Salmon is one of those foods thought of as a superfood. It’s widely known for it’s omega 3 properties, DHA and good fats but there are a number of developments leading me to question if this food will disappear from my kitchen.
Farmed VS Fresh Salmon
Anything you can get fresh, wild, sustainable and from its natural surroundings is always the best to eat. When Salmon are wild, the food they are eating is also wild. It’s not messed with, enhanced, or changed into something that is “economically viable”. Eating wild salmon is great. And delicious! It also can be expensive.
In the past I learned that farmed fish is not so great in a number of locations throughout the world. There are a number of reasons for this. Water quality can be poor and polluting as a result of farming (depends on location), fish food is most often from unsustainable sources and sometimes bizarre, and weird things can be done to the fish (like adding sunscreen for prawns in Thailand).
I had thought that in Australia, the standard to farmed fish would be quite high, and that it may be an option for me. I have discovered this not to be the case and here’s why.
- use fish food containing things like chicken feathers and other land animal by products
- use fish food with synthetic colour added. Without this, the salmon would be white or grey in colour.
- fish food can drop to the ocean floor, change it and pollute.
- put stress on the environment and wildlife surrounding the fish farms.
I’m of the opinion that the animal proteins we eat should be from as close to it’s natural setting as possible. For salmon, this means eating salmon that eats the crustaceans and other natural foods that it should. A healthy diet for a salmon means the best health benefits for us in eating it.
Introduction of Genetically Modified Salmon
In the USA, GMO salmon has been approved to be sold and safe to eat (although it’s not being sold at time of writing). We believe that GMO crops have led to many health problems and environmental problems and so this is a very worrying development.
One big issue with this is the possibility the genetically modified salmon will interbreed with normal salmon. After that, who knows what will be what. A very informed friend on mine has stopped eating salmon specifically for this reason – and they stopped years ago.
So What Should We Do?
This is what I will be doing:
- eat only Pacific / Alaskan Salmon. (It’s wild caught and not endangered)
- avoid Atlantic Salmon (it’s farmed or endangered)
- use walnuts, chia seeds, mackeral or hemp seeds for omega 3
- use salmon for flavour in a meal rather than a main part of it
If you want to be really active about salmon, you can even contact salmon fisheries letting them know you won’t be buying salmon anymore after the introduction of GMO salmon.
It’s such a beautiful food, let’s hope it continues to be that way.