Thursday, September 11, 2008

Processing and Seafood

Several of my questions revolve around the processing of foods, such as corn and wheat, and the actual trapping and catching of seafood. Luckily enough, I am in close proximity to the coast, so I can eat some seafood. Unfortunately, most of it I do not like. I love tuna, but that is an offshore species. I am perplexed as to how to solve this dilemma. I found a fantastic website, as listed above, and it is the journey of a Vancouver couple to spend 100 days living locally, within 100 miles of their home. Their book will be added to my bibliography and I am sure I will reference their website more than once.

I know the purpose is to reduce fossil fuel emmissions, but isn't is also to support the local economy? So like King Arthur's flour, if the fish come further than 100 miles away, but are processed locally I am still supporting the local economy. I am perplexed as if I need to choose between the lesser of two evils, or else go without. It looks like I am not alone in finding the answer, so as to quote James and Allissa from their blog (

" Eating locally pushes you to think about the questions that come up. Why does all the processing and distribution have to be centralized? How do we weigh the benefits of that centralization against the costs? (Our coast is littered with ghost towns and “cannery rows” from the era when much of the processing and distribution was local.) Does the current trend toward ever-bigger cities make sense, or do we need to keep our communities closer to the carrying capacities of the landscapes we live in? Shouldn’t we be working harder to restore the local stocks that can no longer feed us? And what about more distant fish stocks? Is it even possible to fish them sustainably? (I’m reminded of the fact that the East Coast offshore fishing fleet was once powered entirely by sail–the legendary Bluenose was one of the boats–and that the sail fishers warned that power boats would spell the end of the stocks.)

Ultimately, though, I still haven’t answered the question, What is ‘local’ seafood?"

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