David will give you a free MarineBio Society membership if you can name that quote…
I thought I’d post something different — or a least not as fish-o-centric as I normally post. It’s about a new era. It’s about the best buzzword ever — sustainability. Does it have any connection to the ocean? Well, yeah. Because one of the major problems facing the ocean is over-consumption. Over-consumption of coastal lands and therefore habitats, of discarded trash and plastics going where they don’t belong and into turtles throats and into the marine ecosystem where it doesn’t belong, of massive cruise ships dumping their sh…stuff straight into the ocean, of too many people on this planet consuming fish at an unsustainable rate, of too many cars consuming too much fuel, and too much electricity being burned resulting in acidification of our seas and the inability of mollusks to form their shells… you get the picture.
This is a post by a new friend of mine who is an excellent chef and a brilliantly refreshingly thought-provoking and funny writer. She ran two very successful restaurants in Atlanta for a long time and in that time she always brought sustainable food to the table – locally and organically grown. Here’s an excerpt from some of her writing:
But here’s a novel idea… How about subsidies for organic farmers instead of piling up the corn that’s making our nation obese? How about making disgusting feedlots for cattle a thing of the past? Take control! Tell your grocery store manager, your restaurant chefs and the Dept. of Agriculture, that you want more organic choices and local hormone free meats and dairy. You don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it and if you don’t see it, you’ll shop elsewhere. Vote with your feet.
She has a great blog and a great book out as well (and another in the oven). Check them out. These are the words from her blog that inspired this blog post. She’s all about doing the right thing ecologically speaking – and she’s not a hypocrite about it. She’s real, and I love that. We’re screaming at people to don’t! eat! shark fin soup! But we know we can’t scream at everyone to stop eating seafood! That’s ridiculous. The fishermen need a livelihood, the world needs protein, and we (I) eat fish ourselves! Yummy lean protein…not a bad thing. So I’ll end this post with a sustainable recipe because, what many of you don’t know about me is that I love to cook. I rarely have time for it these days, but putting together healthy, sustainable (there’s that word again), nutritious dishes relaxes me and let’s me flex my creativity in a different way. And, it helps me avoid eating processed food, which is not so good for our bodies or the environment. Anyway – back to the words that inspired this post:
Here’s a thought.Is our economy really tanking like the news reports say? Is it really so bad that consumer spending is slowing? Is it a bad thing that the country who consumes more than most other industrialized nations (and certainly WASTES more than it’s share) is tightening it’s belt?Is it necessary to give billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street or the car industry a good idea, or should we maybe consider fixing what breaks or taking care of what we own? Is driving a ten year old car a problem? Do we really need to support the ever growing revenue of storage facilities or just use what we need? Is the idea of people not being RICH but just being comfortable, safe and happy an okay desire?Is the fact that people can’t get credit (where it isn’t deserved) really hurtful? Is living within our means a recession? Is the DOW dropping 10% on time or a curtain call for a depression? Will it really be so bad if we don’t go in droves to the coffee house to spend $5 on a coffee drink to fill yet another disposable bit of paper and trash? Is a leveling in the housing market a normal reaction to a bloated market that will finally call for renovation and community building instead of perpetuating urban sprawl and new developments that flatten small towns and rural areas?Will a foreign market that has grown from our addiction to cheap goods finally slow down and keep us from buying crap we don’t need at Dollar Stores and WalMart and maybe bring home manufacturing? If something costs more to make in the US will we buy less, but keep jobs here? Will we be a nation of entrepreneurs looking for ways to feed, clothe and repair things instead of a nation of importers who think that unemployment checks are the answer?Will we decide that spending hundreds of millions of dollars in the Mid East is really ridiculous when most people can’t afford to buy groceries? Will people who have multiple children who complain of the cost of every thing from gas to diapers on small incomes consider birth control?Will we consider taking care of ourselves instead of complaining about rising medical costs? Will we take a small parcel of our yards that we waste for lawns and watering and grow some of our own food?I wonder. And I hope.
And now to continue with something completely different — but tying this post in to relevance for MarineBio:
And for some awesome links to more info:
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2008/08/sustainable_seafood.php – great food blogger and cookbook author writes about sustainable seafood
http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/gseafood.asp info on sustainable seafood +
http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/recipes/allrecipes.pdf – chefs sustainable seafood recipes
http://celebritychefs.suite101.com/article.cfm/fish_without_a_doubt – review of a sustainable seafood cookbook
http://www.nofishinmydish.com/index.html – awesome kid’s book on the benefits of less fish bought, less fish caught
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4990 – tips on eating seafood sustainably