“130-Year-Old Menus Show How Climate Change Is Already Affecting What We Eat”

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The Story

“130-Year-Old Menus Show How Climate Change Is Already Affecting What We Eat”
by Ian Rose
Hakai, June 27, 2022

The Pitch

Dear Editors,

I hope you and your staff are doing well there. I would like to pitch a story for the News and Views section of Hakai, with the working title “Warming Seas are Already Changing Seafood Menus”.

Seafood is one of the most personal ways that many people experience the sea, and we’ve known for a while that climate change was going to have a significant impact on the composition, quality, and availability of our seafood menus. A recent paper in the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes has analyzed hundreds of restaurant menus from as far back as 1880 to the present, and created a new way to measure that effect. They call it the Mean Temperature of Restaurant Seafood (MTRS) index, and I think it’s a fascinating way of both quantifying and communicating the relationship between changing seas and our dinner plates.

I’d like to interview one of the co-authors of the study, William W.L. Cheung at the University of British Columbia, as well as Harvard researcher Elsie Sunderland, who has published on climate change and fisheries. I also want to contact researchers at the Oregon State University seafood lab for another outside comment.

In addition to my previous work in Hakai, I have recently published in Earth Island Journal, and have a piece upcoming in The Scientist. I would love to work with you again, and I hope this pitch finds some interest there. Have a great day.


Ian Rose

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