April 1, 2013

Sustainable Sushi? Who cares. ~ Elleni Cladis [April Fool’s Day edition]

Ok so here’s the deal.

By default, I have become the elephant’s “go-to-girl” on all things sushi and fishy in the realm of sustainability and eco-responsibility. Perhaps you’ve seen my articles; perhaps not. If you haven’t, though, I highly suggest you take a look – they’re good for your sole (sic).

I’ve written about the #1 question on everyone’s mind:  whether sushi should or shouldn’t be considered a sustainable eating activity (view full article); remedies to the emotionally damaging knowledge of eating fish that are globally being overfished at alarming rates (view full article); and the silly business of mindless oyster consumption (view full article).

How did I become the fish girl? Funny story, actually.  At my first lunch with the elephant group as an incoming intern, we had sushi.  With my eyes wide shut, I was super-excited, giddy even, as I’m pretty much obsessed with sushi.  I ordered a couple of rolls with multiple types of fish in them, got my soy sauce bowl and chopsticks ready, and started to chow down.

And that’s when I made the most unfortunate, fateful mistake of looking up.

Because when I looked up, there was Waylon’s face with an odd sort of grin waiting for me.

Waylon:  “So do you like supporting mindless overfishing and the fact that it’s causing hundreds of fish species to become extinct, leaving our children and grandchildren in a world without those types of fish? As well as the business and processes of shipping fish across the world, which is one of the most anti eco-responsible acts around?”

Me:  “Umm, no,” I mumble while scarfing down another piece of yellowfin tuna.

Waylon:  “Do some research and write an article about it.  You might learn some things that will change your mind about what you order.”

Me:  “Ok.”

And I wrote the article, and I reported back from that day forward I would be self-conscious about supporting any mindless fish-murdering establishments because I care about the environment and about the little fishies.

But, the truth is, I don’t care.

Let me repeat that:  I really don’t care.  And neither should you.

If you go to a restaurant and you want to order the salmon, order the damn salmon!

Why should you have to suffer through not eating an absolutely delicious fish just because it’s on some endangered species list?  Your personal enjoyment is so much more important than the life of a silly relative of Nemo’s – if fish had any brains at all, they would not have been caught in the first place.  It’s the law of the jungle; survival of the fittest.  Please repeat after me:  “I am more important than a fish.  I am number one and I deserve the best no matter the cost.”

I’m not afraid to admit it: salmon is my favorite fish and I will continue to eat it and sleep well at night.  Tuna is another favorite of mine – do I have mercury poison concerns?  Heck no – I’ve been eating tuna since I was little and look how I turned out.  That’s right.  I’m the fish girl!

You may be wondering, “What about that fish app you wrote about? The one that tells you what fish are eco-friendly to eat?”  Read my lips:


Not everyone in the world has an iPhone (which only people with iPhone’s think) and there’s no way I’m going to carry out a little handbook every time I eat fish – let’s be real.  It’s just not going to happen.  I make my fish selection based on what works best for me.  Sometimes I’m definitely in the mood for halibut, other times, swordfish.  It really just depends on what I’ve got a taste for.

I know another issue is the fact that we’re landlocked, yet we have Chilean sea bass and Atlantic salmon on the menus at restaurants – is it our fault that we live in a landlocked state?  I mean, how many different ways can we have trout?

According to Shakespeare, “Trout by any other name still is trout.” Thanks to the shipping of fish across the world, we are able to have choices, which is always a good thing, and variety is the spice of life. Girls, especially fish girls, always like to have options!

This variety of choices is a tribute to one of the greatest practices of modern civilization: the importing and exporting of goods.  This keeps the world economy thriving and allows for globalization, breaking down boundaries, and sharing with one another.  Tell me, what the heck is wrong with that?

This may seem a little harsh to some, but remember, it’s all about Numero Uno.

Forget fish sustainability; eat sushi and be happy.

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