Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Say Sushi???

So the other night I was having dinner with some friends (a rare and wonderful event), and one of my friends told us, emphatically, that we shouldn't eat sushi. "The sushi craze is a big part of over-fishing! We all shouldn't be eating like we live in a country of small islands!"

On the one hand, I see her point. Sushi is as ubiquitous, and degraded, as rotisserie chickens. (And we all know how all those chickens get made.) But what if we mostly ate sushi as part of a bigger meal, and not the whole thing? Maybe if we were, you know, more moderate in our sushi-love it'd still be OK to eat it?

I admit, her pronouncement about sushi and overfishing made me rethink my sushi lunch today. (I had a salad instead. Besides not contributing to the problem of over-fished waters, it was cheaper and faster than sushi.) But I wonder: do I have to go all out and give it up entirely to contribute some serious no-overfishing-energy to the world? Or maybe I could just limit sushi to the occasional, wonderful sushi experience. You know, skip the stuff at Whole Foods and save up for some place amazing. I don't know what's really "Japanese" or not -- a only-if-it's good approach may be just a huge rationalization. Then again, I'm not that good at extremes, so it might be that rationalizing a partial limit is the only way for me to go.


roni said...

Your friend has a point. Sushi was originally street food, but after WWII it was moved indoors and became a treat only the wealthy could afford. Even in the early 1990s friends who lived in Japan reported that sushi was an annual birthday treat for the average Japanese person, not an everyday meal. I think we should take the Skinny approach to sushi and eat the best we can afford every now and then and savor every bite.

Robin Aronson said...

Roni, I knew you'd know about this...and who knew that raw fish was street food? Point taken and Skinny approach adopted. Thanks!

roni said...

I highly recommend "The Sushi Economy" by Sasha Issenberg. He writes about the globalization of sushi and the effects downstream--especially environmentally. After learning what it takes to get bluefin or bigeye tuna, it was hard for me to take sushi for granted again.

Robin Aronson said...

I've been meaning to read that book -- it's now moved up on my list!