Pick of the Month: What Trump’s Budget Means for the Filet-O-Fish (New York Times)

Consider the pollock.

It is the most voluminously caught fish in the United States, accounting for a quarter of everything Americans catch. As such it is the major bulwark against the United States’ multibillion-dollar seafood trade deficit — the second-largest deficit in our trade portfolio, after crude oil. And it is, today, the main component in the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, or the “fish delight,” as Donald Trump likes to call it.

Now consider the president’s budget for the people who make his preferred sandwich possible.

If Congress seriously entertains the White House’s suggestions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — a popular target for conservatives, who see it primarily as a source of pesky climate-change research — and the National Marine Fisheries Service it oversees will lose 17 percent of its funding. This despite Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s desire to “try to figure how we can become much more self-sufficient in fishing and perhaps even a net exporter.”

As the three of us consider this statement, a common wry fisherman’s response comes to our lips: Yeah, good luck with that, buddy.

Because of repeated sacrifices made by American fishermen working with NOAA over the past 40 years, the United States now has the most robust and well-managed wild fisheries in the world. Federal observers oversee 99 percent of the large trawlers fishing for pollock, ensuring that this largest of fisheries maintains an impeccable set of management tools.

But in spite of all of our success, only around 9 percent of the seafood available in American markets comes from American fishermen. In fact, the last traditional fishing communities in the United States are fighting for their very existence. Fair-trade local fishermen remain unable to compete in our domestic marketplace, which is overwhelmed and flooded with cheap, untraceable imported seafood.

More than half the imported seafood here comes from fish farms, mostly in Asian countries, where there is little regulation of food safety. The rest, which is wild, is often from illegal sources. Rates of seafood fraud and deceptive mislabeling in the domestic marketplace are soaring to unprecedented levels.

Which government agency is at the forefront of combating this fraud? NOAA. Any funding for NOAA programs that help consumers reconnect to clean, healthy, sustainable seafood swimming off our shores is funding that we cannot afford to lose. The costs of managing our wild fisheries will not disappear with budget cuts; instead, the financial burden for programs like federal at-sea monitoring will continue to shift onto the shoulders of the last remaining American fishermen.

And it’s not just wild American seafood that risks disaster. Aquaculture, the fastest-growing food sector in the world and one of the most promising new industries in the United States, will be crippled by President Trump’s budget cuts. The United States already ranks 17th in world aquaculture production, behind Myanmar. Yes, sad! Without NOAA, things would be even sadder.

Most Americans probably think NOAA focuses on the weather. It does, but it does much more. NOAA gave birth to domestic shellfish farming in the 1930s and continues to fund innovations like seaweed and land-based salmon farming, which has in turn opened up new horizons for unemployed fishermen and their children. In Rhode Island alone, oyster growers raked in more than $4.3 million and have swelled their ranks by over 20 percent. And if revival of the blue-collar economy is the goal, according to the World Bank, building a network of seaweed farms covering a piece of ocean less than 5 percent of American waters could generate up to 50 million new jobs globally.

The president’s budget also zeros out Sea Grant programs, which provide education and technical assistance for aquaculture and other ocean-based industries. In the last two years these programs generated $575 million in economic impact and created or sustained over 20,000 jobs.

For those who work at sea, economic opportunity is inextricably tied to environmental protection. An Environmental Protection Agency initiative to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, now on the chopping block, has been the catalyst for more than 500 new ocean farms in the Chesapeake Bay in the last five years.

Last, for everyday Americans who need fish for good nutrition, particularly school-age children, endangering the supply of clean, traceable, healthy American seafood risks our very future. It is estimated by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization that pregnant women who eat eight to 12 ounces of seafood per week bear children with better brains and eyes, and I.Q. scores 5.8 points higher than the children of mothers who did not eat the recommended amount of seafood.

Cutting NOAA’s budget is a bad idea, both for parents who want their children to realize their full potential and for a president who wants to keep eating his favorite sandwich. And if all that fails to convince, consider this: NOAA tracks storms and wave heights, allowing thousands of fishermen to work safely. Without adequate funding, many could find themselves literally lost at sea.


Correction: April 25, 2017 

An earlier version of this article misstated the percentage of large pollock trawlers overseen by federal observers. It is 99 percent, not 80 percent.


Bren Smith is a kelp and shellfish farmer and the founder of Greenwave. Sean Barrett is a co-founder of Dock to Dish, an international network of community-supported fishery programs. Paul Greenberg is the author of “Four Fish” and the correspondent for the forthcoming “Frontline” special “The Fish on My Plate.”


Original link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/opinion/what-trumps-budget-means-for-noaa.html

Written by: Bren Smith, Sean Barrett, Paul Greenberg
Illustration by: Justin Renteria

5 Hotel Terdekat Dari Bandara Soekarno Hatta Dengan Fasilitas Terbaik

Pasti ada alasan bijak di balik mengapa kita sesekali perlu menginap tidak jauh dari bandara. Misalnya saja jadwal penerbangan di waktu pagi buta, layover serta delay yang berkepanjangan, ataupun hal-hal genting lainnya yang membuat bahkan traveler paling berpengalaman sekalipun gelisah.

Sebagai salah satu airport tersibuk di dunia, Bandara Soekarno-Hatta di Tangerang ternyata sudah dikelilingi beberapa hotel yang bisa kita singgahi. Soal reservasi juga ternyata tidak perlu berepot-repot karena banyak yang sudah terdaftar secara online di situs-situs seperti Traveloka, Agoda, Pegipegi, ataupun Klikhotel.

Personally, memesan kamar hotel secara online jelas memberikan kemudahan – terlebih untuk pesanan dadakan yang pernah saya lakukan H-1 bahkan ketika hari H! Selain promosinya yang dikejar, ternyata situs seperti Traveloka contohnya, ada saja fitur diskon dalam jumlah besar untuk kamar hotel plus tiket pesawatnya.

Balik ke pilihan-pilihan hotel di dekat Bandara Soekarno-Hatta, berikut beberapa yang rupanya memiliki reputasi paling kece:

J HOTEL SOEKARNO HATTA

J Hotel Soekarno Hatta

Berbintang tiga dan berlokasi di Jalan Raya Perancis no. 9, Benda – Tangerang; hotel ini hanya terpaut sekitar 8 kilometer dari bandara dan bisa ditempuh cukup dengan 15 menit perjalanan.

Selain strategis, J Hotel memiliki 78 kamar yang nyaman dengan fasilitas lengkap. Dengan tarif reasonable di kisaran IDR 500,000/malam, pihak hotel juga menyediakan shuttle bus gratis dari dan menuju bandara.

SWISS-BELINN AIRPORT

Swiss-Belinn Airport

Berikutnya adalah Swiss-Belinn Airport yang berjarak sekitar 4 km dari bandara. Beralamat di Jalan Husein Sastranegara no. 9, bandara dapat ditempuh dengan waktu kurang dari 10 menit dengan layanan shuttle bus gratis.

Kisaran harga per malam di IDR 490,000 tentunya terjangkau bagi siapapun. Dengan tarif tersebut, kamar seluas 20 meter persegi dan fasilitas seperti AC, kulkas, shower, serta hair dryer tentu mempermudah persiapan perjalanan kamu.

BANDARA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL

Bandara International Hotel

Dengan jarak sekitar 6 km dari Soetta dan kurang lebih 10 menit berkendara, Bandara International Hotel adalah pilihan paling lux dan berbintang lima. Cocok ketika bepergian bersama keluarga, hotel ini menyediakan fasilitas seperti kolam renang khusus anak dan arena permainan. Selain itu, kolam renang dewasa serta kolam air panas untuk relaksasi-pun tersedia.

Meskipun sedikit harus merogoh kocek sedikit lebih dalam, hotel ini menyediakan pilihan kamar yang beragam dari level Deluxe hingga Presidential Suite. Untuk pilihan kamar Deluxe dengan ragam pemandangannya dapat dinikmati dengan tarif IDR 1,8 juta/malam.

JAKARTA AIRPORT HOTEL BY TOPOTELS

Jakarta Airport Hotel by Topotels

Terletak tepat di jantung Bandara Soekarno Hatta, lokasi eksklusif yang dimiliki Jakarta Airport Hotel yang berbintang tiga ini tentu memberikan kenyamanan tersendiri namun dengan tarif yang sedikit lebih mahal – yaitu sekitar IDR 800,000 hingga IDR 1,000,000 per malamnya.

Hotel yang satu ini lebih didesain untuk para business travelers. Mulai dari fasilitas MICE untuk 50 orang, business center, massage, serta layanan shuttle car menuju terminal domestik maupun internasional.

ORCHARDZ HOTEL BANDARA

Orchardz Hotel Bandara

Rekomendasi terakhir kali ini adalah Orchardz Hotel Bandara dan beralamat di Jalan Husein Sastranegara no. 8, Tangerang. Dengan jarak 4 kilometer dari bandara, perjalanan dari dan menuju hotel dapat ditempuh sekitar 5 hingga 10 menit.

Selain itu, pusat perbelanjaan Mangga Dua Square dapat dicapai dari sini dengan perjalanan setengah jam saja dalam lalu lintas berkondisi lancar. Tarif menginap di sinipun tidaklah mahal, yaitu sekitar IDR 500,000/malam.

Nah, sudah siap merencanakan perjalanan dan membutuhkan penginapan kece yang dekat dengan bandara sebelumnya? Jangan lupa juga untuk mampir dan membaca perjalanan TGA ke berbagai tujuan seru di sini. 

Bon voyage!

Here are the Reasons Why You Should Become a Coffee & Tea Aficionado

We are now becoming more enthusiastic than ever with the art of drinking tea and coffee. I personally still find it fascinating to see some who are willing to go any length for the ultimate pleasure. As someone who enjoys both coffee and tea, here are my thoughts on why we should keep up with the trend based on my observation as a foodie and a global citizen.

Coffee is the talk of the town. Single origin batches from certain estates that produce high quality coffee are highly prized. Albeit some coffee shops would argue about the profitability in the long run when dealing only with single origins, it seems that individual drinkers are too enthusiastic to bother about that. It’s always a hype whenever we encounter geisha beans for example at a local coffee shop and certainly it attracts everyone! At the end of the day, a small batch of this rare find would end up somewhere in the hands of a true aficionado.

While coffee is still pretty much the talk of the town, Jakarta is also celebrating more appearances of tea houses as well. A few years ago, they had seen better days but the age of discerned foodies has arrived and revive the business. Foreign brands have been introducing their products here for quite some time to ride on the momentum. Interestingly, Indonesians brace the competition by also presenting tea more properly this time. Aside from familiarizing people with the concept of drinking tea as an art, we are also exposed with literally limitless variants of tea from all over the world.

Nowadays, coffee aficionados would invest their money on hand grinders, expensive espresso machines, or the popular manual brewing gadgets. Not surprisingly, tea lovers would also do the same to achieve that perfect cup. From learning the techniques to collecting different types of tea from different countries; they would also spend more on cups, affordable electric kettles, and up to the rare, decorative tea pots from all over the world!

One important thing to highlight here is certainly not about how expensive our gadgets should be to appreciate the finer things. Even for starters, you can already enjoy so much from the most affordable gadgets you can spend for now. A word of advice, befriend the experts and you will know what to buy first and why.

In addition to that; classes, competitions, and conferences make us feel more connected with the whole industry. We get to know more about the diversity of the products, the experts who set the examples, about the farmers and how we should appreciate their hard work, and many more. Certainly we can always start with the know-how to maximizing its potential fully in our cups.

I suppose at this point, we might want to agree that the colorful world of tea and coffee is not just about its geeky side or how methodical we should be for perfection. There’s always the sunnier side about it and that is about having fun with it, exploring the endless possibilities, and spending the extra dime for the best beans or the gadget of your dream!

Eleven Madison Park Claims Number One Spot at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award

Eleven Madison Park in New York has secured the No.1 spot in the 2017 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This year’s winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Now in its 15th year, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants welcomes six brand new entries and three re-entries to the 2017 ranking. Showcasing a broad cross-section of cultures and cuisines, it includes restaurants from 22 countries across five continents. France, Spain and the USA each count six restaurants on the list.

In claiming the No.1 position on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Eleven Madison Park earns the dual titles of The World’s Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in North America. After debuting on the list at No.50 in 2010, Eleven Madison Park has hovered within the top 10 since 2012, rising to No.3 last year. The restaurant’s co-owners, Will Guidara and Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm, enhance the fine-dining experience with a sense of fun, blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room. Housed in an art deco building overlooking New York’s Madison Park, the restaurant’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu celebrates the city’s rich history and culinary traditions.

Seven restaurants in Asia are included on the 2017 list, with Japan and Thailand each counting two entries.

After claiming the No.1 position for a third consecutive year at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in February, Gaggan in Bangkok rises 16 places to No.7 to claim The Best Restaurant in Asia title. Elsewhere, Singapore’s Restaurant André climbs an impressive 18 places to secure the No.14 spot while Den in Tokyo, the 2016 recipient of the Miele One To Watch Award, arrives on the list at No.45. Asia is also represented by Tokyo’s Narisawa (No.18), Hong Kong’s Amber (No.24), Bangkok’s Nahm (No.28) and Shanghai’s Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (No.41).

Last year’s No.1, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, claims the No.2 position to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Europe. Italy is also represented by familiar favorites Piazza Duomo (No.15) and Le Calandre (No.29) as well as first-time entry Reale, in Castel Di Sangro, debuting on the list at No. 43.

France has doubled its number of restaurants on the list. Among France’s six entries, three rank in the top 20. Mirazur leads at No.4, followed by Arpège (No.12) while Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée makes a dramatic re-entry on the list to land at No.13. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, the restaurant headed by Yannick Alléno, debuts at No.31, earning the coveted Highest New Entry Award. Other Paris-based restaurants Septime (No.35) and L’Astrance (No.46) also move up the ranking, rising 15 and 11 places respectively. Aside from celebrating Septime’s climb up the rankings, the restaurant also claims the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

Spain retains its strong presence on the list with three of its six restaurants landing in the top 10. Former No.1 El Celler de Can Roca leads the contingent at No.3 and is also the 2017 recipient of the The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award in recognition of the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and ever-gracious service. Asador Etxebarri climbs four places to No.6 while Mugaritz in San Sebastian now sits at No.9.

While one New York restaurant takes the No.1 spot, another debuts on the list: Enrique Olvera’s Cosme is a first-time entry at No.40 while his other restaurant, Pujol in Mexico City, rises five places to No.20. Meanwhile, Dan Barber’s progressive restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, rises 37 places to No.11 to earn the Highest Climber Award.

New York-based pastry entrepreneur Dominique Ansel is also honoured this year, claiming the 2017 title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef. Since opening his eponymous SoHo bakery in 2011 and launching the Cronut, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid, French-born Ansel has extended his global influence to London and Tokyo. This award recognises his relentless creativity, innovation and ability to span the retail and restaurant sectors.

Host country Australia is represented by two restaurants, including one newcomer. Attica in Melbourne (No.32) rises one place to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Australasia, while Brae in regional Victoria enters the ranking for the first time at No.44.

South America boasts five restaurants from across the continent on the list, including the debut of Tegui in Buenos Aires at No.49. Maido in Lima, last year’s winner of the Highest Climber Award, continues its upward trajectory, rising five places to No.8. Chef Virgilio Martínez steals the limelight with two award wins. His restaurant, Central (No.5), in Peru, is named The Best Restaurant in South America, while he is this year’s recipient of the peer-voted Chefs’ Choice Award.

The city of Copenhagen also fares well, with two of the Danish capital’s restaurants recognised. Geranium rises nine places to claim the No.19 position while Relae, the two-time winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award, climbs one place to No.39.

Respected chef Heston Blumenthal has double reason to celebrate. As well as being the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, his London restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, rises nine places to sit at No.36. The winners’ circle also includes Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, Slovenia, who is named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017.


Credit: Catch On