Just read a great article on the tainted waters of the Pacific, all due to the nuclear site meltdown caused by the tsunami a few years ago. Anyone that likes seafood/fish from the pacific should read.
Maybe those of you on the west coast could comment on this disaster...
Wow. What an interesting read shoeman1000! Thank you for sharing this article with the Insiders community. Being a pescatarian myself, this was definitely an eye-opening article. I try to stick to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make sure I know exactly what I’m consuming. I will have to be much more careful when ordering my fish.
So discouraging. The waters are already overfished as it is without adding this disaster to it. I try not to eat fish that are on the SeafoodWatch.org guide (which comes out about once/twice per year) which are listed under the 'avoid' column. Now we're learning that the problem with fish populations in the Pacific is far worse. I am also a big advocate whenever possible to buy locally grown, caught and/or prepared foods in an effort to help the environment (by limiting carbon emissions and using less non-renewable energy in the movement of food), but it's just getting harder and harder to 1) find or grow sources of healthy fish, 2) fish from populations that aren't overfished or 3) eat fish that is farmed or caught locally. Most of the fish I see at stores here on the west coast (well, at least in CA) are Atlantic farmed. And then there are the controversies revolving around the issues of fish farming, namely environment, cost, and the healthiness of farmed fish (at least in terms of the way we do it in modern times in order to supply the masses).
I love fish! I miss Wild Alaskan Halibut, Pacific Cod, and Red Snapper. Anyone remember Orange Roughy? I never see that anymore.
Yep, very discouraging.
IAHFLYR pluto77 Steelhead is a good alternative to salmon, and SeafoodWatch.org lists them as "Best Choice" for trout. They're farmed, but being a freshwater species, the farming is a lot less harmful than ocean-caged Atlantic salmon, both for the consumer and the environment.
During parts of the year it's cheaper than flounder or ground beef. After all, in the olden days, people looked down on lobsters (literally as well as figuratively) calling them the cockroaches of the ocean. SInce happily I have never ingested cockroaches (scarafaggio in Italian -- isn't that a wonderful word?) but have been in their vicinity on occasion, I can only assume our ancestors were idiots.
PS -- If you ever get a bad hotel room in Italy, maybe go down to the front desk and yell "La camera ha SCARAFAGGI!!!" I bet you get a suite quickly.
That's pretty funny! My favorite Italian word (because I know so many - not) is funghi. I just like saying it for some reason.
In honor of Shoemans excellent post, here is a photo album of wonderful (and hopefully healthy and not overfished in the region) seafood.
I knew you'd like it, Pluto! Doesn't it sound pretentious enough that someone at a restaurant might actually order it, when it was described by a haughty waiter as slightly salty, but with a light crunchy, nutty flavor. It would obviously have to be paired with a robust red wine, probably a Vino Nobile da Montalcino so that one could appreciate the delicacies of the flavor combinations. A hearty bread to soak up the sauce (and the protein) is of course mandatory. Only as you are prepared to quit the job at which your boss has treated you horribly do you then explain what s/he has eaten with such gusto.
(Never done anything like this, except the cooking senza scarafaggi, but I don't like pretentions, and I'd bet you ten to one -- I'm feeling lucky today after my Bangor Super Bowl win -- that the person being treated to this extravaganza of sensory delight would love every minute of it until they learned the main ingredient.)
Of course, one could always substitute the scarifaggi of the ocean, known as astice in Italian, and the whole recipe would be delicious. Add some paprika and a touch of nutmeg and madeira and you're close to newburg. No, I won't go there (I immediately thought of a recipe for Scarafaggio Newburg.)
Now you all know I am crazy. I am. I was not born to be a college professor. I was born to tailgate and interview people and watch sports. But sometimes life serves you curves and ya have to go with them.
OK, since I like to cook, I am going to share my recipe for
SCARAFAGGI IN SALSA BIANCA CON FUNGHI, which is in high demand, especially among citydwellers.
(Description on menu: A 'high-protein dish' in an herbed béchamel sauce with porcini mushrooms)
INGREDIENTS (for two people):
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbsps. butter
3 tbsps flour
6 porcini mushrooms
2 tbsps butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
Two dozen scarafaggi
Salt and pepper to taste.
PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes; EATING TIME: 15 minutes; PUKING TIME: All night
Prepare the porcini mushrooms over low heat with butter and olive olive. Dice shallots and garlic and add in last few minutes until all are browned. Set aside.
Stir butter and flour together over low heat then slowly add cream. Continue cooking and whisking over low heat, blending carefully so that sauce does not break up. Set in low oven until ready.
Salt and pepper the scarafaggi over high heat (they need to be dead, which is tough business)
in a wok. Add the porcini mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir. Remove sauce from the oven and stir together.
Add parsley as a topping and set in prime place on your dinner table when entertaining your boss. Explain that it is a great delicacy in Italy. When s/he asks for the recipe, decline, saying it was handed down by your great grandmother.
For a digestif, serve a strong cognac.
Come visit us sometime in the summer, in fishing season, and we'll take you out on the little lake we have an access to. We have a little 10' Livingston down on the shore and we take it out on the lake. There are nice trout and land-locked Kokanee salmon. They may be small, but they taste good, and I've heard they are really good smoked. May be the only salmon we start eating, till things clear up.
Scientists have been testing the kelp off California and have detected radiation in the plant some time ago. It has arrived all the way here and as said, you can't detect it. I love fresh water fish but most have mercury from when the factories dumped waste in the Great Lakes. From what I know the best choice for Salmon is from Scotland where it is farmed in a natural way and have no mercury. Whole Foods sells this. The question is do they contain radiation?
first I respect peoples ability to eat what they want but this article to me is way over the top. I read some of the comments and that there is far too little real evidence given and real study. From my perspective these are usually written by people, with an agenda. I remember when mercury and tuna was the thing but when studied in moderation everything was fine. But as I said each to their own. Having a coho salmon tonight
The radiation may help with the scarafaggi, Californian. Probably a good thing.
On a more serious note, I buy almost all of my seafood (it's not hard) from New England or Eastern Canada. Maine by law has to list where all its seafood comes from and I will not buy stuff from Thailand, Myanmar, or Vietnam. (I even read the bar codes on my cat food labels to make sure where they're coming from.)
For those interested, here's a breakdown:
It's not foolproof anymore than "Made in the USA" is but it helps identify likely country of origin, which has impacted my buying decisions.
That phrase, foxglove, comes from the time of the Black Death, 1347-50. When people saw as many as 2 of 3 people around them falling victim, they did just that (or some of them -- others walled themselves in, many prayed, and others who could afford so, fled to the countryside.)
The famous Avignon song "On y danse sur le Pont d'Avignon" also comes from the plague time, as does Ring Around the Rosie, because sweet smelling (I almost wrote swelling, which would have been a horrible Freudian slip) things were thought to ward off plague.
Whenever I teach the Black Death, I teach my students what medieval people did (all of the above, including unfortunately husband leaving wife, wife leaving children, sister leaving brother, the whole rigmarole), I ask them at the very end what they would do. Except for prayers and processions (I'm usually the most religious of the group), I get the same answers medieval people did. Either they'd stay in their dorm room after hording stuff from the dining halls, go to the pub and eat, drink and be merry and sleep around, or escape as soon as possible to The County (in Maine, that means Aroostock County, where there are few people and a lot of potatoes). Many would raid Walmart on the way for food, medicines, and bows and arrows. I point out that gas stations would quickly run out of gas (or attendants), but most decide to flee, especially if the worse-afflicted people from Bates or Bowdoin came north .
PS -- No tilapia for me.
I'd add Chinese tilapia to your "do not buy" list. One of the majors at the school at which I work is fisheries management. One of our grad students came back from a conference in China and showed me pictures he took on one of the tours, when they went to a tilapia farm. There were chicken coops with chicken-wire bottoms built on scaffolding over the fish ponds. And the only animals that received "feed" were the chickens. Where is that emoticon?
Prof I agree with labeling. I have a summer home in New Hampshire and cant wait until I can get a good lobster and some steamers at Market Basket. Last summer lobster went as low as 3.99. And would agree I never get anything food from China aassuming I know it. One way to tell is price. if it is too cheap there is a reason
My best friend, who specializes in Chinese history and teaches at a Midwestern university, feels exactly the same as I do. He and his wife have cats as well and were affected by the addition of horrible non-food ingredients a few years ago. He told me that many if not most food products in China are still produced in backyards, where there are absolutely no controls and people add ingredients as fillers to increase their price -- but which are often toxic.
I'm not an expert, but he's been there and seen it. That's why I've become a bar code junkie. I don't much care if the clothes on my back are from China, but food is another matter. Plus I prefer, to the degree it is possible, to support American products. We have a thriving farm market and local produce industry in Maine. which I think is fantastic.
PS -- I loved the Bob Dylan ad in the Super Bowl, despite people criticizing him for not being himself. Hey, Bob Dylan will always be something you don't expect him to be, and I think his message is a good one. Buy American when you can. I do not follow those rules for wines (sorry Californians, your wines are too alcoholic for me with 14 and 14.5%!) or cheese, and try to circumvent the laws that neuter European cheeses (there are ways).
But when I buy a car it will always be a Ford because it is the best car I have ever had. And I will probably buy most every home type item that is American-made that I can. I don't think we have a monopoly on pollution free things (as witness West Virginia's loss of drinking water), but at least I want to know where stuff comes from so I can make an informed decision.
Full disclosure. after having started this thread, I had sushi 3 separate times this week, and filet of sole on another night. I found the article interesting and thought-provoking, but I will not let that stop me from eating fish/seafood. I will just try to be smart about it.
Oh, and how neat would it be to eat lobster as often as the good prof??
I eat fish most nights, though I'm not a fan of sushi, mostly because of the "potential" problems with worms. But sole is one of my favorite dishes, and I cook it regularly (flounder can be substituted). When in Europe (at least near the sea), I can always tell how good a restaurant is based on how they cook sole meunière (it's not hard to cook, but easy to spot things done wrong). I learned at Le Navigator in France many years ago how to debone it myself (piece a' cake), though apparently it is not de rigueur to do it yourself. Bad versions are too oily or buttery or the fish is overcooked.
A simple recipe for sole taught to me by my seafood guy at the supermarket is this:
sole or flounder filets
either bought or homemade stuffing, crab and breadcrumbs usually)
Campbell's cream of shrimp of soup (about half a can put over 3-4 filets
Cook at 375 for 20 minutes. It's delicious.
Today I splurged. Beef tenderloin AND Alaskan king crab legs were on sale or at reduced prices, so I made filet mignon Oscar. (Yes, even here at home I eat my main meal of the day around 2pm!)
And I won't to a poll, but will ask all of you how you like your lobster. When I first started to cook, I was really into Lobster Newburg and fancy dishes like that. Since living in New England, I have definitely come to the conclusion that boiled or steamed lobster with butter (sometimes with parsley, a touch of garlic or shallots added) is the best.
PS - Just make sure you don't use scarafaggi instead of lobster, even though the cost would be vastly reduced for the delicacy whose recipe I provided in an earlier post
I can eat seafood or lobster for all 3 meals (but that's not recommended). I do eat leftover lobster for breakfast quite often. I boil them myself, and usually get them from our local Market Basket (which does happen to be as fresh as I can get). It's so easy and so yummy. Lucky for me that neither my husband nor my son enjoy this deliciousness! Once in a while I'll throw some Old Bay seasoning into the water while boiling. I do always put Old Bay in when boiling shrimp. This is making me hungry...
Actually Sledchick, I made the grilled lobster last night with some excellent tenderloin fillets for our Valentine dinner since my wife headed off to Florida this morning for a wedding. The lobster has to boil for more than "a few seconds" as I mentioned previously, I had them in last night for five minutes before putting them under cold water so they'd stop cooking and then when almost at room temperature put them on the grill meat side down for five more minutes........YUMMMMO