Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Fish, Bad Fish, are there Tennessee Fish?

I've been reading about the importance of getting DHA in your diet and that the best source is fish. I've also read multiple places that people who do not eat much fish should/could take fish oil supplements to get the improved benefits of fish without eating the actual fish.
So, I've been on the hunt for decent local fish since we started this b/c B actually likes to eat it. I have never liked it, but I have been convinced of its nutritional value and feel it's something we should be getting into our diets.
I find it very perplexing, distressing, and frustrating that there is a large river and multiple lakes that run through my area, and yet local fish is so hard to find. How can this be so? I shake my fist at that dirty water even though I know all too well that it's not the water's fault.
I went to a "local" grocery store with a fish counter to inquire about some local fish.  I was referred to them b/c someone told me they carried a particular farmed rainbow trout. They didn't have any local fish - the nearest was Wisconsin. The fishmonger responded to my exasperation about the lack of fish when we have all these natural waterways by saying, "I'm not eating anything out of that river." Awesome.
This is a larger kind of grocery so it was also interesting to hear him discuss the idea of getting fish from a local place or a small scale farm.  I couldn't tell if he was trying to tell me his honest opinions, was quoting the party line/rhetoric on why industrial organic is better than independent/local, of if he was genuinely trying to spook me into buying their "safer" fish.
Having just finished Joel Salatin's most recent book and starting a 2nd one now, I was surprised how much his comments bothered me. I hadn't expected to care how he talked about/described little farmers (that I don't even know from Adam!), but it really did irk me a bit to hear him describe "them" as something to be feared. I got the impression all of his food comes with an acronym stamped on it.
So, after 3 months I'm still on the hunt for some local fish. I am amazed by the challenges that come with this wild ride we've begun. I enjoy learning all the new facts and meeting new people. I had the best conversation with the fishmonger about fish and really liked him (aside from the little snarky comments about small fisheries) and what he had to say. I was encouraged that he took my name and number and wrote "local" underneath it. He said someone might call me with more information. Until then, I'll have to be content in the knowledge that my name is attached to the word "local" in someone's world. That's better than some can say and, who knows, maybe one of these days my fish will come in and I'll have something new to report.

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