Thursday, February 07, 2008

Commodity Knowledge In Your Food Section

The "Food & Flavor" section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is usually the last place you expect to find coverage of global supply coverage, but today, Gretchen McKay brings together environmental sustainability, farm raised fish and the high protein diet in the closing paragraphs of her early-lent homage to fish:

"...because fish is an excellent source of protein, and also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that benefit heart health, groups such as the American Heart Association still recommend eating up to 8 ounces at least once a week.

The government and other groups track fish with highest levels of mercury, a list that includes swordfish, tilefish, shark, orange roughy and king mackerel. (For a complete list, visit

"As with anything, you just need to do it with moderation," says Ms. Liu. "The benefits still outweigh the dangers."

Then again, with fish prices going the way of gasoline, it's probably not too hard to cut back to acceptable levels.

A boom in ethanol production has caused many farmers to plant fewer soybeans -- a key feed for many species of fish -- in favor of more corn. That, in turn, has sharply increased the cost of raising fish. Fuel costs for fishermen and product that is flown or trucked in has also increased. Cod, by way of example, has nearly doubled in price since the late '80s."

There you have it. Higher demand for ethanol, higher demand for corn, higher production of corn, lower production of soybeans, higher soybean prices, higher fish food prices, more expensive fish.

Post Gazette: "Caught in a rut? Lent doesn't have to be the same old cod and tuna"

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