Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saving the world is exhausting

Did you know that it is bad to eat fish?  Yeah, blew me away, too.  I thought we were supposed to be eating fish.  Omega 3s and whatnot.  Turns out there's another school of thought, if you will forgive the pun.  We might want to watch our fish consumption because turns out, there's not an endless supply (what?!). So, this past Wednesday, I'm sitting in the cramped crowded auditorium at the Center for the Performing Arts in San Mateo to watch the first session of this years Speaker Series.  I know nothing about Dr. Sylvia Earle, our speaker, but she is introduced as the expert on all things deep sea related and I, a fan of swimming with the fishies, thought she sounded cool.
Cool doesn't begin to describe Dr. Sylvia Earle.

"Dr. Earle's adventures and her sense of wonder and excitement about the living underwater world has opened our eyes to the magnitude of our ignorance about the ocean and inspired us to protect it and respect its role in our lives. Earle has led over 50 expeditions worldwide, involving in excess of 6,000 hours underwater in connection with her research. In 1970, after being rejected from participating in Tektite I because she was a woman, she led the first team of women aquanauts, known as the Tektite II Project, on a two-week exploration of the ocean floor. In 1979, she walked un-tethered on the sea floor at a depth lower than any other person before or since (1,250 feet)."

Cool, sure, and I could even forgive her for being slightly scattered and confusing because she was passionate. I've never attended a lecture given by someone so happy and content with their choices.  Dr. Earle obviously felt lucky and proud to be what she is and do what she does. And that was so beautiful to watch.  So what if I had no idea what she was talking about half the time.  I just loved watching her speak.
Back to the fish.
It goes like this.  Pigs, cows, chickens.  These are very low on the food chain.  They eat grass and we eat them.  But fish.  A swordfish or salmon or halibut will eat a fish that ate a fish that ate a fish that ate a fish and so on and so forth so they are really very high up on the food chain.  When we order blue fin tuna, and this is very hard to accept because I love blue fin tuna, we are killing something that is very rare and very important to the under sea eco system.  Dr. Earle says no on should be eating blue fin tuna anymore if we are to save the species.
And salmon and halibut!  I LOVE salmon and halibut!  With some butter drizzled over the top and a splash of lemon.  Maybe some capers in a nice white sauce with some steamed vegetables...
I digress.
So no fish at all, Dr. Earle?  No more Omega 3s?
Of course not, silly child.  We can eat fish that are lower on the food chain.  Herbivore fishies like tilapia.  Mmmm, yummy tilapia.  And instead of eating fish that has been caught by the huge deep sea fishing corporations, whose fishing practices leave something to be desired, why not try eating farm raised fish?
Really?  Farm raised is good?  And deep sea is bad?
My head hurts.
Dr. Earle is an expert.  She knows her stuff.  And I listened.  I will probably never order blue fin tuna ever again.  And I will try to order tilapia off the menu instead of halibut.  And I can ask my grocer where that salmon was raised.  And he might even tell me the truth.
I can help a little.  Why not.
I will miss my fishies though.  Dipped in sauce.  Sprinkled with paprika...
Well, I can try.


e latson said...

Don't feel bad little Sis... most Salmon are farmed raised and corn! Eat drink and be happy.

Lailah Rafik said...

i bet you could eat all the fish and chips you want though.