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@Read Pdf â Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World ⚶ The Cod Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been triggered by it, national diets have been based on it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it To the millions it has sustained, it has been a treasure precious that gold This book spans , years and four continents From the Vikings to Clarence Birdseye, Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs and fisherman, whose lives have been interwoven with this prolific fish He chronicles the cod wars of the th and th centuries He blends in recipes and lore from the Middle Ages to the present In a story that brings world history and human passions into captivating focus, he shows how the most profitable fish in history is today faced with extinction I enjoyed this lively little book about the history of cod What could seem like an obscure topic for a history book turned out to be an entertaining and very informative narrrative about a species of fish that has sparked war, shaped international political discourse, impacted diverse cultures, markets, and the environment The author did a good job of weaving in odd little facts within the larger discussion Seems a bit ironic that he would lamment the near extinction of the fish while simulta I enjoyed this lively little book about the history of cod What could seem like an obscure topic for a history book turned out to be an entertaining and very informative narrrative about a species of fish that has sparked war, shaped international political discourse, impacted diverse cultures, markets, and the environment The author did a good job of weaving in odd little facts within the larger discussion Seems a bit ironic that he would lamment the near extinction of the fish while simultaneously offering up cod recipes The book really focuses on the North Atlantic cod, and he gives only brief mention to Pacific cod toward the end of the book The relative history focuses on the Nordic waters so it makes sense, but I expected a littleabout the Pacific fishing dynamic In contrast with Salt A World History by the same author, which I read last year, the flow in Cod was muchorganized and overall I found it to be a better book Both books the author has a tendancy to follow a tangent in the middle of a story, but he gets back to his point, you have to wander with him from time to time to get there Overall well written and enjoyable Pictures and drawings are few but very helpful A bit fishy I couldn t resist Figure 1 The majestic seafaring cod.Figure 2 The majestic cod as us landlubbers know it Cod one of the most common fish in the sea provided food for millions What started as simple fishing boats has ballooned into enormous trawlers that were capable of draining the see of a once limitless population Invention and innovation led to decimation of the natural cod population Figure 3 A fishing trawler capable of obtaining thousands of fish in a singl A bit fishy I couldn t resist Figure 1 The majestic seafaring cod.Figure 2 The majestic cod as us landlubbers know it Cod one of the most common fish in the sea provided food for millions What started as simple fishing boats has ballooned into enormous trawlers that were capable of draining the see of a once limitless population Invention and innovation led to decimation of the natural cod population Figure 3 A fishing trawler capable of obtaining thousands of fish in a single swoop Overall, a very interesting book if not a riveting one I enjoyed following the history of cod who knew such a common fish held such a deep and dark history We traveled from cod s humble origins to the multi million dollar startups that so successfully destroyed their population.Ironically, nearly every chapter there was a recipe for cod They all sounded deliciousIf cod and haddock and other species cannot survive because man kills them, somethingadaptable will take their place Nature, the ultimate pragmatist, doggedly searches for something that works But as the cockroach demonstrates, what works best in nature does not always appeal to us The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge A microhistoryYouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads Happy Reading Continuing on my histories of odd things and non fiction binge , I returned to another Mark Kurlansky piece that may leave some readers swimming in the other direction Kurlansky presents the cod and its importance in world history, which was surely as entertaining and educational as it was unique Many may think cod as nothingthan a fish that finds its way onto the plate, best served with potatoes and green peas or whatever vegetable one has on hand , but there is a great dealto t Continuing on my histories of odd things and non fiction binge , I returned to another Mark Kurlansky piece that may leave some readers swimming in the other direction Kurlansky presents the cod and its importance in world history, which was surely as entertaining and educational as it was unique Many may think cod as nothingthan a fish that finds its way onto the plate, best served with potatoes and green peas or whatever vegetable one has on hand , but there is a great dealto this creature of the water Politics and industry play such key and intertwined roles in its discovery and ongoing exploration exploitation that the reader will surely come away with athorough understanding of the complexity of the fish Kurlansky offers up a few interesting insights to pique the reader s interest, if nothingRest assured, a non fish eater though I am, I was astounded with all that came from this piece, and the impact cod has had on the world for over two thousand years.Cod have not only been fished extensively and exclusively for thousands of years, but they are some of the most sought after fish for their versatile nature Well before refrigeration became an option, fishermen discovered the ability to salt them, which not only added a flavour, but also a distinct ruggedness Allowing the fish to last that much longer, it could be transported, sold, and stored for longer periods, thereby making it highly profitable on the world market Throughout his piece, Kurlansky shows just how desired salted cod became, in all corners of the world But it is not only the salted fillets that prove to be a delicious treat, but most every part of the fish From their livers tasting and whose oil is highly medicinal to their heads a delicious chowder, without eyes and even their skin perfect for making bags and satchels , cod is one of the most versatile fish on the market Kurlansky discusses at one point that there is even a use for the bones, particularly amongst the ever thinking Icelandic population Cod as food is likely the easiest way the reader will consider this fish, but there is so muchto the discussion.Cod was not only a form of food on which to sup, for some it was a way of life Kurlansky explores the life of a fisherman and how entire communities would rely on the bountiful cod catches that came from off the coast Kurlansky returns throughout the piece to discuss the importance of cod fishing to Newfoundland Canada , New England America , and much of the country of Iceland Entire livelihoods were based on enough cod coming off the boats to be sold on the open market There are many parts of the world where cod is not plentiful, but it is sought after as a staple in the diet Kurlansky explores how overfishing by other countries has helped to deplete the stock of cod, thereby adversely affecting the lives of huge portions of the populace This has, at least in the Canadian example, forced multi generational fishing families to turn to financial assistance for subsistence, their pride decimated Politics abound when it comes to fishing and those who pull cod from the water are affected like no other Kurlansky does provide a captivating and chilling narrative about the politics of cod fishing One would be remiss to simply accept that cod are a food, for anything that can be sold will surely have a price tag and a profit Kurlansky explores how centuries ago, explorers would find their way in the open waters to take advantage of this new discovery, hoping to sell it and provide a large profit margin The Basques were able to capitalise on this for centuries, particularly because the were situated in a plentiful area The British Commonwealth ran likely a well oiled machine, forcing colonial fishermen to send back their catches to be sold to others, without the full profits making back to the original source In time, other countries were able to build large boats to join the game , entering the fray and taking what they could handle However, cod are not as fertile as one might think, nor able to replenish as quickly as they are captured This led to a shortage of fish and a moratorium on fishing An international agreement to extend sovereign waters led to many a clash between countries, only added proverbial blood to the water and turned ugly when the cod population shrunk Countries went to fish war over cod and sanctions ensued, particularly a battle between Iceland and the UK in the 1970s No one was safe and entire communities, as discussed above, suffered the most This is likely some of the most disturbing parts of the narrative, as it pulls in the seal hunt and the economic livelihood of thousands of families and is only another example of how large corporations destroyed the little man for their own greed.I am the first to admit that I do not like fish, though I was drawn to this piece and could not find a way to step back Kurlansky has such a way with his storytelling that the reader finds themselves in the middle of the story before realising how much time has passed Full of anecdotes and personal asides, Kurlansky personalises the topicthan many historians can do for actual human subjects Who would have thought that cod could be such a complex food, while also being such a binding agent for small communities Kurlansky does offer a great deal of information that the reader must digest, but it is all poignant and ties together throughout the narrative I found myself relating events in early chapters on cod fishing to later discussions of wars between the governments of the UK and Iceland, fitting the two topics together seamlessly With the added bonus of numerous recipes pulled from over many centuries, Kurlansky ties the discussion together and permits the reader to explore the culinary side of the topic, a less confrontational aspect of cod fishing While there is no doubt that cod will long be a divisive topic when it comes to mass fishing quotas between countries, it is also the lifeblood for many people, which is easily forgotten, especially by a man on the landlocked Canadian Prairies Kurlansky breathes life into the discussion and keeps the reader thinking, which can lead to talking and eventually acting on what they have come to learn.Kudos, Mr Kurlansky, for another stunning food related biography I am completely hooked and have a fewof your books to explore in the not too distant future While I may not be rushing out to have cod head chowder, you did get me thinking about an industry about which I know so little.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge Are you prepared for the excitement of reading a review about a book about fish Well, strap yourselves in for a wild ride, folks Why write a book about cod Why read it Simple Without you probably knowing it, cod has been one of the most important parts of our diets over the last thousand years Without it, long distance sea exploration in medieval times the era, not the ren fair would ve been just about impossible.And now, ladies and gentlemen.THE MAJESTIC COD No Okay, it looksli Are you prepared for the excitement of reading a review about a book about fish Well, strap yourselves in for a wild ride, folks Why write a book about cod Why read it Simple Without you probably knowing it, cod has been one of the most important parts of our diets over the last thousand years Without it, long distance sea exploration in medieval times the era, not the ren fair would ve been just about impossible.And now, ladies and gentlemen.THE MAJESTIC COD No Okay, it lookslike thisNot very majestic, but oh so important.Cod is a particularly unique fish It eats just about anything and spawns like crazy It s the frickin rabbit of the sea A single cod well, a single cod who has coupled heeheeSEXcan produce millions of eggs Once full grown, the cod has virtually no predators And yet we still managed to nearly fish it into extinction Though he does spend some time on the history, a very interesting history indeed, much of Kurlansky s book is about how man recently almost wiped the cod off the face of the earthor to be specific, netted it off the bottom of the ocean Cod spends many of its pages devoted to the current crisis, looking at it from the variant points of view fishermen, the governments controlling the waters and the catch, and the public s ravenous demand for this tasty dish Perhaps Cod won t appeal to everyone, but it is written with a sense of humor, gives tons of interesting facts good pub quiz fodder , includes recipes interspersed through out and, most importantly, it s short My interest is probably stronger than most in that I was born and raised in Massachusetts, where Cape Cod has been vital to our way of life Fish n chip shacks were in every little village, even out in the sticks where I lived 45 minutes away from the coast is considered the sticks in Massachusetts, and it feels like it, trust me With the important fishing tradition of Gloucester and Maine, etc., so strongly engrained, most New Englanders grow up thinking of cod as a synonym for fish Cod is one of those books that most readers will pass up, but the few who do pick it up will be surprised at the high entertainment value and wealth of easily digestible knowledge to be obtained Okay, so you didn t really need to strap yourselves in this timeBut you never know what s to come and hey, safety first kids, safety first