I love the beach. The whole ocean, really—but especially the more gentle seas, like the Caribbean. It’s my happy place. And I’ve often said I feel as though I might have been a ship captain in a past life, although I’m not even a sailor in this one. As y’all know, I spend most of this life walking on and talking about the land, soil, farms, gardens, and how we can protect the earth.
The truth is I picked up Oceana to read for business reasons. First, Rodale Inc. published it. And second, I was about to host a party for its author, Ted Danson (yes that Ted Danson), and I felt the responsibility to do my homework. But I’m so very, very glad I read it, and I hope you read it, too. You’ll never look at the ocean and its alleged “bounty” on your plate the same way again.
So many of his stories about the horrific overfishing and waste of the fishing industry, the corruption caused by government subsidies around the world, the toxic chemical pollution caused by fish-farming (aquaculture), made me realize that “as above, so below.” Our attitudes about food and soil are compounded by our attitude toward what’s happening underwater—perhaps even worse, since we can easily pretend it’s not happening.
And the crime of our ignorant and affluent Western culture is that we will be the last people in the world to see it. The “illusion of abundance” we see in our supermarkets every time we shop is abundance stolen from the poor people of the world, and has destroyed the livelihoods of small fisherman and their families. So it is no surprise that they immigrate to our countries, in search of our entitled affluence.