As the world’s demand for food rises exponentially, I’m working toward being more conscious about what restaurants and food businesses my dollars support, both when I’m in my own city and when I’m out exploring other backyards. In the next thirty-some years, the demand for food is expected to rise between 59 percent to 98 percent, according to an article published last year in the Harvard Business Review.
That’s an alarming number.
So when I first heard about Bamboo Sushi in Portland, Oregon – which calls itself the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant* – I didn’t think twice about making sure I went there when I got the chance to travel to the city. Sushi is one of my favorite foods, although it’s a complicated fondness because the world’s fish supply is also drastically dwindling: 2/3 of the world’s fish stocks are either overfished or fished at their limit.
What’s great about Bamboo Sushi is that all of the fish it serves must be sourced from areas where the fish population is abundant and healthy. Fishermen must also catch the fish in an environmentally ethical way that doesn’t damage the surrounding ecosystem.
Of course, that means that the cost of most food at Bamboo Sushi isn’t in the single digits. They’re fair prices to pay, though, given the way the restaurant sources its ingredients.
If that weren’t impressive enough, Bamboo Sushi’s sustainability efforts aren’t limited to its fish. It also serves burgers and steaks, and its meats are sourced locally either within Oregon or in neighboring state Idaho. They are also free range, grass fed and hormone free.
In addition to the food, Bamboo Sushi is a Green Source Business that is entirely powered by renewable energy sources.
Bamboo Sushi embodies everything I hope to see in more and more businesses everywhere. I was so enthusiastic about trying out the food there that I ate at two locations during my first trip to Portland. It’s been open for nearly 10 years (it first opened in 2008) and has expanded to four locations in Portland and one in Denver, Colorado.
My first time at the restaurant was with a friend at the NE location where there is indoor and outdoor seating. If you sit outside, seating is communal so you might end up sitting with strangers, which can be fun. My friend and I chose to sit outside because it was a nice day. It worked out well because we sat with a lady whose order helped me decide what roll I wanted.
My second visit was at the NW location, which is surrounded by a number of other intriguing local establishments.
If you love sushi like I do and find yourself in Portland, be sure to check out Bamboo Sushi. Although the menu is more limited than other sushi places, it’s empowering to know that your money will be supporting an establishment that employs sustainable practices that are respectful of aquatic ecosystems and mindful about areas from where it sources fish.
To learn more about Bamboo Sushi, including its locations, hours, and sustainable practices, click here.
*Although Bamboo Sushi says it’s the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, it’s important to note that different sustainability organizations have varying standards. (That’s not to discount Bamboo Sushi, though. According to this article by NPR, Bamboo Sushi is working with big names in seafood sustainability, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute.) Additionally, there are other sustainable sushi restaurants around, including Miya’s in New Haven, Connecticut; Tataki in San Francisco; and Mashiko in Seattle.