Sustainable Seafood: This Time It’s Personal

When Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Falstaffian restaurant critic for LA Weekly, recently published a diary of dining out in Seoul, he called his first taste of whale meat “delicious, leaner than beef, with a rich, mineral taste and a haunting, almost waxy aftertaste that I can’t quite place.” Then he added, fatefully: “I am already anticipating the nasty glare I will inevitably get from my marine-scientist brother, Mark, who as the leader of Heal the Bay has dedicated his life to pretty much the opposite of this.”

But in the age of the interwebs, all sibling feuds can be public. Over on his own blog, Mark Gold promptly acknowledged their blood ties and then accused his brother of spending “his adult life chowing down on the marine critters I’ve spent over 20 years trying to protect.” He asks plaintively, “If only Jonathan focused on sustainable seafood for a year, imagine the positive impact he’d have on local restaurants and the dietary choices of the food obsessed.”

Problem is, you really shouldn’t pick a blog fight with someone who can write like Jonathan Gold, a man who once described a Hunan fish dish as “a mammoth, silvery head, jaws agape, eyes frosted in death, a half-inch of chopped chiles troweled over the skull like a layer of Christmas-y scarlet-and-green asphalt.” He took to the comment section of Mark Gold’s blog; here’s the first line alone: “The purity of my diet cannot be said to approach your daily menu of beef, diet root beer and pre-shredded cheese, although it does have its consolations.” Ah, family.

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