As you read this, the good folks at the British Petroleum crude-oil concern are hard at work in the Gulf of Mexico, making sure that the term “cajun blackened shrimp” forever loses its association with the culinary arts. Yes, in addition to roasting sea turtles alive and threatening the Gulf’s elusive walrus population, the current world leader in unmitigated corporate dipshittery is forever altering the seafood industry in the United States, by contaminating half the edible species in the Gulf with oil, and making us all worry that the other half might be contaminated too. So enjoy seafood while you can; with the upcoming holiday weekend, the price of shrimp cocktail is likely to shoot up to more than $4.00 a gallon.
But the seafood industry has problems worldwide, and it’s had them since long before BP came along. Overfishing and unsustainable practices are damaging not only the populations of Earth’s most delicious seagoing species, but having adverse impacts on whole marine ecosystems as well. Soon the only things we’ll have left to eat are mermaid steaks and whatever gets trapped in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
But don’t get too depressed. The key to changing the world is educating yourself, and the perfect opportunity is coming up: Pulitzer-winning LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold will appear at the Skirball Cultural Center next Wednesday at 7:30 PM to discuss the future of the seafood industry with Michael Cimarusti, head chef at Providence (which I’m told, by people who have more money to spend on food than I do, is very very good) and Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. They’ll discuss how our eating habits are impacting the environment, and how we can better align our love of good seafood with positive environmental stewardship.