Fishing for a fix
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | 09:25 AM ET
by Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca
All too often I stumble upon an article that makes me aware of how very damaging my appetite is to the environment, and I sigh.
Because I know that the next time I go to the grocery store I'm going to be standing in yet another aisle, paralyzed by ethical, nutritional and environmental choices.
Do I buy the free-range eggs in the plastic packaging or the regular eggs in cardboard cartons? Is my lettuce local and organic? Should I buy the oh-so-heavy but environmentally-friendly glass milk bottles or just get the organic, local milk in cartons?
A recent Mark Bittman article in the New York Times added to my grocery store woes. The influential food writer details the plight of one of the final food frontiers, our oceans.
We are heading toward the collapse of major commercial wild fish stocks in the coming decades, he warns. But the solution posed by the self-proclaimed 'wild-fish snob' may not be appetizing to everyone: look upon wild fish as a rare treat and instead eat more of the small bottomfeeders like wild sardines, anchovies and herring.
It's not the first time we've heard this. Taras Grescoe's book Bottomfeeders documents the effect of global warming and overfishing on our oceans. It also notes what to buy at the fish counter, which fish have more mercury and what purchases are better for the environment.
But when I'm dashing around the store on my way home, I can't remember all the dos and don'ts, and I find my mind racing to weigh all the options.
How do you decide what groceries to buy? And where do you draw the line?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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