby Seafood Company and HB Grandi to create an App for mobiles which traces fish from source to seller. It provides information on the trawler that caught the fish, type of fish, nutritional value, final retailer and it gives a sustainability rating from 1-5.  Matis hope that this will encourage people to find out more about their fish and where it comes from.

Steinar Adalbjornsson, Marketing Director from Matis said "as a nation, Iceland is sitting on better health "it is all around us, in the sea. Iceland has clean waters and traceability with our fish. It is beneficial to the health of our nation and as a country we should promote and be proud of the natural resources that we catch'.

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