is one of the most recognized symbols in American advertising.
The beret wearing hipster adorned with dark shades was
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.