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Eating fresh raw Salmon Sashimi


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As per the fishmonger I'm eating farmed Scottish Salmon.

Isn't farmed salmon worse, in terms of both health and quality, than wild salmon? A lot of studies "prove" that farmed salmon has a greater prevalence of mercury and other industrial chemicals than wild salmon. I'd cite a source, but there has been so much research done that I think this is common knowledge.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Quality is great. Regarding the mercury I'll have to research, but my consumption is just 3/4 lb per month or so.

Isn't farmed salmon worse, in terms of both health and quality, than wild salmon?  A lot of studies "prove" that farmed salmon has a greater prevalence of mercury and other industrial chemicals than wild salmon. I'd cite a source, but there has been so much research done that I think this is common knowledge.

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As per the fishmonger I'm eating farmed Scottish Salmon.

Isn't farmed salmon worse, in terms of both health and quality, than wild salmon? A lot of studies "prove" that farmed salmon has a greater prevalence of mercury and other industrial chemicals than wild salmon. I'd cite a source, but there has been so much research done that I think this is common knowledge.

I don't know if I'd call it "common knowledge", but most studies I've read about show that farmed salmon has slightly lower levels of mercury than wild salmon, and that where the salmon comes from is a bigger indicator of mercury levels than whether or not it was farmed.

As for quality, that's a question of individual taste. I rather like the sweetness and high fat level of farmed salmon, and if the original poster does to, then great.

In any case, the question here is about the safety of eating unfrozen and uncooked salmon, and mercury has nothing to do with that, since freezing or cooking salmon won't change the mercury level.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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This thread got me snooping around online, and now I'm worried. Because 1) wild salmon (the kind I like) seems overwhelmingly prone to parasite infection, and 2) I like to cook it very rare.

Is this stupid? I don't plan to change my habits, but would like to find out if I'm stupid.

Notes from the underbelly

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As per the fishmonger I'm eating farmed Scottish Salmon.

...

I strongly doubt you'll come to any harm.

However, especially for eating raw, you might choose to 'go the extra mile' and get the Organic grade. Lower 'stocking density' (less crowded cages), less problems, less inputs. A little closer to a wild fish - but distinctly paler flesh than standard farmed because of the absence of colouring in the feed.

The main problems with farmed Atlantic Salmon are external parasites, and the treatments used to minimise this problem. Not that great for the environment, or the residues in the fish flesh. Massively less of a problem with the 'organic' regime.

But, for those eating Pacific 'salmon' raw (or very rare), it would be best to ensure that someone has frozen it hard, and kept it that way for a few hours at least. DIY if it hasn't been done for you.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Just curious, sorry for taking the thread off track - Is most fish sold in Canada previously frozen? The fish sold as fresh in the summer is much higher quality than the fish sold as previously frozen in the winter. Does the fish degrade while being held at freezing temperature or something? If the fresh fish was actually previously frozen it doesn't make sense to me that the quality would be so much lower in the winter.

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jsmith, in Canada we have regulations forcing retaillers to let the consummer know whether a product has been frozen or not. See here.

The words "previously frozen" must appear on the principle display panel or on an adjacent sign if frozen single ingredient meat or poultry (and their by-products), or single ingredient meat of any marine or fresh water animal (including fish) has been thawed prior to sale. Fish or other seafood which has been Frozen at Sea (FAS) and thawed prior to deboning, filleting, etc. must be labelled with a "previously frozen" statement.

I do not buy enough fish to see a difference between summer and winter offerings.

Also, I believe that not all freezing technique are the same. Flash freezing very fresh products usually means less damage to the flesh and greater quality.

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