❰PDF❯ ✪ Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World Author Mark Kurlansky – Dolove.info
Continuing on my histories of odd things and non fiction binge , I returned to another Mark Kurlansky piece that may leave some readers swimming in the other direction Kurlansky presents the cod and its importance in world history, which was surely as entertaining and educational as it was unique Many may think cod as nothing than a fish that finds its way onto the plate, best served with potatoes and green peas or whatever vegetable one has on hand , but there is a great deal to this creature of the water Politics and industry play such key and intertwined roles in its discovery and ongoing exploration exploitation that the reader will surely come away with a thorough understanding of the complexity of the fish Kurlansky offers up a few interesting insights to pique the reader s interest, if nothing Rest assured, a non fish eater though I am, I was astounded with all that came from this piece, and the impact cod has had on the world for over two thousand years.Cod have not only been fished extensively and exclusively for thousands of years, but they are some of the most sought after fish for their versatile nature Well before refrigeration became an option, fishermen discovered the ability to salt them, which not only added a flavour, but also a distinct ruggedness Allowing the fish to last that much longer, it could be transported, sold, and stored for longer periods, thereby making it highly profitable on the world market Throughout his piece, Kurlansky shows just how desired salted cod became, in all corners of the world But it is not only the salted fillets that prove to be a delicious treat, but most every part of the fish From their livers tasting and whose oil is highly medicinal to their heads a delicious chowder, without eyes and even their skin perfect for making bags and satchels , cod is one of the most versatile fish on the market Kurlansky discusses at one point that there is even a use for the bones, particularly amongst the ever thinking Icelandic population Cod as food is likely the easiest way the reader will consider this fish, but there is so much to the discussion.Cod was not only a form of food on which to sup, for some it was a way of life Kurlansky explores the life of a fisherman and how entire communities would rely on the bountiful cod catches that came from off the coast Kurlansky returns throughout the piece to discuss the importance of cod fishing to Newfoundland Canada , New England America , and much of the country of Iceland Entire livelihoods were based on enough cod coming off the boats to be sold on the open market There are many parts of the world where cod is not plentiful, but it is sought after as a staple in the diet Kurlansky explores how overfishing by other countries has helped to deplete the stock of cod, thereby adversely affecting the lives of huge portions of the populace This has, at least in the Canadian example, forced multi generational fishing families to turn to financial assistance for subsistence, their pride decimated Politics abound when it comes to fishing and those who pull cod from the water are affected like no other Kurlansky does provide a captivating and chilling narrative about the politics of cod fishing One would be remiss to simply accept that cod are a food, for anything that can be sold will surely have a price tag and a profit Kurlansky explores how centuries ago, explorers would find their way in the open waters to take advantage of this new discovery, hoping to sell it and provide a large profit margin The Basques were able to capitalise on this for centuries, particularly because the were situated in a plentiful area The British Commonwealth ran likely a well oiled machine, forcing colonial fishermen to send back their catches to be sold to others, without the full profits making back to the original source In time, other countries were able to build large boats to join the game , entering the fray and taking what they could handle However, cod are not as fertile as one might think, nor able to replenish as quickly as they are captured This led to a shortage of fish and a moratorium on fishing An international agreement to extend sovereign waters led to many a clash between countries, only added proverbial blood to the water and turned ugly when the cod population shrunk Countries went to fish war over cod and sanctions ensued, particularly a battle between Iceland and the UK in the 1970s No one was safe and entire communities, as discussed above, suffered the most This is likely some of the most disturbing parts of the narrative, as it pulls in the seal hunt and the economic livelihood of thousands of families and is only another example of how large corporations destroyed the little man for their own greed.I am the first to admit that I do not like fish, though I was drawn to this piece and could not find a way to step back Kurlansky has such a way with his storytelling that the reader finds themselves in the middle of the story before realising how much time has passed Full of anecdotes and personal asides, Kurlansky personalises the topic than many historians can do for actual human subjects Who would have thought that cod could be such a complex food, while also being such a binding agent for small communities Kurlansky does offer a great deal of information that the reader must digest, but it is all poignant and ties together throughout the narrative I found myself relating events in early chapters on cod fishing to later discussions of wars between the governments of the UK and Iceland, fitting the two topics together seamlessly With the added bonus of numerous recipes pulled from over many centuries, Kurlansky ties the discussion together and permits the reader to explore the culinary side of the topic, a less confrontational aspect of cod fishing While there is no doubt that cod will long be a divisive topic when it comes to mass fishing quotas between countries, it is also the lifeblood for many people, which is easily forgotten, especially by a man on the landlocked Canadian Prairies Kurlansky breathes life into the discussion and keeps the reader thinking, which can lead to talking and eventually acting on what they have come to learn.Kudos, Mr Kurlansky, for another stunning food related biography I am completely hooked and have a few of your books to explore in the not too distant future While I may not be rushing out to have cod head chowder, you did get me thinking about an industry about which I know so little.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge I got stuck with this book for AP European History book report 2 I got to chose last in the class from the book list, and so Cod I actually kinda liked it at the time It was short, humorous at times, but went a little above and beyond with the fish so that the world turned and society advanced all thanks to Cod Kinda made Cod look like God I actually suggested this book to the school librarian who was a family friend, for her to read on the way to her vacation She came back and told me that it was the worst book she has ever read It was soooo boring ugh I can t believe them made you read this She retired the next year probably not because of the cod or. Are you prepared for the excitement of reading a review about a book about fish Well, strap yourselves in for a wild ride, folks Why write a book about cod Why read it Simple Without you probably knowing it, cod has been one of the most important parts of our diets over the last thousand years Without it, long distance sea exploration in medieval times the era, not the ren fair would ve been just about impossible.And now, ladies and gentlemen.THE MAJESTIC COD No Okay, it looks like thisNot very majestic, but oh so important.Cod is a particularly unique fish It eats just about anything and spawns like crazy It s the frickin rabbit of the sea A single cod well, a single cod who has coupled heeheeSEXcan produce millions of eggs Once full grown, the cod has virtually no predators And yet we still managed to nearly fish it into extinction Though he does spend some time on the history, a very interesting history indeed, much of Kurlansky s book is about how man recently almost wiped the cod off the face of the earthor to be specific, netted it off the bottom of the ocean Cod spends many of its pages devoted to the current crisis, looking at it from the variant points of view fishermen, the governments controlling the waters and the catch, and the public s ravenous demand for this tasty dish Perhaps Cod won t appeal to everyone, but it is written with a sense of humor, gives tons of interesting facts good pub quiz fodder , includes recipes interspersed through out and, most importantly, it s short My interest is probably stronger than most in that I was born and raised in Massachusetts, where Cape Cod has been vital to our way of life Fish n chip shacks were in every little village, even out in the sticks where I lived 45 minutes away from the coast is considered the sticks in Massachusetts, and it feels like it, trust me With the important fishing tradition of Gloucester and Maine, etc., so strongly engrained, most New Englanders grow up thinking of cod as a synonym for fish Cod is one of those books that most readers will pass up, but the few who do pick it up will be surprised at the high entertainment value and wealth of easily digestible knowledge to be obtained Okay, so you didn t really need to strap yourselves in this timeBut you never know what s to come and hey, safety first kids, safety first Cod The Fish that Made New England Rating 3.75 of fiveVictorian scientists said that cod was the fish in the miracle of the loaves and fishes because there were so darn many of them.Yeah, late to the party yet again13 years late I read this book, I would swear, when it came out I recognized a few of the anecdotes, and I remember the jacket design very clearly But a lot had slipped from my memory, and I now wonder if I actually read it, or had enough conversations about it to think I had.Well, whatever, if it was a re read it was a fun one I like Kurlansky s informative yet chatty style, and I love the angle of view in the bookwhat s cod done for us as a species So what What s cod made possible in the world The rise of an independent America The agrarian horrors of African chattel slavery The Industrial Revolution Little stuff like that was built on the white fleshed back of a formerly abundant fish.I like cod Salted, dried, fresh frozen, the tongues, the cheeksit s all good, as my daughter s generation says with monotonous regularity and questionable factual basis I never once thought about Cod, the deliverer from hunger, until the Cod Wars of the early 1970s I remember the world reaction to Iceland going to a 200 mile fishing limit with a teenager s detached bemusement So Little teeny place like that, let em have it, big whoop For rhetorical effect, let s assume I was sitting in front of the TV eating Gorton s fish sticks at the time I said this, though I spent little time with the TV and less eating fish sticks as a kid.It caused such trouble because of cod s enormous significance even now as an agribusiness output Iceland s post colonial economy was built on cod Canada s Maritime provinces relied on it in those days and on unemployment payments from the rest of Canada now that cod s commercially extinct Norway and the UK want all there is to have so their fisheries industries don t wither away and leave them hungry as well as sailor less.Kurlansky wrote a very enjoyable read about a very important food source and industrial product I recommend it to anyone even marginally interested in the world around them, to science browsers, and to policy wonks of a scientific bent You won t regret it. There is no way you could ever get me to eat cod, despite my partial Norwegian background where they eat a variety of disgusting fish dishes, the most famous being lutefisk, a kind of rotten, spoiled gelatinous mess But I loved this book Kurlansky is another John McPhee, supplying all sorts of interesting details Turns out cod has been extremely important to civilization and almost as essential as bread It was easy to fish and preserve and probably made discovery of North America by the Vikings possible Fascinating. The Cod Wars Have Been Fought Over It, Revolutions Have Been Triggered By It, National Diets Have Been Based On It, Economies And Livelihoods Have Depended On It To The Millions It Has Sustained, It Has Been A Treasure Precious That Gold This Book Spans , Years And Four Continents From The Vikings To Clarence Birdseye, Mark Kurlansky Introduces The Explorers, Merchants, Writers, Chefs And Fisherman, Whose Lives Have Been Interwoven With This Prolific Fish He Chronicles The Cod Wars Of The Th And Th Centuries He Blends In Recipes And Lore From The Middle Ages To The Present In A Story That Brings World History And Human Passions Into Captivating Focus, He Shows How The Most Profitable Fish In History Is Today Faced With Extinction While one would think a book entirely devoted to codfish would enervate, if not actually annoy, in fact this work is a fascinating examination of the human tendency to greed as played out on a global scale This is easily equal in quality and complexity, to my mind, with a novel by Dostoevsky, for instance It follows the trail of guilt and rapacity from early times to today s sad, inadequate harvest and is witty in to the bargain A great read. Okay, so I shed a tear at the end I couldn t help it The cod s tale is quite tragic I love history and anthropology therefore, I love this book Cod by Mark Kurlansky is interesting and fact filled, and I find that presenting recipes and fun information related to the cod throughout and at the end is a nice touch and a welcome respite from the narrative.I am appalled but not surprised at the lengths to which humans will go to discover, hunt, exploit, manipulate, and wipe out a food source, in this case, the cod We have proven over and over that we can be exterminators, and we have yet to practice moderation when it comes to commodities and satiating our desires Additionally, we are tenacious in the face of change and adaptive when change is inevitable.Cod gives us a glimpse into the fish that continues to impact our lives in North America, Europe, Britain, Iceland, and many other lands This fish really gets around.This book shows us the path the cod has taken throughout history, with the help of human hands, ingenuity, greed, and death from salting curing drying for consumption during long voyages to doling out a cheap, nutritious meal to slaves to freezing breaded fish fillets and fish sticks The cod has been through it all, and we have had the audacity to try and gobble every last one.With my close ties to Britain, I have enjoyed the traditional fish and chips many times without ever questioning the type of fish often cod or haddock or its harrowing journey to my newspaper cone As a consumer, perhaps I need to become mindful.This biography is well written and, based on the bibliography, well researched But technology never reverses itself It creates new technology to confront new sets of problems Nature remains focused on survival It looks like Costco purchases wild Alaskan cod and wild Icelandic cod. A fascinating review of the history of the Atlantic cod fisheries While I knew of the stories of the Grand banks and Georges banks from my University days I doubt there is a Marine Biologist in the world who has not studied this classic case of overfishing , I had never thought about the wider social implications of the collapse of this fishery and I certainly had never wondered too much about the sociological role of the animal It turns out that Gadus morhua, the Atlantic cod was a major player in a whole heap of human history The Vikings cold dried it and used it to cross the ocean, the Spanish discovered the New world but kept it secret because they did not want to have to share the fishing grounds, in the 1500 s cod was already changing trade routes and ports were gaining prominence based on its affect All quite fascinating.The book starts with a modern day or at least, 1990 s peek at the state of the fisheries in Newfoundland and then continues on from there It is well written, easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable While it tells a very polarised aspect of history it is a side that would not often be thought of how many people have thought about Cod when they were examining the American Slave history Interspersed through the text are recipes and historical titbits As I do not eat fish it is very unlikely I will ever try them but reading them is an added view of the historical time in which they were written and for most of the book I quite enjoyed them At the end however one encounter about forty pages worth of recipes and I might take those slowly.Aside from the overdose of Cod recipes at the end I would thoroughly endorse this book, I was delighted to read such an expanded story to the basic overexploitation story of the Grand banks.