My go-to meal when dining out is broiled salmon with a side of rice and some veggies. Add a glass of pinot noir, and I’ve got a healthful and tasty meal.
The food activists, however, are eager to tell me that I am overloading on PCB’s, mercury, and antibiotics, particularly if – as is usually the case – the fish was raised in a tank or a pen rather than caught in the open ocean. Farmed salmon is one of those food commodities that the food busybodies love to hate.
“Wild-caught” is as important to fish, in their view, as “organic” is to any terrestrial food.
Farm-raised fish is evil as far as Mike Adams, a.k.a. “The Health Ranger,” and numerous bloggers are concerned.
“Fish farming (is) killing off native species; boycott farmed salmon before it’s too late!” screams a post on Adams’ website.
Too late. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, about two-thirds of the salmon eaten by Americans every year is farm-raised. Most of it is imported from Norway, Chile, or Canada.
Science, fortunately, has debunked the scare stories about farmed salmon. Harvard professors have estimated that that the health benefits of eating salmon far outweigh any risk from PCB contamination, for example. EPA, FDA and the Institute of Medicine have all found the risk from mercury in fish is so hard to pin down that they can’t recommend any limits on seafood consumption by adults.
But there is always the hipster appeal of paying more for wild-caught. It makes the buyer feel good and it tastes better, right?