Sunday, November 29, 2009

F is for fish....and thats good enough for me

First a disclaimer.... I call myself a vegetarian even though I am not. It simplifies things. I have had the same diet since I was 16 yrs old and it has pretty much worked for me. I am a pescetarian, I eat fish. As much as I despise the modern food system, I have never been able to completely give up fish. I naively believed that ocean based animals were not in the same perils of their land base distant cousins. With the collapse of many fisheries it became fashionable to eat farmed, then with disease it once again became fashionable to eat wild. All this flip flopping (no pun intended) boggled the mind. I have since reconciled to eat only those fisheries that are not endangered, fished sustainably and are suggested by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood watch or the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean wise as safe to eat. I live in British Columbia, getting fresh local fish should never be a problem.

That brings me to what I ate tonight and what I am reading. After yoga this evening I decided to stop on the way home and pick up dinner for the family. My husband is sick and had been watching the babies all afternoon while I down dogged and mountain poised myself into health (we have already started our holiday eating), so cooking he was not. After doing a pretty intense workout I am always craving a healthy helping of tofu and veg and as I have permanently
ruled out the Naam as that source, the ever faithful standby the Noodle Box was en route. The servings are huge but unlike the the Naam are re-heatable and often better the next day. Tonight they had several specials one was an awesome sounding Kung Pao but instead of chicken was Prawns and Qualicum beach Scallops. The Prawns had no such identification - so I asked. The server said "Atlantic" (Why would we get Atlantic prawns and not Pacific?) and when I looked at him in disbelief he asked a cook; the verdict was Vietnam. Really Noodle box? This is what your website says about your ingredients "Searing hot flames combine with the freshest local ingredients and classic flavours from Thailand, Malaysia, China and Japan". I can't tell if the server was laughing with me or at me when I said "So they are the rape and pillaged kind".

I am currently reading Bottomfeeder: How to eat ethically in a world of vanishing seafood by Taras Grescoe. In the book Grescoe investigates the world's love affair with seafood, the devistation of the ocean's bottom and it shrinking stocks. He looks at fads that create the drive for singular species, such as a Julia Child episode where she manhandles a 25lb monkfish, the historical context of the oyster and the traditional attitude that the sea is ours to plunder generation after generation. With all of this swirling about my head like a shoal lost at sea , I forgo the prawns and scallops and opted for the tofu. And in future I will be more attentive to my seafood choices, be it a fish and chips stand or my favourite restaurant.

photo by me.

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