BP’s oil spill is destroying a whole food culture. While attention has been quite rightly focusing on the general destruction of marine eco-systems in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s peoples livelihoods and the wider food system that is going to be one of the big losers of BP’s intransigence and our societies oil dependence.
This month, the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) alliance will release a comprehensive checklist of over 240 place-based foods of the Gulf Coast that are now at risk – 138 of them directly affected by the oil spill.
As this report shows the spill is also going to hit some of the most marginalized ethnic communities in the United States, including Cajun, Houma Indian, “Creole” Black, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Latino communities in and near the Mississippi delta many of whom have livelihoods initimalet connected weth the seafood economy.
While politicians and lawyers haggle over the price of the spill – what price the heritage and culture of people who have worked with seafood for centuries? In a Fife context its worth reflecting that Grangemouth and the other Forth pullutants have been contaminating the Firth of Forth estuary and undermining our own seafood economy for decades.