Tag Archives: fish

The Future is…Plastics!

1 Apr

I remember when I was very young most things came in bottles or cans or were wrapped in paper or cardboard. My dad would buy a crate of soda for family consumption every now and then and the sodas would always come in large glass bottles that he would clean and re-crate when finished so that he could return them to the store for the deposit, which he would in turn use to purchase more soda…and let me tell you, those sodas would last for a long time. Back in those days you opened a bottle of soda and shared it with the family. There were no sodas for guzzling individually. That was just too much soda for one person at one sitting…and as we all knew, not the healthiest thing for children, teeth and dentist bills.

But then sometime during the sixties something happened and I remember seeing advertisements in the stores announcing what “Everyone had wanted and had been waiting for!” And it was finally here! No deposit, no return, plastic bottles! What a modern convenience for a modern world! Except I had no idea who had been hoping, waiting and praying for no return plastic bottles. Glass seemed just fine to me, but there we all suddenly were. Guzzling sodas of all sizes and shapes and throwing away the bottles. How convenient! How modern! How…just what we asked for?

And before long everything was encased, bottled or surrounded by plastics, or some such derivative of petroleum, even food. And it’s gotten so bad these days that I often have to resort to the use of a hacksaw or blasting caps to extricate whatever new thing I have bought just to get beneath the plastic it’s wrapped in!

Anyway, fast forward 50 years and we now have more than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 metric tons, floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout our entire food chain, from large plastic pieces that can strangle large animals likes seals and turtles to smaller pieces that can be ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.

There are plastic bags and plastic bottles and plastic pieces of all shapes and sizes cluttering up our oceans and landfills all around the world. There is even the now famous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” the size of Texas…yes, Texas…the state!!…hovering somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean along with 4 other giant plastic patches scattered about the rest of our world’s oceans and seas.

And researchers say that things are just going to get worse because…oh you know…we are increasing the production of throwaway plastics! Of course we are! Which takes me back to that grocery store sign that I wondered about oh so many years ago…”It’s just  what we’ve always wanted”, isn’t it?”

But on the bright side, okay, dim side, we now have recycling! Unfortunately despite my efforts to push the big blue can to the curb every other week, we only recycle 5% of the world’s plastic crap every year. So plastics are winning. But not to worry because on the flip side of this horrific ecological story is the even darker fact that if we keep on fishing our oceans and dumping our plastics the way we are fishing and dumping them now, (You know for profit) scientists say that by the year 2050 there will be no fish left to choke on the plastics… anyway!

Which is just what I’ve always wanted isn’t it?… because I don’t like fish! Nothing personal mind you. They just taste fishy to me… But sadly, the 3 billion people in our world who rely on fish for their major source of protein and sustenance will be rather put out, along with the fish of course, who together just might be facing the all too familiar, and all too plastic, fate of: …no deposit…no return.

O Fish How Art Thou Fishified!

20 Mar


I knew I was right about fish!

When I was a child I hated fish because to me it always tasted fishy which was not a flavor that I enjoyed. My dad however, loved fish and he would always have me try different types of fish to see if there was one that I perhaps liked better than the others. For my dad each fish had its own taste but for me?…All I could taste was fishy. Fish tasted like fish and even when my dad would try to tell me that this new fish that I should taste would taste like chicken all my taste buds could taste was fish. Yuck, send it back to the ocean and give me the chicken please.

Now that I’ve grown up…I still don’t like fish but I feel that I have finally been vindicated in my culinary discerning of flavor and taste because according to several recent studies and investigations More than one-fifth of 190 pieces of seafood  bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were mislabeled as different species of fish, incompletely labeled, or misidentified by employees.

and guess what? Even though Americans spent $80.2 billion on seafood last year Nobody could taste the difference…so take that you Long John Silver lovers!

And according to Oceana’s seafood studies this is not just a regional problem but also a nationwide issue. Their findings showed that 58 of 81 retail outlets sold mislabeled fish. That’s over 70%!  And 100 percent of the 16 sushi bars tested sold mislabeled fish.

I knew there was something fishy about sushi!

But it gets worse…In small markets Tilefish, on the FDA’s do-not-eat list because of its high mercury content, was often substituted for snapper and halibut and 94 percent of all “white tuna” was not tuna at all. In fact Red Snapper was the most often mislabeled fish or the one that could not be identified at all. Talk about a fishamajig!

And if you like Atlantic Halibut then you really shouldn’t buy that at all. Why? Because Atlantic Halibut is all but extinct these days…but don’t despair because it tastes just like Pacific Halibut which is pretty much the same thing even though it’s not the same thing but apparently you won’t be able to taste the difference because…fish tastes like fish!

And do not plunk down any money for the Blue fin Tuna unless you are paying about $2,000 per fish or around 65 bucks per pound because the world has eaten just about all there is of that “chicken of the sea”. If you purchase Blue Fin at a great price you’re probably getting something else that tastes like…you know. But according to FDA officials, it’s acceptable for various species of tuna to be labeled as Ahi tuna as long as that “doesn’t confuse consumers.”

Hey! What’s this whale doing in my Whaler?

However, anyone wishing to avoid seafood high in mercury should take note: The mercury content of different tuna species that may be labeled as Ahi tuna can vary. According to the FDA some tunas have twice the mercury concentration as others and if you do some research on your own you’ll discover that you really shouldn’t be eating any tuna at all. Why?

BECAUSE IT HAS MERCURY IN IT! (as does most if not all fish but tuna is to mercury like water is to a sponge)

The FDA will tell you that there is a safe amount of mercury to eat but the tuna industry pays a   lot of money for marketing and advertising and lobbying the federal government to keep its product rolling off the shelves so you know how that goes when it comes to FDA standards.

They say one can a week is safe but if you are a young women who is pregnant or even thinking about having a child, I wouldn’t touch the stuff…I mean really mom…how much gravel and dirt will you tell your little children is safe to ingest later in life when they’re out on the playground?

But there is good news. Earthlings love fish so much, even though they can’t tell a Peruvian Sea Bass from a Patagonian Tilefish, that  according to more researchers, there will be no seaf­ood left to catch by 2048, except for jellyfish, which will thrive in the ocean’s future and collapsed ecosystem.

Luckily, they say th­at jellyfish have the same nutritional content as shrimp, which is pretty darn good because I hear that shrimp taste just like…chicken!

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