Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wild or farmed salmon?

Super Tasty Wild SalmonI was at the grocery store last week buying wild Alaskan salmon (previously frozen) at an affordable $9.99 a pound, as another customer was asking the "fishmonger" for a cut of the wild salmon. When this customer spied the farmed Atlantic salmon for a mere $4.99 a pound, he immediately changed his order to the farmed, I suspect based on the cost.

I had to stop myself from saying anything, lest I came off sounding like a crazy lecturing enviro-nutball. Which, of course, I sometimes am.

1. The wild salmon fishery in Alaska is actually one of the few sustainable fisheries left in the world
2. Wild salmon has more heart-healthy Omega 3s
3. Wild salmon has considerably less PCBs as compared to farmed
4. Farmed salmon is oftentime dyed to give it the pink color
5. Farmed salmon spread parasites and disease to wild salmon and compete for habitat when they escape their pens

Song for the Blue OceanThe list goes on and on. (If you want to get really depressed about the state of our fisheries, read Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas.)

So, yesterday I read from the Associated Press that:

"The Bush administration wants to allow ocean farming for shellfish, salmon and saltwater species in federal waters for the first time, hoping to grab a greater share of the $70 billion aquaculture market."

Lovely. Don't get me started.

Anyway, what would you do? Or what do you do? Would you have launched into the many reasons why choosing wild, in spite of the cost, is better than farmed? Or would you hold your tongue? Do you even care?


Eva said...

I would have purchased the wild salmon...and I think I would have held my tongue. This has actually happened to me before too. I stood there, dying to say something, anything, but was afraid I'd come across harsh and sarcastic.
Soooo, unless the other person asks, I would not say a thing, but I would want to.

I should challenge myself to start friendly conversation and inquire why farmed over wild? Is it just the price? Then, if the person shows any interest in holding a conversation, I could maybe sneak in why I choose wild salmon, maybe, if I'm feeling brave.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hey Eva,

That gives me an idea. Say you see someone buying the farmed. You could ask them "do you know what the difference is between the farmed and wild caught"?

If they say "no", then you could suggest one of the reasons, like "oh, I heard something about the farmed having higher amounts of PCBs but I wasn't sure if that's true."

At the least, perhaps it gets them thinking or may even strike up a conversation where you can slip in more "I heards" in there :)

I'll have to give it a try.


Christy said...

This is why I don't buy fish. Some it is better to buy farmed, so better wild. I can't keep it straight! Is there a handy list somewhere?

I'd like someone to tell me nicely if I was buying the wrong fish at the store.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hey Christy,

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a handy little pocket guide that tells you which fish is better wild versus farmed. And which things to avoid altogether.

There are different regional guides as well as a national one. You can find it here.

Christy said...

Thanks for the info on the guide. I'll put it in my purse and now I can start eating fish!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Yeah, I was avoiding fish until I found out about the guide a few years back! It's mighty handy!