The Oil Spill’s Effect on Our Food System
Iíve been leaving coverage of the oil spill mostly up to other bloggers here on MNN. Our Earth Matters blogger Shea, Green Tech blogger Karl and several of the news writers have been doing a great job keeping us up-to-date on whatís happening in the Gulf and how people are reacting to the spill.
But as the story continues and the devastating impact of this disaster becomes more apparent each day, I thought Iíd point you to some of the information out there about how the spill is affecting our food system and those who supply the seafood to our food system.
- Slow Food USA is telling consumers that the best way they can help the fishermen in the Gulf right now is to eat Gulf seafood. Assuring readers that any seafood from the Gulf will have to meet safety regulations, the group is encouraging consumers to purchase and consume Gulf seafood as often possible.
- If you can’t get your hands on seafood that comes from the Gulf, or youíre not convinced of the safety of seafood from that region but you still want to help with your dining dollars, you can participate in Dine out for the Gulf Coast starting June 10-12 and extending into July. Participating restaurants across the country will be donating proceeds (each restaurant gets to chose exactly what percentage) that will turn into emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill.
- While most of the food news about the Gulf oil spill centers around seafood, Slateís Big Money is reporting about delays in getting corn and soybeans shipped to foreign markets. If oil clogs the canal that links New Orleans with the Gulf, ships that pass through it would have to be cleaned before entering clean waters. This would cause significant delays.
- Georgia is depending on its oysters to tell if and when the oil has reached its coast. The Atlanta Journal Constitution says that because oysters donít move and because they absorb the pollution that is around them, they will be the first harbingers of disaster in that region.
- New Orleans.com reports that yesterday, 36,000 pounds of food was handed out to families in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana. Many of the residents of that parish are commercial fishermen who are now out of work because of the oil spill. Of course, the food wasnít available only to fishermen. In a region that is still recovering financially from Hurricane Katrina, everyone could use a little help.
- Many of the fishermen and their families helped by the food handouts were probably much like this fourth-generation shrimp and oyster family highlighted on “The Early Show” earlier this week. Iíll finish with this video.
By Robin Shreeves, MNN