Fish Tales: Traditions and Challenges of Seafood in Oregon

Nature Matters kicks off season Oct. 11

Oregonians love local food, but finding truly local fish can be hard, even on the coast. We’re now much more aware of ethically grown meat and vegetables, but seafood remains somewhat mysterious. How does that crab get from the ocean to our table, and what’s the true cost of cheap salmon at the grocery store? This conversation with food writer Jennifer Burns Bright engages with our complex relationship with American seafood. From cultural traditions to economic and ethical challenges, from the docks to the markets, we’ll explore ways to apply our food values to the products of the sea. The presentation is part of the Conversation Project, an Oregon Humanities program.

The 7 p.m. presentation Oct. 11 takes place at the Fort George. The event is free, open to the public, and will take place in the Fort George’s Lovell Building showroom. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for those wanting to purchase dinner or beverages at the George before the event.

Burns Bright is a food educator and travel writer based in Port Orford. She moved to the coast after many years teaching literature at the University of Oregon, where she researched modernism and desire, led a faculty research group in the emerging discipline of food studies, and won a national pedagogy award for a team-taught, interdisciplinary class on bread. She holds a PhD from the University of California at Irvine and a Master Food Preserver certification from OSU Extension. When she’s not out gathering seaweed or fermenting fruit, she might be found interviewing young farmers, old pirates, and mad scientists.

Nature Matters, a lively conversation about the intersection of nature and culture, takes place on the second Thursday of each month from October through May. Nature Matters is hosted by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in partnership with the North Coast Watershed Association, the Lewis & Clark National Park Association, and the Fort George.

For more information, call the park at (503) 861-2471 or check out or Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on Facebook.

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