Paul Greenberg's Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food is climbing the charts and along the way reminding sustainable food enthusiasts of the complexity of eating from the sea. Greenberg's book has reached number 31 on the New York Times Best-Seller List and was lauded in a recent New York Times Sunday Book Review. Here's an excerpt:
Greenberg, a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, has constructed a book that, even as it lays out the grim and complicated facts of common seas ravaged by separate nations, also manages to sound a few hopeful and exciting notes about the future of fish, and with it, the future of civilizations in thrall to the bounty of the sea.
The point of the book comes down to the push and pull of our desire to eat wild fish, and the promise and fear of consuming the farmed variety. As Greenberg follows his four species, and our pursuit of them, farther and farther out into the ocean, he posits the sense of privilege we should feel in consuming wild fish, along with the necessity of aquaculture.
Along the way, Greenberg raises real-life ethical questions of the sort to haunt a diner’s dreams, the kind of questions that will not be easily answered by looking at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood-watch card. In truth, he shows, there is rarely such a thing as a good wild fish for any of us to eat, at least not if all of us eat it.
Combining on-the-ground and on-the-ocean reporting from the Yukon to Greece, from the waters of Long Island Sound to the Mekong Delta, along with accounts of some stirring fishing trips, Greenberg makes a powerful argument: We must, moving forward, manage our oceans so that the fish we eat can exist both in aquacultural settings and within the ecosystems of wild oceans.
Learn more about the book at fourfish.org.