Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green book review for the holidays - part 4: The book you should bring to sushi lovers

Today we have our fourth part on our holidays series, where we review green books that will make great presents this holiday season!

Each book will be dedicated to another group and we today we have a very big group of people - the sushi lovers. Our recommendation for them is on:

Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time

Author: Casson Trenor

From saving the whales of the Antarctic to studying the salmon of Alaska, Casson Trenor has worked to support stewardship of our marine resources in all five oceans and countless seas. Trenor has extensive experience and expertise: he has stalked the fetid warehouses of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, spent two months journeying by ship along the Antarctic coast, berthed on leaking wrecks off Central Pacific islands, and gone octopus fishing with holy men on the Island of Yap.

Born in Seattle and living in San Francisco, Trenor speaks five languages, has traveled to over forty countries, and holds an MA in International Environmental Policy from the prestigious Monterey Institute of International Studies. Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time is Trenor’s first book.

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
Sustainable Sushi answers the question on the minds of millions who enjoy eating fish: how can we indulge the desire to dine well while keeping our health and the health of the oceans in mind? With painstaking research found in no other book on the market to date, this pocket-size guide profiles dozens of the most common fish and shellfish one might encounter at a sushi bar, details where and how they are caught, whether or not they are safe, and how they figure in the current fishery crisis.

Written by a fishery and sustainability expert who was himself netted long ago by the allure of Japanese cuisine, Sustainable Sushi offers simple, clear explanations of such topics as mercury and PCB levels, overfishing, and species extinction. Attractively designed and featuring quick facts, maps, photos, and illustrations, the book was written for both the novice and the seasoned sushi fan. In a storm of seafood shortages and frightening statistics, Sustainable Sushi shows readers how to enjoy the sushi bar without guilt.

Why it's a great holiday gift for sushi lovers?

I like sushi and actually I never met someone who doesn't like it. It's really a great food, but like many other types of food that see growing demand, it has some issues involved with its supply that are threatening the next generations' ability to enjoy a nice sashimi or shiromaguro (aka white tuna).

Just last month, for example, reported that Restaurants sampled in New York and Colorado are serving up bluefin tuna without informing their customers know they are dining on an endangered species, according to a new study in PLoS ONE."

Now, this book is not coming to tell you to stop eating fish. It's exactly the opposite as the author explains - "the goal of this book is not to tear you away from your favorite sushi bar. I don't want to forbid you the joys of fresh nigiri, nor the exhilaration of that extra smidgeon of wasabi your tongue; just the opposite, in fact. If, as a society, we are aware of the consequences of ours seafood choices, we can continue to eat sushi and protect the oceans at the same time."

So you got it - it's an educational book written from a very positive point of view, but is it really an interesting gift for the holidays? the answer is YES. The author created a guide that will make every sushi lover knowledgeable about sustainable sources of fish, mercury levels, fishing practices and much much more. So not only she or he will be able to know next time they go to a sushi place which dish is sustainable and which one isn't, but they can also impress their friends with pieces of information, such as how Skipjack tuna got their name (from their habit of leaping out of the water and effectively 'skipping' across the surface).

So the potential here is huge - becoming a sustainable sushi consumer, getting friends and family to become ones as well and get to become a fish expert and someone everyone is asking for their advice (Is it OK to eat Blue crab? how about the Stone crab?) in no time. Definitely worth it!

Price: $10.85

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.

More on our holidays series:

Green book for parents - The Looking Book
Green book for eco-shoppers - ECOHOLIC
Green book for small business owners (and employees) - Greening Your Small Business

And don't forget that if you're buying a green book, you can even make your gift greener by adding our holidays special offer to it - trees/stickers and a beautiful holidays gift card made of recycled paper. For further information, please go to

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!