Un-Silent Spring, Thanks to Marian McPartland and Cooking for Solutions in Monterey

The Monterey Coast

“Meeting at the Waveline”
This is one of those phrases I keep returning to as I sit here at the computer, busily sending out a flurry of follow up notes and emails. I’m also ruminating on the substantial amount of things learned and tasted.

Meeting at the waveline was a phrase used by one of the participants who discussed ocean conservationists and environmentalists getting together to discuss systems rather than species. When you think about it, it really makes no sense to talk about a single farm or a single system if you’re considering global issues. So the waveline is the metaphor for land and sea conservationists’ meeting point.

Leading with Song

As regular readers know, I often write late at night while listening to NPR’s Piano Jazz show hosted by the legendary Marian McPartland.

Today I discovered this clip of a performance of Marian’s tribute to the environmental leader Rachel Carson. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and in many ways the mother of the modern-day environmental movement. Her book Silent Spring and her tireless work on behalf of more responsible stewardship of the land and sea (even while she fought breast cancer) was largely responsible for the banning of DDT.

I never knew until today that she began as a marine biologist, and of course, we now know that one cannot allow irresponsible practices in one arena without having an impact on the other. It’s like designating a “peeing section” in a swimming pool and pretending that makes sense.

Here is the link: Marian McPartland.

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Too often we feel an imperfect solution is not worth undertaking because it won’t solve the whole problem. Inaction does not get us anywhere. If it’s clear that eating commercial feedlot big Ag beef is bad for the environment and bad for me, must I stop eating it altogether? If that were the answer, I’d say no. But can I reduce the amount I eat and choose a sustainably raised product instead? Yes.

If it is clear that eating locally produced food is better for my local farmers and the local economy, as well as the environment does that mean I must never eat a Washington apple or a California orange? No. Can I make more sound choices for the environment and my health? Yes.

Solutions Replace Hand-wringing

With all the bad news about what we are doing to the environment, the oceans and our bodies, it’s easy to despair.

Here are a few things to think about going forward.

1. Each dollar you spend on food is a vote. Vote wisely. Think of food spending as positive action.

2. Instead of “having your cake and eating it too” or not having any at all; think of sharing it or choosing a different flavor.

3. Find companies, farmers, producers to support. I will be happy to share recommendations with anyone.

4. Use handy tools such as the Seafood Watch pocket cards or download their guide to your mobile device so you can always choose fish that is not in danger and fish that is raised in sustainable ways.

5. Try this fun tool to help reduce your carbon footprint when meal planning or shopping: The Low Carbon Diet.

Off to New Orleans soon for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and fittingly, Marian’s encore to the concert is “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

2 Responses to “Un-Silent Spring, Thanks to Marian McPartland and Cooking for Solutions in Monterey”

  1. 1 jon adams August 7, 2008 at 11:18 am


    Did you take the photo at Point Lobos? That is where my mortal ashes will be taken someday by a best friend. It also figures big in my novel, Teaching Collette.

    -jon adams

  2. 2 jacqueline1230 August 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Hey Jon:
    I can’t recall at the moment but I believe you may be correct. What a gorgeous area. I should read your book. When I was in 7th grade French class we got to choose a French name which became our French class persona. Guess what name I chose?


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A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing itself...you 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

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Caught my eye…

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On Women and Work

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  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.

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