So it is whitebait season here in NZ. This is the time of the year when greed often overcomes any actual need and when usually mild mannered people become guarded and territorial over their ‘patch’ of river. The prices are high and because it is a limited season the eagerness to get out there is also high…. my family included, though their catches are usually counted on one hand :). It has become a prized delicacy.
The thing is that whitebait are actually the young of several threaten native species of fish. As they struggle to get back up the rivers to grow and spawn they are caught in the thousands. Combined with unhealthy and altered waterways this means that slowly but surely these species will disappear. It no longer feels like such a good thing to be encouraging our kids to do. This isn’t just a New Zealand problem though and I have had quite a few conversations lately around the issue of ‘over-use’ of animals in our food.
A few people I have talked to, after seeing ‘Cowspiracy’ have become vegan as they learn more about the true cost of the food on our plates. Even our locally sourced raw milk, which I thought was a good alternative to big business milk, has me questioning after I realised there was no break in milk production over the past year. Then I was left wondering, yet again, about my own occasional seafood intake as watching a movie on sushi that discussed how many fish species they used to use are no longer available due to over fishing. Then there is the whole palm oil issue and the list could go on.
I don’t know the answer that will ultimately solve the issues however it has made me think even more about the food we purchase, the amounts we purchase of it and what we consume. We stock our cupboards each week even when they are not empty, eat foods that used to be seasonal all year around and generally consume more than necessary. I can see that there is room for a little more minimalist eating in our home and a little more room to get even more ‘back to basics’.
While I am aware of these issues I find I am slow to make changes which I think is probably where many stand. Change can be hard and is not always possible depending on personal circumstances. Is it a case of waiting until it is all gone before we make real change? I hope not. I hope that the Cree Indian Proverb doesn’t have to come true before people around the world realise that how we are doing things now is not sustainable.
Hope this finds you asking your own questions and finding the solutions that work for you.