Monthly Archives: May 2010

Salmon – a generic term for many wild and farmed varieties

Why does farmed salmon taste different than wild salmon?” asks Carla Consumer. It’s a common question with a simple, yet apparently not obvious, answer.

There are several species of salmon and trout – all having different qualities of taste, texture and nutrition.

For instance, the Pacific Pink salmon is a fast growing, young fish that is relatively ‘clean’ of contaminents, but is also quite low in nutritional value when compared to other species of Pacific salmon. The Pacific Sockeye is an older fish than the Pink at harvest time, and higher in unwanted nasties (pcbs etc) but much more rewarding in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. The Chum, Coho and King (Chinook) all have slightly different qualities that all relate to lifecycle, feed source and genetic makeup. All have a slightly different taste, color and texture.

Although not common or in large numbers, all Pacific salmon can be farm-raised.

Most farmed salmon available in the supermarket is of the Atlantic variety. This salmon is not only a different species, but a different genus – much more related to a trout than a salmon. The Atlantic salmon also has different traits, the most notable being its ability to spawn more than once. For this reason, the Atlantic salmon reserves fat in its body at spawning time, just to make sure it has enough energy to spawn again, if required. As a result, the Atlantic salmon contains the highest levels of Omega 3 oils (the good ones) than all types of Pacific salmon.

So, to answer Carla Consumer’s question, “Why does farmed salmon taste different than wild salmon?”,  the difference is not whether the salmon may be wild, wild-caught or farm-raised, but actually due to the species of salmon you’re enjoying.

Counting Sheep

The Salmon Are Sacred/Get Out Migration protest has come and gone. This staged campaign was brought to you by the Pure Salmon group – a foreign group well known to oppose salmon aquaculture (well at least the aquaculture practiced in BC and not the aquaculture practiced in Alaska). This event allowed for hundreds of people to voice their concern over the conservation of wild salmon, amongst other things like politics and marketing.

Let’s be clear - groups like Pure Salmon don’t pour money into research and development, innovation or product sustainability – they pour money into demarketing a product by requesting consumer boycotts. They are simply critics and activists. They don’t spend a dime (Canadian or American) on salmon conservation. If conservation was really top of mind, they wouldn’t have bbq’d up wild salmon for the final feast. In fact, the aroma from the bbq smelled a little bit fishy and a lot like marketing.

It would be good if the public knew the real intentions of groups like Pure Salmon.

When the festivities ended, those in attendance expressed their frustration at the lack of coverage by mainstream media, and those that did, estimated the crowd at 1000-2000. Apparently this accurate estimate (made by crowd controlling police) was a sham in the (blood shot) eyes of protesters.

If those in attendance knew the real agenda of this protest, you would think they would be happy with a lower number – it would kindly suggest that British Columbia has a lower population of sheep and lemmings.