Declaring a Moratorium

This is probably petty, but I have decided that I will never again eat shrimp.  I made a similar declaration about carrots when I was so short that I could walk under the kitchen table without stooping.  I remember it with absolute clarity.  I was standing  under the kitchen table, facing the east wall of the kitchen which bordered on the back yard, when  I made the decision. I must have been 2 or 3 years old. I remember saying to myself  “I’m not going to eat carrots  anymore.”. There was no precipitating event. I just decided that I and cooked carrots would part ways.  I think I was just exercising autonomy  and independence at the time, and I remember refusing cooked carrots for many years. Then, sometime in Grade 2 I just decided to eat them again. I was fortunate that no one ever insisted that I eat anything I didn’t want to eat,  and I was encouraged to cook for myself at  an early age. I love cooked carrots now.

I dislike the taste, texture, smell, and harvesting practices of shrimp, especially the harvesting practices.   They are so destructive  to the environment.  Most people I know love shrimp, but I do not.  I do not think I will change my mind about this. There many other fish in the sea.

What are some irrevocable decisions you have made? What moratoriums have you declared? What fish do you like or not like. 

62 thoughts on “Declaring a Moratorium”

  1. i declared 1969 would be the year i stopped killing things to feed myself out of respect for life. meat fish and fowl. i had to think about milk and eggs and decided it was going to be part of my deal to eat eggs and dairy and tolerate enslavement but not killing.
    about 30 years ago someone asked me about stone crab. what about stone crab. they don’t kill them. they pull them up in crab traps and is they have two claws they harvest 1 and the other grows back. they need the one because stone crab are territorial and fight for territory
    i said i’d figure that out when i got put in that situation. it has been a wonderful meal 6 or 7 times in my life. stone crab claws are exceptional with butter.
    i like many kinds of fish. in my hay day i had 11 aquariums today i have 2. chiclids are maybe my favorite. an african fish from lake tanganyika that are colorful and active and come in many varieties they are the most interesting communities to work with, angles are cool but every now and again you get an alpha angel who chews all the fins off the others and makes life such for everyone else in the tank. i have had homicidal maniac fish i have put in solitary until there days were through. they just went after all other fish in the tank and the choice was to separate or let them die. i feel judge mental when i separate snails from the tank. those little suckers multiply faster than rabbits
    salt water fish are more interesting to look at and to raise. coral is very cool but feels like raising houseplants. anenomie and mimi fish have a very cool relationship where the fish hangs out in the anenomie like a dog bed. cool to watch.
    i’ve always wanted to be a mushroom grower. kind of like raising fish but it’s rejuvenating, i’ve looked into raising stone crab and i’d be the first so it’s likely not going to happen although i did discuss it with a cargill bigwig a month or two ago and got an interest. i’d have to start farming them in florida or the carabian and see if the model could be adapted to an indoor setting in a minnesota warehouse
    meat in 69 booze in 13 cigarettes in 05.
    i saw the other day keith richards of the rolling stones quit smoking. gonna start taking better care of himself. i saw him interviewed on 60 minutes i think years ago and the interviewer commented keith had quit drugs booze and many of his rock star options and straightened up to be a model citizen. he asked keith what former habit he missed. keith looked dreamily off into the distance and said . i. sure liked heroin… only time i’ve ever heard that.
    i like corned beef and bbq ribs from my memories of meat. fake bacon and sausage are pretty good but too expensive these days but the new plant based protein burgers give me hope. fish will happen too i’ll bet. the texture is pretty easy to duplicate and the flavor is something those good flavor guys could tweak forever
    i like carrots fine too but fermented quail eggs is where i draw the line. that fermented taste in my nose as the food enters my mouth is more than i care to try and accumulate a taste for

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  2. I once met a pig with such a merry personality that I hated the thought it would end up as a meal. For many years I did not eat pork. I now live in an institution whose kitchen doesn’t share my views, so I begin many meals with a quietly mumbled apology to my old pig friend.

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    1. I have friends with a small farm outside of Stillwater. They raise pigs and Highland cattle – along with another farm near them they offer a meat CSA throughout the year. I know that these animals have been raised ethically, have been treated humanely and ethically right to the end. I told my friend the farmer though that I could never eat Stella (one of their cows). That if they ever slaughtered Stella, I didn’t want to know and please don’t put her in my CSA share. He assured me that Stella was special and would not go to slaughter – she is more likely to be one they breed. Stella was brought inside and bottle fed as she was born during an April snowstorm…and she thought for a long time that she was a dog (the dogs helped keep her warm and cozy). As a calf, she sometimes let herself into the house through the dog flap. She got into the kitchen once after she outgrew the door flap and my friend said that even though he tries hard not to anthropomorphize, she looked all the world like she was trying to figure out how the kitchen got so small…

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  3. It’s safe to assert that I will never again eat lutefisk. I never ate it in the past except in token amounts as a gesture of solidarity with my heritage. Now, as the oldest surviving representative of my lineage, heritage is in my hands and I am willing to let lutefisk fade into history.

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    1. I was given permission by my 100% Norwegian mother to not eat the stuff. No reason as far as she was concerned for me to eat something out of nostalgia for something I never had. I can channel my Norwegian roots just fine with gjetost, lingonberries, and baked goods. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I am not a fan of seafood in general – cod or torsk is about the only think I will eat. A few others of the mild white fishes sometimes, but I mostly don’t like the taste of fish (fresh or saltwater) and things with tentacles or a shell… nope. Ditto eating bugs.

    As for moratoriums – I am generally not a “never say never” person, but there are still some things I hesitate about. As a kid, my mom wouldn’t buy iceberg lettuce or green grapes for a long stretch – in solidarity with the migrant farmers who were striking for better wages. I still pause over green grapes. Ditto Hormel products – I know they are well past their P9 strike days from the 80s, but it still rattles in my head (though frankly I buy little meat that would be of the sort they process). There are other companies I will not buy from because I do not agree with their ethics – if they were to change their ways, I might reassess, but until they do, I will spend my dollars elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

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    1. The trouble is that so many of the companies you want to boycott have tentacles that reach much further than most of us realize. It takes a concerted effort to avoid supporting some of them. Take Nestle, for example. I’d be willing to bet that even if you’re deliberately avoiding their brands, they are so diversified that it’s almost impossible to avoid them.

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      1. Your comment about “tentacles” is correct. Another equally troubling fact for me is that if you decide to boycott an evil company you will probably take your business to a company that behaves the same way. Upset by the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, I cut up my Standard Oil credit card and took my business to BP.

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  5. Rise and Stop What You Are Doing, Baboons,

    When I was a kid our family and my aunt and uncle’s family hung out a lot together. Eventually those families totaled 7 children who were as active and noisy as children anywhere. Usually at a mealtime, and especially if cousin Gail would not eat her mashed potatoes, Uncle Jim would declare A Moratorium on Talking. This was his version of “SHUT UP.” Then we would all have to be quiet until Gail ate the potatoes. If somebody made noise we all had to sit there longer. Talk about peer pressure. Phew.

    Right now I carefully screen the news I read and see. Things are scary out there, and I don’t need to steep my psyche in fear, so I am listening to a lot of audiobooks and music. And then there is HGTV, which Mo Rocco recently compared to the Lawrence Welk show on his podcast, “Mobituaries” in the episode “The Death of the Lawrence Welk Show.” It is pleasant and predictable. And you always know how it turns out.

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  6. I’m sure you guys have heard my story 1 million times. But my dietary boycotts started when I was five with lobster, and then when I was six with lamb and then seven venison. Eventually by the time I was 16 there wasn’t anything left except ground beef. At 16 we watched Death in the Afternoon In Spanish class and that ended ground beef as well. That was the day I went home and told my mother that I was going to be a vegetarian from then on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I like most fresh fish, salt or freshwater, all are fine with me. I was lucky enough to grow up in a time and a place where I could catch my own cod, herring, eel, hornfish, and flounder. In Greenland I even got to fish for salmon on one occasion. Catching tiny, delectable shrimp was a favorite pastime as a small child. I love crab as well, but I think lobster is overrated.

    In the US the only fish I’ve ever caught were of the freshwater varieties: bluegills, trout, lake whitefish, walleye, bass, and crappies. Nothing better than a dinner of fresh fish. Unfortunately neither wasband nor current guy enjoy fishing, and neither eat fish, except for canned tuna.

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      1. Back when the book club of Danish women was active, and we’d take turns hosting the dinner meetings, I’d often avail myself of the opportunity to cook something that Hans doesn’t care for, such as fish. It’s just not a whole lot of fun cooking an elaborate meal for someone, only to have them turn their nose up at it.

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  8. Although I was an angler all my pre-arthritis life, I rarely ate fish. The phrase for that is “catch and release.” Reel the fish in, give it a little kiss, then put it back where it wants to be. I made an exception with coho salmon from Lake Superior. They were the cleanest fish from the cleanest water I ever fished, and they were so very tasty. It seemed right to enjoy cohos on the grill as a celebration of the lake and its many gifts.

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  9. There have been a number of times when I swore off (or drastically limited) an entire food group in order to lose weight – fats, red meat, bread or gluten…) Many of those were temporarily successful, but I realize now it was largely because I was paying attention to what I was eating, and setting limits.

    I like a lot of kinds of fish, and my current favorite is some smoked whitefish or trout that I get at our local Midtown Foods. Just read the label, and they’re packaged in Port Wing, WI, Steve…

    Will have to think harder for an irrevocable decision.

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  10. I’ll eat just about any fish or seafood with the possible exception of sea slugs and urchins, which, among other things, present a problem of approach. Unfortunately, when I cook fish, I seldom do it justice. Robin, despite her Japanese childhood, has a sort of horror of undercooked fish and consequently, just to be safe, I tend to overcook it a little, which never does fish any favors. Despite the fact that I enjoy many sea bugs, I’ve never been able to reconcile that with eating terrestrial ones.

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      1. According to Wikipedia, the history is complicated but the first reference to sushi was in 718 AD. Sushi as we know it was popular in Edo (Tokyo) in the 1820s.
        Sushi was first served in America in the early 1900s. As you might expect, it was primarily found in Japanese enclaves, but it was also being offered at social gatherings not only on the Pacific coast but also in cities in the midwest.

        I first tried sushi in San Francisco in the 1970s and by the mid-’70s it was fairly common in Minneapolis Japanese restaurants.

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    1. I’m not keen on those things either. Much more tempting to me are corn chips with a good hot salsa to dip into.

      As to irrevocable decisions, I know better than to say never, although I’d feel perfectly safe in saying it would be a cold day in hell when I’d vote for DT or any of his cronies.

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  11. I have never been a fan of anything that comes out of the water (fresh or salt) with the exception of grilled or baked salmon. I used to eat shrimp on rare occasions but they no longer appeal to me. So adhering to a friend’s moratorium on seafood (due to overfishing and other ecological reasons) is not much of a problem for me. And despite my almost 95% Swedish ancestry, lutefisk has always been and will always be a big NO.

    I almost never chew gum – mainly because it aggravates my TMJ issue but also because once it loses its flavor (usually within minutes or even seconds), what’s the point?

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  12. I’ve hinted here that my mother wasn’t a great cook. It would be fair to say she was a typical 1950s Midwestern housewife cook. My dorm mates grumbled about the food service meals our college offered, but for me they were a step up.

    In my junior year I was sent to a conference in Racine, WI. We ate meals from the kitchen at Wingspread, a fascinating Frank Lloyd Wright home designed for the president of Johnson Wax. Very swank. The first night they served us carrots. I took one bite . . . and it changed my world. I understood that I knew nothing about food. If carrots could be that good, the world of eating was ripe with possibilities I had never guessed were there.

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    1. Sounds like your mom cooked carrots the way my my did, to death. Same thing with potatoes, and cauliflower, boil the living daylights out of it. Thankfully, we all liked salads which didn’t require cooking, at all.

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  13. Back to tim’s early post: Who knew having aquarium fish could be so much fun? I just never thought about it. There’s a great book: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating that gives you a glimpse into their world, from the point of view of a bed-ridden woman… or did we already read that for BBC?

    Which reminds me, I won’t make it to BBC tomorrow… have fun Baboons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Occasionally a snail hitchhiker is found in the greenery at the flower shop where I work. One of the designers likes to keep them in a little terrarium on a design table. The current resident has a sign on its bowl reading “Harold P. Berger”. Not sure where the name comes from. He doesn’t come out of the moss in the bottom of the bowl during the day, when there is light coming in from the skylight overhead, but after dark he will come out and feed on a piece of broccoli.

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      1. Wait, wait! He’s blaming the herring for the aquavit? Please, please tell him to not swear off herring until he has tried smoked herring. The island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea is “the” place to try smoked herring. I know you’d both love the island and the smoked herring. Great place to visit.

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        1. Oh, he likes aquavit. It just brought back a memory of some tinned herring in mustard sauce that he found on the Rez. They were awful.

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  14. I won’t eat Jimmy John’s sandwiches after seeing some pictures on Facebook of the owner of the sandwich chain. Apparently he’s into hunting exotic animals. There was a picture online of him lying on top of a dead dolphin, naked, and leering at the camera. That was more than enough to kill any appetite I might have ever had for Jimmy John’s sandwiches.

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