Whether it's wild or farmed, fresh or tinned, in batter or a bento box, we're eating more fish than ever before. But what's the story behind the fish on your plate? Award-winning writer and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a culinary journey through the oceans, telling the stories of the fish we eat the most: salmon, cod, bass and tuna. He visits Norwegian mega farms that use genetic techniques once pioneered on sheep to grow 500,000 tons of salmon a year. He travels to Alaska to see the only Fair Trade certified fishing company in the world. He investigates the pollutants that cause mercury build-up in seafood; discovers how Mediterranean sea bass went global; meets a Polish emigre on the Shetland Islands who may have saved the cod; and, gets sea-sick chasing blue fin tuna off Hawaii.
Throughout, Greenberg poses the questions many of us ask when confronted with a seafood menu or a supermarket shelf: Which fish can I eat without worrying? What does overfishing mean? What's the difference between wild, farmed and organic? Should humans domesticate fish as we have animals – or stop eating from the sea altogether? Fish, Greenberg shows, are the last truly wild food we eat – for now. By understanding fully how it gets to our dinner table, we can start to enjoy fish in a way that's healthy for us – and good for the world that exists off our coasts.
Paul Greenberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food. Four Fish has been published throughout Europe and Asia and was picked by The New York Times, The New Yorker and Bon Appetit as a notable book of 2010. Greenberg has just completed his next work, American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood (Penguin Press, June, 2014) a book that explores why the United States, the country that controls more ocean than any nation on earth imports 90 percent of its seafood from abroad.
Mr. Greenberg writes regularly for the New York Times Magazine, Book Review and Opinion Page and also contributes to National Geographic, Vogue, GQ, The Times of London, Süddeutschen Zeitung, and many other publications. He has lectured widely at institutions around the country including Harvard, Yale, Google, The United States Supreme Court and The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Over the last ten years he has been a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow, New York's South Street Seaport Museum's Writer-in-Residence and a fellow with the Blue Ocean Institute. He is the recipient of a James Beard Award for Writing and Literature, and a Grantham Prize Award of Special Merit.
In 2014 he began a three year Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation during which he will write The Omega Principle: Seafood and the Quest for a Long Life and a Healthier Planet.
"Finally we have learned that food is best when produced on a small scale in accordance with the rhythms of our planet [...] Warm and witty, Four Fish takes this concept to the ocean. Seafood deserves the same kind of respect and political awareness as food from the land. Maybe more"
– Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
"We are lucky to have the exceptional journalist and writer, Paul Greenberg turn his attention to one of the greatest threats to our food supply, the depletion of the world's fisheries [...] Greenberg will change the way you think about the fish you eat."
– Amanda Hesser, food columnist, The New York Times
"If you've ever ordered salmon, if you've ever slurped a bowl of chowder, if you've ever sat down for sushi, Paul Greenberg's friendly and thoughtful book will lure you in, surprise you, probably shock you, and certainly make you think [...] Read this book."
– Trevor Corson, bestselling author of The Secret Life of Lobsters and The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
"Four Fish is not only the best analysis I've seen of the current state of both wild and farmed fish – it's a terrific read."
– Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything and Food Matters
"Important and stimulating [...] a necessary book for anyone truly interested in what we take from the sea to eat, and how, and why."
– New York Times Book Review
"Greenberg writes with tremendous knowledge and passion to tell the engrossing story of the impact of history, geography and politics on our seafood, and offers a clear-eyed manifesto for the future of fish"
"Paul Greenberg observes [...] we are at a significant moment"
"Accessible and enlightening [...] It's not Greenberg's way to preach; he's happier letting the facts speak for themselves"
"Required reading for anyone who eats seafood [...] Greenberg is an unfailingly entertaining writer, and his book arms you with the information you need to make intelligent choices when you are confronted by the [...] offerings at the fish counter"
"Lucid, readable [...] a story well told"
– Charles Clover, Sunday Times