Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain. My one complaint about this video is that the speaker never once identifies either of the fishes he fell in love with .. if they’re so wonderful, why doesn’t he tell us what they are so we can all enjoy eating fish that are ethically and sustainably farmed?

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts.


  1. #1 SimonG
    March 12, 2010

    Might this be what he’s on about?,9171,1902751,00.html

    I usually eat fish once or twice a week, but it’s difficult to know what’s good and bad, environmentally. Mostly I eat farmed salmon and trout. I really like tuna, but there doesn’t seem to be a sustainable source at the moment.
    Mackerel I think is still OK, and at least it’s fairly local.

    Of course, although there may be fish farms which are well run I’m limited to the fish which is available in my local shops.

  2. #2 dhogaza
    March 12, 2010

    Huh, that’s interesting, SImonG. I’ve never seen the farmed lubina (which is what they call sea bass in spain) in markets – the size at harvest would make it obvious. Probably too expensive for the markets I’ve shopped in, if they’re comparing it to pata negra (“black hoof” iberian pigs that are raised free range in oak forests) and if it’s being sold to top-end restaurants.

    That’s an interesting wetlands restoration/bird habitat/fish farming scenario the article describes.

  3. #3 clew
    March 12, 2010

    SimonG, the Monterey Bay Aquarium maintains a list of good, iffy, and bad fish, with explanations, *and* they produce a small card for reference in wallets, *and* they have cards specific to regions of the US:

    Stuff available for smartphones, too.

  4. #4 SimonG
    March 12, 2010

    Inconveniently, I’m in England, so the MBA’s doubtless marvellous publications are of limited use to me.

  5. #5 lectric lady
    March 12, 2010

    Spanish Mackerel appears on the menu at Blue Hill New York

    Maybe that is the one.

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