Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Title: Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
Author: Paul Greenberg
Genre: Non-fiction, awareness
Ah, stories of why we do things and how we can improve. I read this for my book challenge's "Story about an animal" category. Four Fish tells all about how humans came to focus on cod, salmon, bass, and tuna...and how we're depleting our sources by pretending the ocean will never run out of fish.
First, I was fascinated by a concept Greenberg introduced. Humanity, particularly the western peoples, has boiled all the potential meat food sources to four animals from each of the major groups. For fish, see previous paragraph. Land animals: cows, goats, pigs, and sheep. Fowl: chicken, duck, turkey, and...Shucks, I can't remember, and I already returned the book to my library. But still, isn't that crazy? I'd never noticed that about my diet. Moving along.
While my undergrad degree is in oceanography, I'm not particularly keen on fishing. I like to look at fish in aquariums and eat them, but other than that, they don't interest me. I'm more into how the currents affect the way they swim and where they go and all that other dorky stuff. So this book was a bit of a stretch for me, but this year's reading challenge is all about stretching those wings.
Naturally, I was fascinated. Greenberg does an excellent job of engaging his audience and drawing us in. I felt the plight of the poor, overfished tuna and of the salmon who can no longer make their runs because of dams a little too deeply. What I liked best is that Greenberg did NOT spend his book complaining. He explained, he described, and he offered solutions. Thanks to him, I'm going to be trying out a whole bunch of new, sustainable fish (if I can find them). Vote with your dollars and your plates, folks!
This book is for you if you:
a.) need a reference on the plight of overfishing,
b.) care for the environment, particularly that of the ocean and its critters, or
c.) want to learn more about why you eat what you do.
What do you think about this fish tale?