I ate my first lobster last night, and I have a lot of questions, people.For one: Who decided these things were not only edible, but a delicacy? I mean, the bits of meat I clumsily extracted tasted pretty good. But take a good look at a lobster: If you'd never seen one before, how would you guess s...
June 03, 2010 | By Amanda Bensen
Welcome to round 2 of Inviting Writing! This month's theme is "food and fear," kicked off by Lisa with a tale of childhood angst & Egg McMuffins.Our first reader-written story comes from Deb Terrill in Kankakee, Illinois.Fear of Fish
By Deb TerrillMost people would call me an adventurous eater....
May 24, 2010 | By Amanda Bensen
As the fish vendor at the farmer's market wrapped up my purchase last week, I started to ask: "So, are you worried...?" but didn't even get a chance to add "...about the oil spill?" before she emphatically replied: "YES."Making a living from fishing is hard enough already, she explained grimly, so ...
May 13, 2010 | By Amanda Bensen
Stranded on Cape Cod beaches, these Kemp's ridley turtles are getting a helping hand from volunteers and researchers
May 2010 | By Amy Sutherland
As you may have heard, America's last sardine cannery closed down last week in Maine (though it may get a second life as a processing plant for other seafood).I was startled and a little confused by this news, because sardines seem to be so trendy these days, showing up on menus at both fine and ca...
April 20, 2010 | By Amanda Bensen
The marine ecologist and administrator of NOAA discusses restoring the bounty of the world's oceans
April 2010 | By Erica R. Hendry
Back from the brink of extinction, the beavers of Massachusetts are a crucial component of a healthy ecosystem
March 16, 2010 | By Jennifer Weeks
Scientists converge on the northernmost city in the United States to study global warming's dramatic consequences
March 2010 | By Bob Reiss
On the list of things that I find exciting, football probably ranks somewhere between infomercials and the molecular structure of dust bunnies. But this year's Super Bowl has increased my interest level by a couple of smidgens, if only because the New Orleans Saints are competing. The team has neve...
February 03, 2010 | By Lisa Bramen
Smithsonian magazine staff writer Abigail Tucker is our guest blogger today.I have avoided eating salmon since the spring of 2008, when I reported on a die-off of West Coast chinooks that shut down much of the California fishery. Unfortunately for me, salmon was the only fish I knew how to cook (in...
January 22, 2010 | By admin
The world is my oyster, or so a Shakespearean character once said. That old saying, still alive in modern English, makes oysters a metaphor for "something from which a person may extract or derive advantage."And oh, how true that turns out to be in a literal sense.Humans have been extracting advant...
January 19, 2010 | By Amanda Bensen
Understanding how corals reproduce is critical to their survival; Smithsonian's Nancy Knowlton investigates the annual event
December 2009 | By Megan Gambino
"Sustainable seafood" is a buzzword these days, but as I've said before, it can be confusing for consumers. Even if you carry around a list of which species to avoid buying—like the handy pocket guides published by Monterey Bay Aquarium—it's difficult to keep track of all the details, caveats and a...
November 16, 2009 | By Amanda Bensen
New species are born in the turbulence of the Congo River
November 03, 2009 | By Kyle Dickman
One of the oldest archaeological sites not on a heritage list, this Pacific state, like Easter Island, is an engineering marvel
November 03, 2009 | By Christopher Pala
A land of silvery light and astonishing peaks, the country's largest state perpetuates the belief that anything is possible
November 2009 | By Pico Iyer
Can a remote, geologically weird island in the South Pacific forecast the fate of coral reefs?
September 17, 2009 | By Christopher Pala
An unsung Alabama waterway is one of the most biologically diverse places in the nation, home to rare flora and fauna
August 2009 | By Michelle Nijhuis
Collectors have long prized mollusks for their beautiful exteriors, but for scientists, it’s what inside that matters
August 2009 | By Richard Conniff
I don't think I can claim to be "semi-vegetarian" anymore. Sure, my veggie bin is always well-stocked, I never buy red meat, and I love tempeh and tofu. But last Saturday, my dinner was downright barbaric: I literally tore a creature apart with my bare hands and a mallet. I got guts on my fingers a...
August 11, 2009 | By Amanda Bensen