I love prawns (or shrimp as they’re known in the US), but I don’t really eat them or cook with them.  This is mostly because I’ve been aware of how destructive they are to the tropical mangroves where “farms” are set up to raise them.  Mangroves are important ecologically to coasts and to oceans as nurseries for so much sea life and protection of inland eco-systems.

Recently the Guardian in particular has completed an important investigation of conditions of slavery in the Thai prawn industry and uncovered gruelling facts.

As a newspaper, they’ve been campaigning really strongly recently on the ethical issues facing shoppers and consumers who want to eat with their conscience.  The conclusion is pretty much one of moral horror as well as reliance on Marine Stewardship Council certification, which for better or for worse may be the best we’ve got at the moment.

Their campaigning journalist Felicity Lawrence has written a strong piece in the Guardian on why it’s important to see this slavery as more than a market issue for consumers to address with their spending. We need to demand political action.

Then, two days ago, Nigel Slater’s Guardian column featured a recipe for prawns, which I won’t link to.  The appearance of such a recipe would seem odd, especially as it has no mention at all of the brouhaha or quandaries or directives surrounding prawns.  Not even the easy words “MSC certified” in front of the ingredient…

Today I find myself really irritated with the Guardian, for its editorial hypocrisy. On the one hand they report and take seriously issues of ecological and social justice that inform my eating– really important to Kitchencounterculture.  For this they get my readership and loyalty. On the other hand, in their lifestyle columns, they act as if the content of their other reportage didn’t exist.

About a year and a half ago Monbiot wrote about such hyprocrisy in the Guardian and Observer regarding fish.  Could the Food Editors please read the rest of the paper?  Please??????

(And while I’m at it, could the Travel Editors read what Environment reporters have to say about aviation emissions and climate change?)

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