Tune of the Tuna Fish
...After [my daughter and I] belted the [tuna fish rhyme] out a few times together, Faith asked, 'Mama, what is a tuna fish? Have I ever eaten one?' In fact, she hadn't. Although tuna salad sandwiches were a mainstay of my own childhood diet, tuna has, during the time period between my childhood and my daughter's, become so contaminated with mercury that I choose not to buy it....
American biologist, poet, and essayist. A native of Illinois, Steingraber received her B.A. in biology from Illinois Wesleyan University, her M.A. in English from Illinois State University, and her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan. Since a near-fatal bout with bladder cancer when she was in her twenties, Steingraber has devoted her career to exploring the connections between the environment and human health. Her first book was a volume of intimately personal poems, Post Diagnosis (1995). In Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment (1997, 2010), she examines the links between industrial chemicals and increased risks of cancer; following its publication, Steingraber was hailed as "the new Rachel Carson" by the Sierra Club. Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood (2001) explores "the intimate ecology of motherhood." Steingraber currently teaches at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. See also steingraber.com.