In a move to encourage Brits to eat more seafood, food educators will be meeting at the University of Stirling this week and inviting them to join in a series of talks and tastings.

The event, Seafood Matters UK is a free two-day event which will feature activities such as 'Come Dine with Cat', where seafood enthusiast and educator Catriona Frankitti is striving to get children to enjoy pickled herring and tinned mackerel.

Ms Frankitti, who runs seafood workshops in schools, spoke of the importance of introducing young children to seafood early.

"Our tastes are formed before we reach five years old," she explains. "Nutritionally, oil-rich fish is great for heart, skin and bone health, yet most of us don't eat anywhere near the UK recommended amount. My workshop aims to get children and parents thinking about seafood in a new light."

Experts from the University of Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture alongside universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Lancaster will host sessions including 'Blue Fashion – don't just eat seafood, wear it!' and 'Cheap and tasty seafood dinners – analysed for nutritional and environmental impact.'

In addition, Forth Valley College chefs and Start Up Stirling food bank will be showcasing winners of a competition they ran, to create the best fish supper from donated items. Chefs worked with the food bank to create recipes using often-donated items such as canned fish, which were not often chosen by clients for cited reasons that they didn't know what to cook with them.

"Our student chefs were excited to take up the challenge of coming up with healthy and tasty meals using less well known and cheaper seafood products that can be found in supermarkets and are products regularly donated to Start Up Stirling," says Gareth Davies, Chef Manager at Forth Valley College.

"Not only will Seafood Matters raise awareness of the tasty health benefits of including seafood in people's diets, but it has also increased the knowledge and skills of our students, who are finding out much more about the fruits of the sea," he adds.

"The herring, mackerel and mussels of the UK's coasts used to be a staple in our diet, but somehow have fallen out of favour. The point of this event is to say, given the cost of living and environmental crises we face, can we afford to ignore this cheap, delicious and nutritious food we have in our own larder?" wonders Organiser Professor Dave Little, from the Institute of Aquaculture.

Seafood Matters UK runs at the University of Stirling's Pathfoot building from June 23 to June 24, with public activities taking place between 5 and 7pm on Thursday, June 23.

For more information on the University of Stirling visit their website, HERE.

Image credit: University of Stirling. Catriona Frankitti running a seafood workshop.

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