Mercury, Maguro, Leadership

I wrote this week in Suite on the mercury levels in tuna tested by the New York Times in its investigation of several high-end sushi shops. If you know your sushi, you know tuna is to many aficionados, the top choice. What quality of sushi a sushi chef can offer you is a marker of the quality of the shop.

One might read the mercury mess as a cosmic kick in the butt, karmic turnabout. After all, the bluefin tuna population has been threatened to near extinction by our unbridled lust. If we’d paid attention and laid off the toro a while, who knows? The truth, however, is that we are reaping what we’ve sown for years with our use of the environment in irresponsible ways.

Whether it’s industrial runoff polluting our waterways and subsequently our food, or agricultural wastes infiltrating our spinach, we cannot ignore the costs of our behavior to date. Dr. Wayne Dyer (hey, he was on Ellen, I was at the gym…) had a great way of summing up our short-sightedness on the issue of connectedness of all the issues of the day. He pointed up the fallacy of having a smoking section in a restaurant, likening it to having a peeing section of a swimming pool.

We can push our problems off-shore but eventually those chickens will come home to roost.

Personal responsibility and Leadership 

I am a huge proponent of personal responsibility. In this political climate, I’m also looking for the kind of leadership that can inspire us to be our better selves. This is the potential of true leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King was one such leader. The sports world gave us a great example of one man making a difference in the way he could, with the resources he had. Coach Ron Hunter used his position as a college basketball coach to raise awareness and offer direct help to those less fortunate. (See Walk a Mile in His Shoes.) To mark the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assasination, he sought to raise 40,000 pairs of shoes for Samaritan’s Feet. He was worried it would be a stretch. His efforts raised $20,000 and 100,000 pairs of shoes.

That’s a leader. Other kinds of leaders are offered up by sports. I have buried Eli before for his lack of leadership skills. I thought about leadership this week in new ways. As we watch the debates and the primaries, can we challenge our leaders to tackle the unpopular and difficult to solve problems and inspire us to each do our part? Can we open ourselves to accept new and different ways of evaluating leadership qualities?

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Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
  • - Interviewed by Sarah Turner of Suite101 about Using Blogs to Raise Social Awareness
  • - Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Austin American Statesman, BBQ Report, Computer Shopper. See clips here.

For Real on the Virtual Gourmet!

Noted food and wine author John Mariani ran my article Salmon and the Sustainability Zeitgest. Click here to read it!

Books make great gifts, for yourself or others.

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Mark Your Calendars

August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
  • Vertical farms? Colbert meets Ethicureans...heaven is for those with humor and ethics, yes? Interesting food for thought here....

On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.


  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

What's on my list?

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