Today, I had a bagger at my local Safeway grocery store admonish me for purchasing a steak of yellowfin tuna on 40% sale, citing its "sustainability." Can you believe it? an employee telling me not to buy their store's product?
I forgave her youthful indiscretion, unable to yet discern between being idealistic and ideological. I gently explained that NOAA has graded the Atlantic Yellowfin currently at about 96% of its ideal, sustainable, population. That's not too bad; I certainly shouldn't be scolded for my indulgence. It is the Bigeye Tuna that is in a dire state of imminent extinction given current harvest rates.
That is one of my fears about quote-unquote "sustainable." As the term broadens in reach from the scientific to the marketplace to the political and social, it becomes more blunt. It is not a far-fetched future when the next time I buy a yellowfin tuna steak at Safeway, I will return to my parked car to find that someone has used a box-cutter on my wheels.