Every time I think about including more animal products in my diet, a message comes from the Universe, or somewhere, reminding me of why I should not.
"See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out..."
from U2 Its a Beautiful Day
This morning was no different. I was looking around on the internet at the bounty offered by local growers, I came across a blog post about the benefits of miso, a fermented food which I love and use often. This post suggested using seaweeds such as kombo (kelp) and dashi (bonito or dried, smoked skipjack tuna flakes) for rich tasting, healthy broths for soups, stews and sauces rather than other stocks. This idea sounded fabulous to me, at first. Reminiscing of times when I experimented with such things under the watchful eye of my dear friend and accomplished chef, Jenny Napier. Jenny lived in Australia where Asian culture influences the modern cooking heavily. She always kept bonito and shrimp flakes in her cupboard, along with other things which we do not use so much in Western Cuisine but is popular in Asian, especially Japanese cooking. I thought, what harm will a little dashi do to my health if it will make magical soups, sauces, and broths?? I truly believe, seafood, and small amounts of animal product could likely be health-promoting,
Then, I came to my senses. I thought I'd better sniff around the internet to find out the status of the skipjack tuna population in case they might be under threat, knowing the intensity with which the Japanese, and others, over fish our oceans, not to mention the mercury they most likely contain.
Then these words, along with the lyrics to the U2 song quoted above popped in to my mind:
"And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place"
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror
Ask my husband, D, and he will tell you, I always have song lyrics in my brain. Whatever the emotion, or thought which pops in, I let out a song with words describing what I am thinking or how I am feeling. It gets annoying to others around me I'm sure. This is what happened this morning with the Dashi thing! It just so happens that D is currently working in Jordan and has been talking to me about the Bedoiun when we've had our brief email or text exchanges of info. I suppose this is one reason the U2 song popped in.
Then, after finding the info on skipjack tuna, I thought about the Man in the Mirror - ME!
Although one of the lower mercury containing tunas, skipjack is for now a sustainable fishery, however the population is under tremendous threat of over fishing because of this very reason AND because of the demand by the Asian, mostly Japanese, market.
Here is what I found, and why I think I will stick with Tu-NO salad and sandwiches and for-go the dashi. I know, its such small amount, can't hurt anything - right?? Gotta start somewhere! Each of us should make our own choices. I am not the food police, nor do I make judgement. I simply make information available and what others choose to do, or not, is their business.
If you would like to learn a little more about the tuna fishing industry, sustainable fisheries, or mercury levels in fish, click on the links below:
|Grilled Tu-NO salad on home made Bread with those yummy micro-greens from Morning Dew Farm!|
15 oz. can or 1 ½ c. cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 celery ribs, diced
2 T. pickle relish
½ t. onion powder or grated onion
2 t. nutritional yeast
1 T. Low- Sodium Tamari or soy sauce (or omit)
2 T. vegan mayo (fat-free)
Juice ½ fresh lemon (optional)
½ tsp kombu (any seaweed will do, rice condiment with sesame is nice too!)
1. In a large mixing bowl, mash chickpeas with a fork until coarse and no whole beans are left.
2. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
3. Add more vegan mayo and/or kelp as necessary or desired and black pepper to taste.