Bun Lai is the founder and head chef of the revolutionary Miya’s Sushi which serves rolls such as Japafrican Queen and Pumpkin Pie Roll. Miya’s Sushi has bee…
The killing of animals for food is something that I dislike doing every time I do it because it hurts me to inflict suffering and I know that every life form has an inherent and individual preciousness. But life depends on the death of living things, as it always has. But we must be more mindful of how and what we kill.
We humans, feel badly when we hurt or kill creatures that are like us. Animals that have faces. Animals that emote, play and cry like we do. But plants are complex beings too. We now know that they communicate with each other and insects. When harmed or even threatened with harm, plants release chemicals which can easily be interpreted as expressions of pain.
20% of plants in the world are threatened with extinction so we should, also, think hard on how we are involved in the killing of them too.
In the final analysis, plant and animals are all part of a greater community of living organisms who have equal rights to the world that we all share. And, each living thing, depends on each other in ways we cannot even begin to understand.
Photo: My brother Ted and I spear diving in Spain, as teenagers.
My 15 seconds on the great Leonard Lopate Show: http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-and-why-eat-invasive-species/ on the benefits of eating bugs and such.
This morning, we awoke at 4am to dive, fish, and forage. When I am away from the rattle of city, I can hear the sun, the sea, and the wind sing to me “everyday is a gift and a blessing, to be cherished and shared, generously.”
A dozen hours of fishing, followed by hours of scaling, gutting, then filleting, happen before a single slice of fish is served. Some days, not one fish is caught. But that’s okay, because fishing isn’t just about catching ourselves food. We, also, fish to make a connection to the ocean that feeds us and to remind ourselves that all food once was a living thing that died so that we could live.
Each little smelt is picked out of the net by hand. Smelt are on the bottom of the food chain, as far as fish are concerned. As plankton eaters, they are high in heart healthy Omega 3s and low in contaminants that are an issue with larger predatory fish.
Here’s a sneak peak of the invasive species dish that I made for the article that I wrote for Scientific American Magazine. My work will be featured in the September issue. I’m so happy to be in the magazine because my dad is scientist and I grew up reading Scientific American.
This dish is designed to look like the craggy sea shores where I go hunting and foraging for local invasive species; it’s, also, designed to look like a mammalian heart, with ventricles up on top. The ventricles are made from invasive wakame and invasive common periwinkles, and our proprietary recipe of whole grain sushi rice. The crabs are invasive European green and invasive Asian shore crabs that have been seasoned and oven crisped until their little shells are brittle enough to eat.
Many cultures have believed that the soul resides in the heart; and many still believe, it is the very essence of life. One thing that we are certain of is that the heart is an organ that is vital to physical life. This dish is intended to be a metaphor for life itself. It is both lovely and grotesque, and upon further inspection, it is composed of a series of very complicated relationships. The relationships that invasive species have with the habitats that they occupy are quite complicated too.
Here I am hunting for cicadas with rock star photographer, Andrew Sullivan, who shot this thirty second video showing everyone how to catch these tasty little critters. Cheers friends!
Check out Professor Joe Roman’s talk on invasive species and it’s significant effect on biodiversity. Along with Climate Change, the challenge of invasive species is a top five ecological problem that we face today.
Im Osten des Landes stöhnen US-Bürger über eine Zikadenplage, Biologen dagegen sind fasziniert – und Gourmetköche angetan.
My mother walked into Great Wall Chinese restaurant the other day and the owner showed her a story about Miya’s in a major Chinese newspaper. I’m curious to know which paper it was in but I all my googling didn’t help. Here’s an article in German. It’s wonderful how ideas are shared around the world so quickly these days.
The host of the Japanese hit show that was filming today said that the cicada was one of the tastiest things he has ever put in his mouth. “It has the hints of peanuts!” he marveled. My friend Chris came by, too, because his mother used to cook cicadas in Liberia. Our recipe that incorporated Eastern African spices reminded him of home, which was the ultimate compliment to me. The first humans ate insects and all humans are from Africa where insects are still appreciated and depended on as a food source. We need to find inspiration in ancient ways of eating to relearn to eat healthy again.