A Few Notes on Salmon…


I recently saw a menu that stated wild atlantic salmon and realized that the restaurant was embarrassing all other chefs.  Atlantic salmon is a species and a completely farmed product, the largest of the aquaculture industry and grown all over the world.  Pacific salmon includes five species with the majority of them wild caught and frozen at sea.   The industry of farmed pacific salmon is growing, most recently the King or Chinook is farmed with the best product coming out of New Zealand.  Atlantic salmon is the easiest and most affordable seafood to buy very similar to the chicken industry; it is speed grown for better yield.  In fact, the poultry industry sells its feathers, carcasses and waste to be made into salmon feed known as ‘feather meal’.  The other source of food for salmon is ‘fish meal’ which comes from the results of supertrawlers and fisherman exclusively catching seafood to support the farmed salmon industry.  Even salmon farms use lights to trick the salmon into seasons and control their eating habits just like a chicken farm.  Look at any industrial chicken farm and the windows are sealed for no natural light, the temperature controlled with the ease of an iphone app.  Generally, salmon require a 4:1 ratio of four pounds of fish meal to produce a pound of salmon.  In some cases the feed is a 3:1 ration of food to flesh.  Progressive aquaculture farms have reduced this to a 1:1 ratio.   One notably has developed a special yeast significant just for their salmon.  Peru, is a large exporter of fish meal, the ground product of their fisherman who export 38% of this to Europe.  The northern Europe countries of Scotland, Norway and Sweden have all been farming salmon, albeit highly industrial countries with heavily polluted waters that feed farmed salmon with fish meal from Peru.  There is a product from Canada that touts its carbon footprint and will not fly any of their fish, it is only accessible to places that deliver by truck yet their fish meal and fish oil do come from South America.   I would like to think that the salmon we buy comes from deep, dark waters, far away from pollution and contaminants yet provides a living to a community that has a long heritage of fisherman.

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