The author is Taras Grescoe and the subtitle is "How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood," buy it here. Yes this is one of the best non-fiction books this year so far and yes I say that after having read (and mostly liked) the last five books on the exact same topic. I hope it does well because this book is an object lesson in how to best your competitors and we’ll see whether or not that matters.
Did you know that the average cell membrane of an American is now only 20 percent omega-3-based fats? In Japan it is 40 percent.
Or did you know that American sushi restaurants promising you "red snapper" are usually serving tilapia or perhaps sea bream.
The book has a superb explanation of how "frozen at sea" fish are now better, safer and tastier than "fresh fish," including for sushi.
English fish and chips was originated by Jewish merchants in Soho, drawing upon the same Portuguese traditions that led to tempura in Japan.
The Japanese are experimenting with acupuncture to keep fish alive and "relaxed" on their way from the ocean to being eaten.
Two of the practical takeaways from the book are a) if only for selfish reasons, do not eat most Asian-farmed shrimp, and b) eat more sardines. They are, by the way, very good with butter on sourdough bread.
This is one of the best single topic food books of the last five years. It is historical, practical, ethical, and philosophical, all at once.