Friday, June 6, 2014

Salmon, From Where Art Thou?

I really enjoy smoked salmon once in awhile. It's expensive, but sometimes worth the extra cost. So, recently, I tried to purchase Pacific or Alaskan wild smoked salmon. It's not as easy as one would think. It's even necessary to be careful of BC salmon now since they have developed fish farms along some areas of the coast....terrible. In fact, '60 Minutes'  recently had a special on farmed salmon off the BC coast...the environmental damage, the disease, the conditions, eating of feces, and so on.

There's also an excellent brochure by David Suzuki available on this site.

I don't eat Atlantic salmon, nor do I eat salmon that originates in or passes through China. Seventy percent of the fish in China is farmed. One package I perused in the store boasted that it was Norwegian steelhead salmon. I turned it over and read that it came from China, then instantly deposited it back in the freezer.

Many years ago I participated in an eco-adventure camp for women on Vancouver Island. Not only did I see a seal birth, I mountain climbed, kayaked, went snorkelling, wandered through tide pools, studied sea beds and so much more. It amazes me to look back at old photos and remember some of those activities. I did that!

One thing that sticks with me is a lecture we had on the wild Pacific types of salmon. I haven't touched Atlantic salmon or any other farmed fish since...well, not deliberately anyhow. The lecturer was a university professor who was adamant about the hazards of fish farming and spoke specifically about salmon. Without going into great detail, I was adequately grossed out. He made his point. He taught us the five kinds of wild Pacific salmon species; chum, sockeye, coho, chinook and pink and gave us a mneumonic using our fingers to help remember them. Fun really.

Today, my spouse came home with a surprise. It was a pound of smoked salmon. It says, imported from Norway". There's no sign of any other country's potential interference. There's also no indication that there was any acquaculture involved, even though Norway's fish are 33% farmed...a small concern. The label is impressive...

Our premium NORWEGIAN FJORD Smoked Steelhead Salmon delivers thin slices, smooth texture, and succulent smoked flavour—giving the world a deliciously authentic Scandinavian experience...a gift from the fjords.
NORWEGIAN FJORD is a Healthy Choice
  • Source of Omega-3
  • Excellent Source of Vitamin D
  • Low in Saturated Fat
  • Free of Trans Fat
  • No Nitrates or Preservatives
  • Kosher
Do fjords really produce wild salmon? Hmmm...I decided to email the company and ask my obvious questions. I hope the response comes back after I've eaten the fish. In the meantime, I'll try not to think about it too much.

*** Uh oh...I received an immediate response -

Dear Ms. Winter,
All our Steelhead Salmon products are produce from salmon farmed in Norway. The Norwegian Fjord 550g/500g packs are produced and packed in Norway.

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