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Barry Estabrook's Blog

June 1, 2011 - 11:14am

Scientists are still years away from determining the full impact of the BP oil disaster. Are fears of tainted fish and shellfish justified?

More than a year after last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a nagging question lingers: Is it safe to eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico?

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium's annual Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Foods Institute last week, marine scientists, experts from environmental groups, and members of the fishing community—who rarely agree on anything—answered that question with a unanimous "yes."

"There is still a lot of science to be done, but it seems like we dodged a bullet. We got lucky," said Tim Fitzgerald of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Fitzgerald, who created EDF's SeafoodSafe...

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May 26, 2011 - 1:28pm
Scientists are still years away from determining the full impact of the BP oil disaster. Are fears of tainted fish and shellfish justified?


More than a year after last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a nagging question lingers: Is it safe to eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico?

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium's annual Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Foods Institute last week, marine scientists, experts from environmental groups, and members of the fishing community—who rarely agree on anything—answered that question with a unanimous "yes...
read full post »
May 13, 2011 - 3:17pm

Most people think farmers' markets are more expensive than supermarkets—but studies don't always support that conclusion. In fact, they're often cheaper.

It's getting harder and harder to be an elitist these days.

We're all familiar with the accepted gospel: Only well-heeled food snobs can afford the exorbitant prices charged for those attractively displayed baby greens and heirloom tomatoes at farmers' markets, while those who can't afford such greener-than-thou food-purchasing decisions must paw through limp broccoli, wilted lettuce, and tennis-ball tomatoes at supermarket produce departments.

It may come as a surprise that there have been virtually no formal studies to support this widely accepted contention, and the few studies that have been conducted call its veracity into question.

A...read full post »
March 18, 2011 - 3:47pm
With the oil industry shifting from friendly PR to legal battles, competing narratives about Gulf marine life have emerged.
I have come to the conclusion that there must be two Gulfs of Mexico, one that oil tycoons and their new buddies within the Obama administration see, and another that scientists and fishermen who rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods confront.

Last week came the upbeat news from Bloomberg that the federal government had granted the first deepwater oil drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP spill, whose anniversary will be marked on April 20. "Today's action sends a calming signal to operators, producers, and service companies that the...
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March 2, 2011 (All day)
My protest marching skills are a bit rusty, having last been put to use in 1968 on behalf of Eugene McCarthy and his thwarted bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. But on a bitter afternoon in Boston recently, I sloshed through a few inches of slushy snow with more than 900 supporters of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a grassroots farmworkers' organization based in Florida. We tramped from Boston's Copley Square to a Stop & Shop supermarket a couple of miles away. With a brass band, clever signage, and rousing warm-up speeches by Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet, Josh Viertel, president of ...
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