Salmon - Great or Dangerous?
I want to sound off about recent info on salmon, and offer some GREAT salmon recipes.
Recent news in the paper and on TV have discussed the possible dangers in eating farm-raised salmon. Unfortunately, as the ocean waters are over-fished for the world's fast-growing population and we continue to dump sewage and industrial chemicals into the water, the cost of wild ocean fish and their quality continues to drop.
Fish from northern waters is generally safer than tropical ones, as there is less pollution. Oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna, salmon, etc. are the most nutritious partly due to the higher Omega 3, and also more likely to retain pollutants in their oily flesh. Tuna, in particular, has a higher mercury content, a very dangerous chemical indeed when eaten. For that reason, recommendations on limiting (not eliminating) one's tuna intake have been issued.
Naturally, given the shortage of fish in the ocean, demand for cheaper and plentiful food, plus the nature of big business, farming of seafood is increasingly popular. This has high risks too, and the announcement made last week about pesticides and harmful, cancer-causing chemicals in the flesh of farm salmon was scary. Since a large part of their diet is ground fish, they take in all the pollutants these fish have eaten. Bet a lot of that ground fish is trash fish from warmer waters too.
But that's not the worst of the problem. Wild salmon eat a varied diet including cold-water algae, a plant which not only raises their nutrition level astronomically, but colors their flesh orange. The deeper the color, in general, the more nutritious the salmon. Farm raised salmon are disgustingly pale in color, so farmers are allowed to add dye to their feed (more chemicals) to imitate the wild salmon's rich hue.
Could farmers produce nearly pollution free salmon high in Omega 3? I'm sure they could. But why should they? It would cost more, and if they can persuade people to eat the cheaper (and less healthful) product, hey.......!
References on the subject:
Dr. Weil: How Dangerous is Farmed Salmon
Dr. Mercola: Why Farmed Salmon Isn’t Good for You
Hal Bernton: Why You Should Be Concerned About Eating Salmon
When you buy fresh, frozen or canned salmon, look for one word: WILD. The costliest is the most nutritious, but even cheaper wild salmon packs a wallop nutritionally. Here's some recipes from the Weedy Lady: