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Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” June 4, 2010

Posted by jwdineline in Home, Savor The Flavor with Jim White.
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Oil spill taking a toll on fishermen

Brown Pelican covered in oil on the Louisiana Coast

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and feed him for life.”  Or, so goes the wisdom of the ancient Chinese Proverb.  The disastrous Gulf Oil Spill has turned that logic on its head for commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico.  It can only get worse before it gets better.  The area that is off limits for fishing in the Gulf is now larger than the state of Florida.  Are you buying Gulf seafood at the market?  Are snapper and shrimp your choice as you scan the menu at your favorite restaurant?  Is that restaurant even carrying any Gulf seafood right now?  One of the multitude of e-newsletters I receive each week is called Lagniappe-Louisiana Cookin’s e-newsletter.  It’s filled with tasty recipes and news about food happenings throughout The Pelican State.  You can sign up for it at the website above. Here’s what they have to say about the plight of the fishermen,  Louisiana Brown Pelican-June 3

“By now I’ve talked to fishermen and restaurateurs all over south Louisiana and there is a collective feeling of helplessness and dismay about the ongoing oil spill in our back yard, and the spreading perception that any seafood coming out of the gulf is tainted. Restaurants and markets around the country are posting “No Gulf Seafood!” signs in their windows not realizing that their own costs are about to skyrocket, unless they’re buying their seafood from China.

The truth is, the fishermen themselves and many other agencies are monitoring the seafood from all areas of the Gulf more closely than ever before. Chefs, restaurateurs, and reputable seafood mongers all know exactly where the product they’re selling was harvested; it’s tagged as it’s taken out of the water. Fearmongering is irresponsible and despicable, and I choose not to do business with with organizations that engage in that kind of behavior.”

There has been way too much mis-information about this assault on our environment from the get go.  Let’s at least understand the truth that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is perfectly safe or it wouldn’t be sold to us.  Let’s not overreact and boycott seafood from the Gulf, and cause another disaster to happen, because fishermen have lost their livelihood.  And, while we’re at it, visiting a Gulf Coast beach for summer vacation wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  The folks along the coast are all going out of their way to provide us with even more of that magical lagniappe (something extra) to show us how much they appreciate our support during this trying time.  Maybe one day soon these good folks will be able to invoke the spirit of laissez les bon temp roulez again (let the good times roll).  They deserve it.


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