Mindfulness and Sushi

As our visit to Reno stretches on, I realize that I wouldn’t be doing Reno justice if I didn’t talk about sushi. You wouldn’t believe how much fish people in the desert actually eat! If you google the words “sushi” and “Reno” you’ll probably end up with dozens of places where you can stuff yourself with as much sushi as you want for around $20. Yes, Reno is THE town for all-you-can-eat-sushi, and it’s really one of the main things that calls us back to Reno time and again, aside from family and friends of course.

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Our absolute favorite sushi joint is called Ijji, and now it’s expanded into three places. Everyone has their local favorite, but Ijji often tops many lists. The staff have worked there for years and thus get to know the customers well, and even the owners will wait on customers. Truly, the restaurants all have great ambiances!

While we always make it a point to go out to sushi when we visit Reno, I often have to reflect on sustainability in the fishing industry. At one point in time I would go to sushi multiple times a week. At that time my bank account drained and my belt buckle tightened. Eek!  Also, I ate more than my fair share of fish! Now I consider the repercussions of my actions and eat sushi only as a luxury once in a while which is easy to do since we no longer live in Reno.

According to the 2010 report stated by the World Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), more than half of the word’s fish populations are in trouble. Yet, a 2011 report conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s  (NOAA) says that the we are actually seeing a rise in the fish populations. Hence, it seems we are still in trouble but are finding ways to make a difference in how we fish.

Various African countries, including Senegal, Ghana, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mauritania, joined forces and started the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program in 2009. Their main goal is to set limits on fishing, and this goal also indirectly aids in strengthening the economy through sustainable commerce and community fishing programs. The program has already reported success and has stated that the various areas are seeing fish populations rise. When an area knows that it’s food supply is treated ethically and sustainably, it makes the fish taste that much better.

Other such success stories are abundant and imminent throughout the world as we begin to evaluate the way we live on the earth. I really love a particular Ted talk about a revolutionary fishing method in Spain. In fact, I hope to make it to Spain someday just to see this fishery. It’s a tribute to understanding how species work together to maintain a healthy balance in the ecosystem, and it’s a reminder of the roles that we, as humans, also play in this balance.

Truly, hopes are high about all the great ways that individuals are coming together to change the way they and their communities approach fishing. If I want to keep eating sushi in Reno for many, many years to come, I’ll have to be sure to play my own part in being sustainable. Such ways include being mindful of what type of fish I eat. This is a list of fish that are best to eat which helps me be mindful. Also, sushi restaurants are popping up now that only source fish from sustainable organizations. Unfortunately Reno is slow to jump on this band wagon, but it’s certainly the wave of the future, and I look forward to it!

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