Eat Smart: Shop Responsibly

I hate to sound preachy, but…   your consumption choices can make a difference!  Buy sustainable seafood. Don’t be embarrassed to ask a waiter or chef if the fish on the menu is wild or farmed. It lets the business know that customers care one way or the other.  Download a seafood watch cheat-sheet that fits in your wallet or a cell phone app from that tells which seafoods from which areas are caught or farmed in a sustainable manner.  They even have a sushi guide!

Now I have to rant for a moment about farmed salmon…  DON’T BUY IT!  There are too many reasons why farmed salmon is an abomination, so I’ll just list a few.

-the fish are fed a diet of fish meals and oils which make them fattier than wild salmon, but lower in protein.  Eating other fish also concentrates contaminants and makes the salmon more carcinogenic (wild salmon eat mostly krill, not other fish).

-the fish are treated with antibiotics and pesticides

-off shore salmon pens contaminate wild salmon runs with diseases and sea lice infestations (which have become epidemic in salmon farms).  Also, salmon frequently escape from their pens, further contaminating the wild salmon.

-farmed salmon are dyed orange.  Wild salmon’s flesh is orange or red because its natural diet consists of pink krill.  Farmed salmon flesh is naturally grey colored because of its fish meal diet and must be dyed orange to appeal to customers.  (BC Salmon Farmers Association says their salmon is not “dyed”, but fed pigment in the fish meal feed)

I’ll just stop there for now.  I think you get the picture.

(I just have to add that this post is dedicated to my husband, who is a commercial fisherman, and who hates farmed salmon with a passion.  He likes to remind me of the time we were on vacation and ordered an all you can eat sushi dinner.  He could tell that the salmon on the platter was farmed, and refused to touch it.  I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I ate it and became so violently ill with food poisoning that I had to go to the hospital.  Of course he blames the farmed salmon, because it was the only thing on the platter he didn’t eat and he was fine.)


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