Half-Baked Protectionism

I went to a cooking demonstration that offered free samples of caramel cake, shrimp and grits, plus a dash of protectionism.

At the Decatur Book Festival today, cook book author Nathalie Dupree advised the large crowd to buy only Wild American Shrimp, as opposed to the imported counterpart.

She explained that she had visited China back in March. With Chinese shrimp, she said: “You really don’t know where it’s been.”

The crowd nodded. Some even applauded.

But we all missed the irony in her next anecdote: she once transported crawfish on the baggage hold and in a carry-on on a Delta Airlines flight, back when baggage rules were a bit less strict.

She recounted how some of the crawfish bore a hole in their styrofoam travel container, and escaped. Some even wandered around the trunk of the cab from the airport.

She is a charming story teller, and the audience loved it. But I couldn’t help but wonder whether her dinner guests could have used some of the same skepticism she had towards Asian shrimp. If only they had known where the crawfish had been…

That said, I just read this vote in favor of Wild American Shrimp, so she’s not the only fan.

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1 Response to “Half-Baked Protectionism”


  1. 1 Nick September 7, 2009 at 8:11 am

    The shrimp posting — I laughed out loud in the airport lounge. It was the bit about the crawfish making a break for it in the taxi.


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