The Gulf oil spill is dampening my dinner

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May 13, 2010 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

I love the environment as much as the next hippie. So when this Gulf of Mexico oil spill started, I was pissed.

But now the mess might make its way to my dinner table.

Now, it’s personal.

According to the New York Times, there will be an “inevitable decrease in the availability and increase in the cost of shrimp, oysters, blue crabs and a host of other seafood” if this spill isn’t plugged quickly.

It’s been a week since that article was published, and the folks in charge still haven’t stopped the black gold from gushing into the Gulf.

What does this mean for casual seafood diners?

Not much right now, according to the NYT article. But if things don’t get better, seafood will be harder to come by, and therefore more expensive.

In the case that the price of a good fish sandwich skyrockets, here are some tips to manage your food budget if you’re a seafood lover:

  1. Limit yourself to eating seafood once a week. Pick a day and devote it to everything fishy. Try going old school with some fish sticks or class it up a bit with some broiled salmon.
  2. When in doubt, veg (or fruit) it out. Stock up on seasonal fruits and veggies and experiment with hearty, vegetarian dishes. I visited Berkeley, Calif., once, and they had a portabella mushroom alternative to every meat product. Sure, a mushroom will never be tilapia, but it’s meaty and filling enough to satisfy your hunger.
  3. Combine seafood with other less expensive meats. Gumbo is a great dish that gives you flexibility with the meats you include. If you’re short on the seafood ingredient, add some cheaper pieces of chicken. Here’s a recipe for gumbo from All Recipes. Judging from this picture, this is something I’ll try even if seafood prices don’t increase:

Yummy, yummy, gumbo is about to be in my tummy.

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