Archive for LAST BITE

A Drop In the Ocean

More startling news about the catastrophic effects of the way we consume vital resources. The latest victim of humanity’s selfish, insatiable appetite: the 800-pound bluefin tuna. In a New York Times op-ed titled “The Bluefin Slaughter,” a startling statistic surfaced: “The worldwide bluefin population has plunged more than 90 percent in the last 30 years.” Likewise, in the Washington Post (which also reported last weekend that the population of Maryland crabs has dropped by one-third since 1993), the ecological impact of overfishing the oceans for the beloved bluefin was reeled in, with a finger pointed at overstocked sushi restaurants: “Without a sizable slab of rich red flesh on prominent display, a sushi restaurant in this country loses face — and customers.” As if this wasn’t enough to make consumers think twice about guzzling down tuna rolls, this observation from a Times review of Trevor Corson‘s book The Story of Sushi should give pause: “In 19th-century Tokyo, tuna was regarded as an inferior fish; the Japanese craving for the red flesh of bluefin … didn’t really develop until after the war.” More daunting, however, is Corson in his own words. Here he is in an interview with Slate earlier this year: “It’s entirely possible that we may be living in an unusual historical moment that might not last. … You’ve got some scientists saying that we’re basically going to run out of fish by the year 2050 and squid may be the only thing left.”

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Southern Hospitality

Salon explores the virtues of Kool-Aid pickles in an interview with John T. Edge, the bard of Southern food. Edge shares his expertise in the Ode to the South issue of Stop Smiling, along with Chef Leah Chase, another institution of Southern cooking. Also heading South is the LA Times, who canvass Memphis.

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