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What We’re Reading: Four Fish

Post by Lisa Schimmer
Posted May 22, 2013 in NoveList Bookshelf

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Four Fish is the story of, wait for it... four fish. More specifically, it is the story of the four fish that dominate restaurant menus and the grocery store seafood case: salmon, bass, cod, and tuna. Starting from inland coastal waters and moving outward to the open sea, Greenberg does an excellent job of explaining both the history of each fish's rise to prominence, but also the factors that have contributed to their decline. The focus, in turn, on the various fish provides a foundation for discussing each fish's unique facets and their evolving relationship with humanity. 

Part of me can't believe I'm extolling the virtues of a book on a food that I can't bear to touch in its raw form, but that doesn't change the fact that Paul Greenberg has written an engaging guide on the voyage from wild/fish-farm to table. Despite its somewhat mundane subject matter, it is a very easy read, and Greenberg writes in a balanced manner that allows you an appreciation for fish as more than a source of protein yet also invites you to consider the ways we've manipulated nature to maintain this basic food source in a growing, modern world. It should particularly appeal to those who enjoyed Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.


Lisa S. is an avid reader and a less dedicated television viewer. When she’s not cataloging for NoveList, she’s most likely reading something she came across while… cataloging for NoveList.