Archive | October, 2011

Yes you can eat these fish without squirming under the assurance that you and all of your descendents will never get to eat these fish again… for now

19 Oct

I wrote a while back about fish you’re allowed to eat. Proactive action is about acting on what you know. Well, here’s a list I just found called The Super Green List, which lists fish you’re definitely definitely allowed to eat, that’s good for you, if you feel this absolute, absolute inexorable urge to nibble on the fishies:

* The Best of the Best: September 2010

  • Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
  • Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
  • Rainbow Trout (farmed)
  • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)

** Other Healthy “Best Choices”

  • Arctic Char (farmed)
  • Barramundi (farmed, from the U.S.)
  • Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
  • Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
  • Mussels (farmed)

source: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_health.aspx

If you haven’t heard about the atrocities of bottom-trawling yet, man you’re in for some nasty surprises:

And this article with stats and refs (my favorite) :

http://www.akmarine.org/our-work/conserve-fisheries-marine-life/impacts-of-bottom-trawling

You know how it was said that destruction of the Amazon is killing opportunities for us to discover new medicines in the yet unexplored species that would die? Well, this is like that.

So here’s my pledge:

I pledge to eat only fish on the Super Green List here http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_health.aspx
and continue to actively and financially support anti-bottom trawling and other harmful fishing method policies whenever the opportunity arises.

You can make your OWN, CUSTOMIZED pledge here:

http://www.sst.org.za/pages/14?project_id=3

For bigger, better fish.

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Costs aware of but not Priced for

11 Oct

One of the main problems with our current economical system is that we fail to internalize externalities. What this means is – the price of a beefsteak goes beyond the stated price of a beefsteak. The production of beef comes at a higher price. But the price is ignored because a ranch owner does not have to account for the dirty manure water that seeps into the groundwater under the cow’s feet, the methane gases (farts) they emit that have a global warming potential from 25 to 72 times that of carbon dioxide (depending on how you calculate it), the ecological costs of the grazing land that could have otherwise housed a vast, dense forest that could have functioned as a carbon-sink and home to at least dozens of different species, the health costs to the humans who digest this meat raised to be fatty, stocked full of hormones and antibiotics.

Then spokesperson for the beef industry, actor James Garner, underwent a quadruple by-pass surgery in 1988.
http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/07/17/spokesperson-fiascos-20-james-garner-still-alive-skipped-bee/

The question here is, how is it possible to change the way the system functions?  How is it possible for us to internalize the external costs? There are currently two ways that are being utilized by some countries, on some products, that may be of use in expanding:

1. Taxing: Just like the cigarette tax, this tax is meant to raise the price of products to account for the external costs of the production, as well as serve as a deterrent to consumption of high external costs products v.s. low external cost products. However, most of the market by itself is unlikely to take this drastic step without strong, controversial legislation backed by very strong consumer support. So we can look at the other alternative:

2. Listing the costs: Just as in some places fast foods are required to list their caloric content, and CO2 listing is now accepted, the efficacy of listing costs gives consumers the choice (and the guilt) to take a vote on what sort of food they want available on the market. What would you say if your next shrimp was labeled like this?

 

26 pounds of other sea animals were killed and tossed back for every 1 pound of this shrimp.