Four Fish(MP3)(Unabr.) MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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Finally we have learned that food is best when produced on a small scale in accordance with the rhythms of our planet ... Warm and witty, Four Fish takes this concept to the ocean. Seafood deserves the same kind of respect and political awareness as food from the land. Maybe more -- Alice Waters, Chez Panisse We are lucky to have the exceptional journalist and writer, Paul Greenberg turn his attention to one of the greatest threats to our food supply, the depletion of the world's fisheries ... Greenberg will change the way you think about the fish you eat -- Amanda Hesser, Food Columnist New York Times If you've ever ordered salmon, if you've ever slurped a bowl of chowder, if you've ever sat down for sushi, Paul Greenberg's friendly and thoughtful book will lure you in, surprise you, probably shock you, and certainly make you think ... Read this book -- Trevor Corson, Bestselling Author Of The Secret Life Of Lobsters And The Story Of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga Of Raw Fish And Rice Four Fish is not only the best analysis I've seen of the current state of both wild and farmed fish - it's a terrific read -- Mark Bittman, Author Of How To Cook Everything And Food Matters Important and stimulating ... a necessary book for anyone truly interested in what we take from the sea to eat, and how, and why New York Times Book Review Greenberg writes with tremendous knowledge and passion to tell the engrossing story of the impact of history, geography and politics on our seafood, and offers a clear-eyed manifesto for the future of fish FT Paul Greenberg observes ... we are at a significant moment Economist Accessible and enlightening ... It's not Greenberg's way to preach; he's happier letting the facts speak for themselves Observer Required reading for anyone who eats seafood ...Greenberg is an unfailingly entertaining writer, and his book arms you with the information you need to make intelligent choices when you are confronted by the ... offerings at the fish counter Atlantic --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Paul Greenberg is a writer with over 20 years of experience reporting on fish and ocean issues. His numerous opinion pieces, essays and articles on fishing and aquaculture have been published in The New York Times Opinion Page, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Boston Globe Sunday Ideas Section, and The New England Fisherman. His 2005 New York Times Magazine article on Chilean Sea Bass received the International Association of Culinary Professionals' "Bert Greene Award" for excellence in food writing. Four Fish is his first non-fiction book.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, there isn't that much technical information on either the fish or the fishing methods. Mostly, this is a book about the sustainability of the four fish mentioned. The author takes the sensible stand that we should be concerned with conservation and minimizing harm to fish stocks, but he certainly isn't a hard-core eco-warrior. Indeed, he goes fishing for, and catches, just about all the species mentioned in this book. Certainly, he eats them all. But perhaps that's why this book was interesting to read. It's full of important messages, but it's not so much preachy as it is a narrative of his own discoveries. The "preaching" is simply facts that he discovered that are pretty clear to anyone remotely interested in a responsible truth. That's probably why I'm giving this book five stars- it made a book about four fish quite interesting to read.
Because the truth is we are increasing our demand for fresh seafood at the same time as global stocks are declining. Fish farming (for most species) doesn't seem to be the answer. That means we'll have to ask ourselves some hard questions sooner or later. If not, we'll end up repeating the sad story of the cod. Much of what's written in this book won't be terribly new to people who know anything about seafood (e.g.Read more ›
A lot of the book concerns learning what works, and what doesn't in sustainably farming fish. Greenberg shows, for example, that while farming of tra or tilapia shows enormous potential, attempts to farm carnivorous cod, tuna and probably even salmon, are moderately to totally counterproductive. In talking to the people actually trying these things, Greenberg has a learning adventure that's a pleasure to read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The four fish of the title are salmon, bass, tuna and cod, which are today the world's dominant wild-caught and farmed fish. Mr. Greenberg devotes a long chapter to each of these finned culinary staples. He ties their stories together by showing how each represents one discrete step that humanity has taken, sometimes over hundreds or thousands of years, to increase and control the tasty, nutritious largess of the sea. Salmon, for example, depend on clean, cold, free-flowing freshwater rivers, and was likely the first fish that early northern-hemisphere humans exploited. Sea bass, which inhabit shallow waters close to shore, were the catch of choice when Europeans first learned how to fish in the ocean. Cod live further out, off the continental shelves many miles offshore, and were the first fish subject to industrial-scale fishing by mammoth factory ships. Tuna live yet further out, in the deep oceans between the continents, and represent the last food fish that has not yet been "domesticated."
Mr. Greenberg uses footnoted historical and scientific information from academic reports and other sources, as well as his personal experiences and interviews with some colorful fishing industry characters, to build detailed and informative pictures of the state of these four fish in the world today. These are factual, balanced treatments of subjects that are practically guaranteed to set environmentalists, government regulators, fishermen and consumers at each others' throats in the dynamic, complicated world of modern large-scale aquaculture. He shows how issues such as sustainability, wild-caught vs. farmed fish, the environmental effects of fish farms, growth in consumer demand, concentrations of harmful pollutants in fish, etc., are all interrelated in an incredibly complex web of dependencies. Easing one problem invariably worsens others, and there are really no easy answers to the question of how we can best manage our production and consumption of these four fish to assure their safety, availability and future viability.
It's not a hopeless future. Mr. Greenberg offers some things we can do to mend our troubled relationship with the oceans and the life within them. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you should still find "Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food" to be an interesting and informative read. I recommend it highly if you have the slightest interest in finding out more about the fish on your plate.
Paul Greenburg has written an excellent and surprisingly readable book about our relationship with the sea and its bounty. He does this not from a solely environmentalist perspective, but also as a fisherman and one who enjoys eating fish. He discusses the advantages of wild vs. farmed fish - the destructive practices of each which imperil future stocks. With farming, in particular, the four are very poor candidates for captive rearing (although the lessons learned so far have been essential and can be applied elsewhere). He also explores potential replacements against a checklist of qualities that should ensure greater success (the same qualities that have been proven in terrestrial farming).
I was *very* surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I've never been a huge eater of seafood, although I've recently begun ordering it more often when we eat out. But I most appreciated the scientific aspect of the book that seeks to find the best possible balance, moving beyond the simple red or green seafood cards to maximizing a sustainable harvest while protecting resources. He acknowledges there are no easy answers, but leans a little too heavily on regulation as if illegal poaching wouldn't increase with such measures. But overall, an important read for all those who are concerned about the future of the oceans and the last wild food.
The last time I found a natural history that was so compelling, it was Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma." While I don't think this book will become another worldwide nonfiction bestseller like that one did, I would not be surprised to see it turned into a feature National Geographic Channel documentary. After all, the author is extremely engaging and a writer who frequently writes for that magazine.
The author's writing is personal, direct, honest, and easy-going. Reading the book felt like sitting down with a brilliant, enthusiastic buddy and listening to him tell you about the subject that commands his greatest passion. The book is full of delightful stories based on fascinating people who Greenberg interviewed and observed during the course of researching this book. Much of the scientific and technical information is passed on to the reader through artful, true-to-life storytelling. His stories unfold naturally and often overflow with humor and wit. There is a comfortable balance between the light and serious section. The later contain detailed facts, thoughtful philosophical, ethical, and personal reflections, and heartfelt recommendations.
The author demonstrates a wealth of knowledge on this topic gained from thorough academic research, in-depth interviews, and life-long personal experience as an avid recreational fisherman. The book has an extensive bibliographical notes section at the end with useful annotations.
This book should appeal to a wide audience of readers with diverse backgrounds and motivations. I am not a fisherman and have no connection to the fishing industry. My interest in the topic derives from my love of eating fish and my concern about the future of the species. I have recently taken college-level courses on this topic, and completed a semester-long independent study of wild versus farmed salmon. Greenberg's book provided me with a wealth of new and exciting information.
I hope the book sells well. It is vitally important that as many people as possible learn about the future of fish, our last widely consumed wild food. Through knowledge and appropriate action, people can make a difference. It may still be possible to save the oceans and rivers of the world and the wild fish that inhabit them.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Perhaps, the best thing about this book is that it is not a pulpit the author uses to preach what you should or should not eat. Nor does it ask that the reader guiltily end all fish eating. What it is, is a contextual history of our relationship with seafood from the earliest day to the present where we find ourselves facing a lot of decisions regarding fishing and fish farming.
The narrative is centered on four fish that do a good job of capturing the story of fish and man.
Salmon- probably our first food fish, and our first foray into global, industrial fish farming.
European Sea Bass - our first complete victory in closing the circle on a marine fishes life cycle in captivity. As the author says, a Rosetta Stone to unlocking the propogation for nearly all species
Cod and Tuna - two examples that show that we are not doing the best to manage our fisheries, and how we may be misguided in our attempts to farm fish in general.
These four fish do a great job of illustrating how aquaculture has been driven by forces of economy, market, and tradition more than logic, reason, or science. These species has been chosen for domestication more for their pound for pound economic value rather than its compatibility to being farmed.
Using these four main characters, and a supporting cast of other species, the author demonstrates the failures, successes, and potential of human management of wild and domesticated stocks of fish. That is another joy of this book, it is not a doom and gloom look at our future, it is a reasoned and hopeful view of what we can do. And while it does not exactly spell out a plan, it does put forth a strong framework of how we can manage this resource and stop spending our principal, but live off the interest the ocean can return and the profits of intelligent aquaculture.
I'll never look at a fish on a plate the same again.
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