July 2023


Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott

Those of a certain age will remember those classic tuna fish commercials of the 60's and 70's. The taglines being, "What's the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea" and "Sorry Charlie."  While Chicken of the Sea featured a benign mermaid, the harder edged Starkist's Charlie the Tuna cartoon creation is 02charlielm-crone of the most recognized symbols in American advertising. The beret wearing hipster adorned with dark shades 01nemolm-crwas inspired by actor , songwriter/musician Henry Nemo. Hershel Bernardi , longtime television, and Broadway actor was the original voice of Charlie as well as Green Giant's -The Jolly Green Giant.  So, why do I bring up any of this at all? Well, lately I have found myself eating copious amounts of tuna. I love my beef and if you remember the tuna commercials, you will remember the" Beef, it's what's for dinner," ad campaign.  But as we age and want to live to a riper old age, we must seek out healthier options. As a teenager, jack mackerel that came in a can was a staple for my family…well me excluded. I often went hungry on those nights. It always had such an offensive smell and taste. Proust never had to smell mackerel and Will Rogers never met a man who smelled of mackerel.

But now, I will take tuna however I can get it – in a pouch, can, frying pan, sushi. And I have noticed that labels on every tuna product I buy says "wild caught."  I thought all tuna was wild caught, but there are docile tuna residing in ponds where they are "farmed."  However, this is not typical but a growing trend worldwide. And now on most labels, there is a link that will allow you to find out where your tuna product was caught. And just like Bubba from Forrest Gump enumerating various shrimp, I can do the same with tuna – albacore, bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, blackfin longtail, dogtooth…I could go on and on.

Wicked Tuna is a reality show that details the trials and travails of commercial tuna fishermen of the North Atlantic, now in its 12th season on the National Geographic Channel. I became a fan early on, but admittedly it gave me anxiety watching their exploits. Getting tuna or any other fish to your dinner table is a complicated process – rules, regulations, limits, logistics, long days away from home, and safety precautions are just some of the issues commercial fishermen must deal with. Chip Carter, host of the wonderful series Where The Food Comes From enlightens and entertains as he expands the definition of "farm."  The traditional dirt farmers are providing less and less of our food supply. And as Carter reminds us, "the ocean is the world's biggest farm." And it makes me more appreciative of those steadfast fishing crews bringing the tuna to a place where I can enjoy it. And one other thing I really miss is that wisecracking Charlie the Tuna.


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Les Marcott | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.  For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2023 Les Marcott
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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