Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Wild Salmon, you say?


SethG
 Share

Recommended Posts

Adiabatic -

Also keep in mind that most consumers just don't give a damn about any supposed environmental problems caused by fish farms. Well, they might say they do, but when it comes to voting with their wallets they certainly won't stand behind the statement. I know I am not willing to pay 3x the price just because there is a potential for some ecological issues in some fish farms.

I've never had wild salmon, well, maybe I have, I've never really looked. I'm perfectly happy with the farmed stuff on the rare occasions I feel like having salmon. Just a quick question though:

In most meats, beef, pork, lamb, etc, fattier tissue is considered a good thing, more flavor, more marbelling, etc. Why is fattier salmon a bad thing?

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adiabatic -

  Also keep in mind that most consumers just don't give a damn about any supposed environmental problems caused by fish farms.  Well, they might say they do, but when it comes to voting with their wallets they certainly won't stand behind the statement.  I know I am not willing to pay 3x the price just because there is a potential for some ecological issues in some fish farms.

  I've never had wild salmon, well, maybe I have, I've never really looked.  I'm perfectly happy with the farmed stuff on the rare occasions I feel like having salmon.  Just a quick question though:

I'm afraid that this is this math (which has been discussed upthread) is exactly what levers the market to the fish farmers' advantage. This is especially true in the large eastern urban markets where 'wild' (presuming you can verify it is) salmon costs a lot more.

This is a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' for many consumers. Far removed from the fish farms that despoil coastal waterways, they see only the cute, dimension-cut filets that often visually replicate wild product. Similarly enough, it seems, to fool a lot of restaurateurs and home cooks and perhaps even wholesalers and retailers.

So consumers of conscience may actually have to admire Pan's protocol:

It seems to me a vain hope that people currently buying farmed fish will stop en masse in favor of a very expensive product. If anything, you might have a better chance persuading them to stop buying salmon at all.

That is, if consumers cannot afford wild salmon, perhaps they must be convinced to stop buying salmon at all. In the short-term that would likely drive prices down, which would not help the wild fishery. Over the longer term, it might force governments and the consumer to more closely evaluate the cost of long-term environmental and ecological injury versus the cost of dinner.

On this coast, that dinner decision is much easier. FAS (frozen at sea) wild product is available year-round and, properly managed, is of very high quality and costs just slightly more than farmed product. Those costs are discussed in Post # 17, upthread.

One thing undiscussed on this thread thus far is why wild Atlantic salmon is no longer commercially available.

Jamie

In most meats, beef, pork, lamb, etc, fattier tissue is considered a good thing, more flavor, more marbelling, etc.  Why is fattier salmon a bad thing?

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting back to the article itself, my wife farm-raised the question of what might be the criteria (or criterion) for Marian Burro's choosing the establishments that she did. My wife wondered why Citarella's wasn't singled out for the testing of its salmon; and why did the Times jump on M. Slavin who is a wholesaler without telling us poor folks who don't have an uncle in the fish business who some of its retail clients are? I look at the advertisers in the Wednesday food section, but do any of the businesses that Marian Burro's hook advertise there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adiabatic -

   Also keep in mind that most consumers just don't give a damn about any supposed environmental problems caused by fish farms.  Well, they might say they do, but when it comes to voting with their wallets they certainly won't stand behind the statement.  I know I am not willing to pay 3x the price just because there is a potential for some ecological issues in some fish farms.

   I've never had wild salmon, well, maybe I have, I've never really looked.  I'm perfectly happy with the farmed stuff on the rare occasions I feel like having salmon.  Just a quick question though:

I'm afraid that this is this math (which has been discussed upthread) is exactly what levers the market to the fish farmers' advantage. This is especially true in the large eastern urban markets where 'wild' (presuming you can verify it is) salmon costs a lot more.

This is a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' for many consumers. Far removed from the fish farms that despoil coastal waterways, they see only the cute, dimension-cut filets that often visually replicate wild product. Similarly enough, it seems, to fool a lot of restaurateurs and home cooks and perhaps even wholesalers and retailers.

So consumers of conscience may actually have to admire Pan's protocol:

It seems to me a vain hope that people currently buying farmed fish will stop en masse in favor of a very expensive product. If anything, you might have a better chance persuading them to stop buying salmon at all.

That is, if consumers cannot afford wild salmon, perhaps they must be convinced to stop buying salmon at all. In the short-term that would likely drive prices down, which would not help the wild fishery. Over the longer term, it might force governments and the consumer to more closely evaluate the cost of long-term environmental and ecological injury versus the cost of dinner.

On this coast, that dinner decision is much easier. FAS (frozen at sea) wild product is available year-round and, properly managed, is of very high quality and costs just slightly more than farmed product. Those costs are discussed in Post # 17, upthread.

One thing undiscussed on this thread thus far is why wild Atlantic salmon is no longer widely commercially available.

In most meats, beef, pork, lamb, etc, fattier tissue is considered a good thing, more flavor, more marbelling, etc.  Why is fattier salmon a bad thing?

It's a matter of taste. For instance, some consumers prefer fattier sockeye and spring salmon. Those are fattiest early in the season (May-June) when they have been storing fat at sea in preparation for their river runs to breed and lay eggs. Others prefer leaner coho (very short supply; we catch and release) and pinks, or sockeye and spring taken later in the summer.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A quick follow up... I checked the box at Shop Rite yesterday. The title of the dish is "Salmon with Basil" and "wild salmon (with water, sodium tripolyphosphate)" is listed in the ingredients.  (Emphasis added --HB)

Ewww. As you're probably aware, tripolyphosphate is often used (mostly in shellfish) to pack more water into the meat, increasing the weight. Not surprising to see it in a (cheap) packaged convenience food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not unbelievable that an industrial frozen dinner producer would use wild salmon. It's not like every wild salmon has the chops to be served at Nobu. Somebody has to get the worst, bottom-of-catch, bruised, otherwise-unsellable crap. Although farmed salmon is on the whole cheaper than wild, those are generalizations -- there is likely a subset of the frozen wild catch that's really cheap especially if you're willing to warehouse it.

Just to further our insight into how the wild salmon industry works: mega-ton fish processors on the Pacific Coast travel waters from Oregon to northern Alaska, depending on the season and catch. The processors are marine-based factories that receive catch from "tenders," or commercial fishing boats. The processors are gone for months at a time, they process hundreds of tons of fish, and their crews work 16 hour days in rotating shifts. There are over 200 crew and staff on each ship, which also has its own medical staff. Crew members are told not to bring clothes they want to keep, and are required to attend land-based seminars on safety and other issues before hiring. As fish are caught and delivered, there is a hierarchy in the processing, with the best whole fish frozen at sea, some whole fish filleted and frozen, and the rest processed into canned fish, pastes, etc. The worst job on the ship is to work "bottom" processing. Fish gunk all over you, no sunlight or fresh air for 16 hours at a time (and then you're too tired to care).

An Overview of the Alaskan Fishing Industry

These positions include slimers, [ :blink:] packers, cleanup crew members, machine operators, and office staff.

Mutiny at Sea Over 16 1/2 Hour Days (as opposed to 16 hours)

Verduzco and other protest leaders held some of the toughest jobs as "fish drivers," loading tons of fish into the slotted metal trays of fillet machines. Verduzco was generally recognized as one of the best.

A few days out of port in January, crew members were told that their work day would run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., rather than ending at midnight as in the past, to try "finger-packing" so it would be more attractive to Asian buyers. The company already had cut the number of workers assigned to fillet machines, and some fish drivers said the new regime soon pushed them over the edge of exhaustion.

"I thought I could finish the shift, but it was just so much," said Miguel Martinez, a third-year fish driver from Quincy. "Every time I went to bed, my bones were so achy from throwing fish all day, I was just hurting so much that I didn't feel like going to work -- but I had to."

Aquatic Invaders (Requires registration). Even the wild salmon industry introduces its share of environmental problems.

TOP STORY: Regulations not halting aquatic invaders 

Untold numbers of ship operators are lying, cheating or simply misunderstanding state rules designed to keep them from introducing invasive snails, crabs and other foreign species into Washington waters, according to a recent survey. State rules adopted to prevent ships from accidentally transporting millions of nonnative species are so toothless that regulators plan to ask state lawmakers in January for the power to board and inspect ships to verify they're being followed. Invasive species cause more than $137 billion a year in damage in the United States. Aquatic invaders can destroy water pipes or power systems and wreak havoc on the natural environment. More than 40 percent of plants and animals listed under the Endangered Species Act are at risk because of nonnative species. Scientists, for example, recently discovered more than 20 percent of the organisms that call the lower Columbia River home don't belong there. (09/08/03) From the Seattle Times

And just because I think it's funny . . .

Ya sure, yew betcha, by golly

You can order fresh lutefisk and "Lutefisk TV Dinners" right off the fish processor, delivered to your door via UPS.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

Find me on Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing undiscussed on this thread thus far is why wild Atlantic salmon is no longer commercially available.

Jamie

That's because there isn't any wild Atlantic salmon. It was over fished and the rivers polluted. New England rivers have also been dammed to create water resevoirs.

While I was living in Maine, Maine tried unsuccessfully for several years to reintroduce salmon to the Union River. The lack of success was due to the dam (even though fish ladders were installed at great expense), but somehow the salmon would not get past the resevoir to the breeding area. Also, Maine rivers have a problem with lampreys breeding in them which has depleted other fish as well including trout.

S. Cue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting back to the article itself, my wife farm-raised the question of what might be the criteria (or criterion) for Marian Burro's choosing the establishments that she did. My wife wondered why Citarella's wasn't singled out for the testing of its salmon; and why did the Times jump on M. Slavin who is a wholesaler without telling us poor folks who don't have an uncle in the fish business who some of its retail clients are? I look at the advertisers in the Wednesday food section, but do any of the businesses that Marian Burro's hook advertise there?

The most sympathetic reading would be that they checked in with all the major fish retailers in the city (25 would just cover it, I think; "Yet last month, when fresh wild salmon should have been scarce, 23 of 25 stores checked by The Times said they had it in stock") but only tested a random subset of eight samples (presumably on account of the expense of testing; "The Times sent random samples of salmon bought on March 9 to Craft Technologies in Wilson, N.C., for testing").

I felt bad for Whole Foods, which is obviously selling the real thing: you can't blame Whole Foods for getting a salmon that escaped from a farm some years earlier. If you take every possible step to guarantee your supply, you are still going to get the occasional farm escapee. They should have either been more emphatically clear about this, or not hung that particular albatross around Whole Foods's neck, or tested a second sample from Whole Foods.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Through "imprinting" West Coast fish runs have been introduced extending the "wild" season from April into late November. We like to call these "wild" salmon, actually they have hatchery in their background. The trick is to take a run from one river and introduce that stock into another.

These runs are even longer when you consider that the Indians, whom account for much of the 'wild" commercial market, take many fish late in the year in the rivers.

The quality of "wild" salmon varries greatly with the time of the year they are taken, and the place taken; open ocean, off-shore, in the bays, or up river. These "wild" fish are not always as "pretty" as the fillets or whole fish that is pen raised. Farm salmon can be taken any time and processed immediately. The farm fish can be as little as 8 hours away from the plate; the chef just has to phone in the order... Very "fresh".

If you're willing to smoke, pickle, can, or dry the lesser salmon of the "wild" runs - the late river fish, the chums and tje pinks - then you can extend your "wild" fish diet through out the year. People did this 200 years ago before we had "farmed" salmon. But also, 200 years ago, some cultures extended their fish diets with holding ponds. I guess this was the start of "farmed" fish.

As with organics, "pretty" is not always the best eating salmon. No question: fresh wild salmon is better . But my guess would be, because of apperance, few resturants want to serve scarred up, dark "wild" fish when they can plate a nice looking pen-raised fillet. Same way with catfish, etc. Few people eat wild catfish and - to my knowledge - those farmed catfish eat pellets just like farm salmon.

Europe dines largely on farmed salmon. Farmed is cheap, available any time, and it doesn't carry the stigma that it does here. When visiting Rungis I saw few wild Pacific salmon going out the door (or coming in for that matter).

Here's an interesting question: If we can buy greens and shallots from France at Costco, why can't they buy wild Pacific salmon in Paris? Is the real answer price and availablity of farmed fish, and that "wild" maybe PC but it just isn't real world politics?

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen the high quality Alaskan Wild Salmon that is available to Restaurants in stores. The flavor and texture difference is very noticeable.

Alaska's Wild Fish.

To go one step further - I've never had salmon here in the east that's anywhere as good as what I get in restaurants in the Pacific northwest. Doesn't mean I won't eat it here. It's just that I consider it a regional delicacy when I'm in places like British Columbia. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What people may be losing sight of, is that in the days before aquaculture and the depletion of the Atlantic salmon, Wild Atlantic salmon was considered a significantly superior food fish to the Pacific salmon, and sold for a premium, at least 15-20%. It was fatter and had a fuller and richer flavor, perhaps almost like prime beef as compared to choice. Even today, farmed Altlantic salmon has certain qualities that are superior to the Pacific salmon, although typically wild Pacific salmon does have significantly better overall flavor than any farmed version. However, we do need to keep in mind that comparing wild Pacific salmon to farmed Atlantic is not purely an apples to apples comparison. One can still find locally caught wild Atlantic salmon, in season, in certain restaurants in France, Les Pyrenees in St Jean Pied de Port in the French Basque country is an example, and it remains a revelation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read this thread with great interest, and a couple of questions stand out:

If there's no wild Atlantic salmon left, and all farmed salmon is Atlantic, then isn't the solution to the consumer's immediate problem to learn more about the visual identification of salmon species? If you can ID Atlantic salmon, then it seems that you've ipso facto identified farmed salmon. By the same token, if you know your Pacific salmon, then you know your wild salmon.

I realize this isn't easy when you're looking at fillets on ice that could be Atlantic, Spring or Coho, but surely it's a start. Am I missing something here?

Second question that stands out for me: if there's no wild salmon left in the Atlantic (or at least no commercially viable stock), then why not attempt restocking? Aren't ecosystems better off with "domesticated" versions of indigenous species than either a vacant niche or exotic species? Or are the streams and rivers just too far gone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read this thread with great interest, and a couple of questions stand out:

If there's no wild Atlantic salmon left, and all farmed salmon is Atlantic, then isn't the solution to the consumer's immediate problem to learn more about the visual identification of salmon species? If you can ID Atlantic salmon, then it seems that you've ipso facto identified farmed salmon. By the same token, if you know your Pacific salmon, then you know your wild salmon.

Indeed-education is the key.

I realize this isn't easy when you're looking at fillets on ice that could be Atlantic, Spring or Coho, but surely it's a start. Am I missing something here?

It's easy for someone like myself who's been catching/killing/cleaning/eating Pacific Salmon for 30+ years others would find it more of a challenge.

Also remember there are 6 different types of Pacific Salmon-which adds to the confusion.

Second question that stands out for me: if there's no wild salmon left in the Atlantic (or at least no commercially viable stock), then why not  attempt restocking? Aren't ecosystems better off with "domesticated" versions of indigenous species than either a vacant niche or exotic species? Or are the streams and rivers just too far gone?

An admirable goal but as you suspect many riverine systems in Europe are largely destroyed/severly negatively impacted by humankind.

Eastern North American rivers suffer from there own distinct ills.

Both sides of the Atlantic have been affected by disease caused by net pen farming-especially Norway, Ireland and Scotland. :sad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to further our insight into how the wild salmon industry works:  mega-ton fish processors on the Pacific Coast travel waters from Oregon to northern Alaska, depending on the season and catch.  The processors are marine-based factories that receive catch from "tenders," or commercial fishing boats.  The processors are gone for months at a time, they process hundreds of tons of fish, and their crews work 16 hour days in rotating shifts.  There are over 200 crew and staff on each ship, which also has its own medical staff.  Crew members are told not to bring clothes they want to keep, and are required to attend  land-based seminars on safety and other issues before hiring.  As fish are caught and delivered, there is a hierarchy in the processing, with the best whole fish frozen at sea, some whole fish filleted and frozen, and the rest processed into canned fish, pastes, etc.  The worst job on the ship is to work "bottom" processing.  Fish gunk all over you, no sunlight or fresh air for 16 hours at a time (and then you're too tired to care). 

You can order fresh lutefisk and "Lutefisk TV Dinners" right off the fish processor, delivered to your door via UPS.

Madame-I do Beg Your Pardon-but you have absolutely no idea how the Salmon Fishery works. :rolleyes:

The links you've posted about factory processors are all to do with the Pollock Fishery not Salmon.

In fact Salmon are processed on shore-except for those fish Frozen At Sea.

Some fish are sold to floating buyers (packers) at central points coast wide to be rapidly shipped to shore side canneries.

While I appreciate your concern posting completely erroneous information on a serious subject like this-without even troubling to check the links-is beyond irresponsible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reply from Nestle Lean Cuisine:

Dear Ms. Perlow,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us about STOUFFER'S® LEAN CUISINE® Salmon with Basil. We welcome questions and comments from loyal consumers such as yourself and appreciate this opportunity to assist you.

We have read your email and would like to assure you that the salmon used in this meal is, in fact, ocean caught (not farm raised). The wild salmon we use is found in several countries throughout the including the United States, Canada, and Russia (all around Alaska).

At Nestlé, we are dedicated to you and your family throughout every phase of your lives.  Your feedback is valuable to us, as it helps us to improve our products and services.

We appreciate your interest in our products and hope you will visit our website often for the latest information on our products and promotions.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Hayes

Consumer Response Representative

Well, there you go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Madame-I do Beg Your Pardon-but you have absolutely no idea how the Salmon Fishery works. :rolleyes:

The links you've posted about factory processors are all to do with the Pollock Fishery not Salmon.

In fact Salmon are processed on shore-except for those fish Frozen At Sea.

Some fish are sold to floating buyers (packers) at central points coast wide to be rapidly shipped to shore side canneries.

While I appreciate your concern posting completely erroneous information on a serious subject like this-without even troubling to check the links-is beyond irresponsible.

Link:

Floating Processors

Work in alaska on a floating processor. The three largest seasons are the summer salmon season, the groundfish seasons and the crabbing seasons.

The links mention pollock processing because those stories occurred during pollock season. However, I chose those links because I felt they most clearly demonstrate how fish are processed at sea, and link #2 colorfully describes the working conditions. I feel it is pertinent to a discussion of wild vs. domestically raised fish to have some insight into how the product is procured, and more information on its seasonal nature. Our local grocer has wild, FAS salmon for only 21-23 days out of the year.

The Alaska, home port Seattle, does indeed process salmon at sea, as does the Independence, owned by Trident Seafoods, and also based in Seattle.

It is true that salmon canneries are abundant in Alaska, and most canning is done onshore. The canneries are equipped to produce a much higher volume of quality product than floating processors. The floating processors will often anchor at sea during pollock and groundfish seasons, then anchor in port to act as receivers/freezers for less than a month during salmon season. However, Trident's Arctic 5, a floating processor, produces high protein salmon meal as a world market commodity. Salmon is not processed (procedures other than freezing) as much as pollock because only a few hundred thousand pounds of salmon are delivered each day during an extremely short season, versus several million pounds of pollock a day during a much, much longer season. The processing platforms for pollock are geared for large volumes, and no waste. Pollock pieces are even centrifuged for surimi and fish meal product. Trying to process salmon at sea is like dumping a half of a ton of grapes into a twenty ton press--you need more volume or it's a waste of time. There are, however, floating processors that do work with end product from salmon.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

Find me on Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  There are, however, floating processors that do work with end product from salmon.

Big Deal! :rolleyes:

There are people who don't obey the stop signs/grow marijuana in the basements but they don't represent the majority of law abiding citizens.

Similarly the horrific working conditions are described in the articles you posted to have no parallel in the Salmon processing business-to suggest otherwise is slander!

Living here in BC I've had the opportunity to know people from all sectors of the Salmon processing business-I take exception with any one them being characterised as brutes or their soulless overseers as per the articles you've posted.

I suggest you visit a Salmon cannery next you're in Alaska-talk to Management/Union reps/Workers/Fishermen themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A question for all you non-PNW'erners:

When you buy salmon, is it simply labeled "farmed" or "wild?" Or perhaps just "wild King" or "wild sockeye?"

Here in Seattle, branding has become standard. Even in the most mainstream grocery stores, if I look at packaged salmon, it's going to be labeled with who caught it, how it was processed and what type it is. Ie, "Bruce Gore's troll caught Coho FAS." If it's under glass, the guys behind the counter (we're still talking regular supermarket, not specialty fish store) will be able to tell me the same things.

Maybe I'm naive, but it seems like there's less chance for fraud when labeled this way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realize this isn't easy when you're looking at fillets on ice that could be Atlantic, Spring or Coho, but surely it's a start. Am I missing something here?

It's easy for someone like myself who's been catching/killing/cleaning/eating Pacific Salmon for 30+ years others would find it more of a challenge.

Also remember there are 6 different types of Pacific Salmon-which adds to the confusion.

But surely nobody will bother to ship pink or chum to New York or Montreal (where I'm located); and Sockeye is probably the easiest to identify visually (unless we're talking about some serious adulteration). I think it's really the species whose flesh is visually similar to the Atlantic salmon's that ought to cause the most wariness among consumers.

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to visit my local merchants since this discussion began yesterday, but I'm curious to go and see how different the fish market looks to me in light of all this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Living here in BC I've had the opportunity to know people from all sectors of the Salmon processing business-I take exception with any one them being characterised as brutes or their soulless overseers as per the articles you've posted.

I suggest you visit a Salmon cannery next you're in Alaska-talk to Management/Union reps/Workers/Fishermen themselves.

I have no idea where you're coming from on this. Sixteen hour work days are expected on these boats, and while the hours are brutal, the pay is incredible. My son applied for work on the Alaska, but was not accepted (deemed too young). It would have been a great way to finance his desire to attend culinary school. He is now working as a head line cook, which pays the bills, but it's nothing close to what he can earn during 3 months on a processor.

Injuries are frequent in a cold environment, working with a slippery product and machinery and exhaustive hours. However, at the tender age of 21 my son is already a trained arborist, topping and felling 150 ft. trees in suburban environments, and clinging to said trees with a whirring chainsaw dangling from his waist below him while the top snaps free above him. I think I prefer the processor.

Also, I have visited canneries. I am from the PNW, and my father, a retired bank president and third generation agricultural entrepreneur (as I prefer to call us farmers), has financed them. I also know my way around a commercial fishing vessel (as a visitor, not staff). My boyfriend in the '70s owned a fleet of seven boats out of Blaine, Washington, and I traveled out with friends based in Anacortes several times during the years I lived in the San Juan Islands. I also had friends in the Lummi Indian tribe and reservation and between my boyfriend and Indian friends in the '70s I was all too aware of the gunfights at sea, and tricks like throwing boulders in each others' nets or slashing nets that had been hung to dry.

Fishermen, loggers, Indians, and cowboys were part of my childhood, adolescence, and first love. Although my mother wanted me to become a teacher, nurse or airline attendant, my female role models included widows and abandoned mothers who single-handedly ran logging and fishing operations, and I still value those models as a woman in an intensively male agricultural industry.

I have great respect for the men and women who get our fresh and frozen salmon quickly to our markets.

A question for all you non-PNW'erners:

When you buy salmon, is it simply labeled "farmed" or "wild?" Or perhaps just "wild King" or "wild sockeye?"

At this time I believe detailed labeling for salmon, other than country of origin, is not mandatory, but many companies voluntarily provide it, using the same sort of software labeling required for shellfish. If you ask your market to look up the "country of origin" label (which they are supposed to provide if you ask for it) it may also state "ocean caught," "farm raised," etc., date caught, and may even provide more geographical information.

My sister writes, sells, and provides training on that software from Olympia, Washington.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

Find me on Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at my local grocery store yesterday. They didn't have any "wild" salmon, but did have some labeled as "organic", that was twice the price of the regular farmed stuff. The supermarket had no written information on the fish. When I asked the attendant where the fish was from, he said "Alaska". Figuring that by labeling it "organic" rather than wild, the fish was farmed, I told him that was unlikely. I actually bought some to try since the quality at least looked fresher than the regular stuff. It wasn't bad on the grill.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What people may be losing sight of, is that in the days before aquaculture and the depletion of the Atlantic salmon, Wild Atlantic salmon was considered a significantly superior food fish to the Pacific salmon, and sold for a premium, at least 15-20%.  It was fatter and had a fuller and richer flavor, perhaps almost like prime beef as compared to choice.  Even today, farmed Altlantic salmon has certain qualities that are superior to the Pacific salmon, although typically wild Pacific salmon does have significantly better overall flavor than any farmed version.  However, we do need to keep in mind that comparing wild Pacific salmon to farmed Atlantic is not purely an apples to apples comparison.  One can still find locally caught wild Atlantic salmon, in season, in certain restaurants in France, Les Pyrenees in St Jean Pied de Port in the French Basque country is an example, and it remains a revelation.

I wouldn't disagree with your statement, Marcus, but taste, unfortunately, is hardly the issue. Or perhaps your thoughts simply underscore that issue: a vanished species tasted better, but it's essentially available no more. On the Pacific Coast, many are now working to avert the catastrophe of the Atlantic wild salmon fishery.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One aspect of this discussion that I find interesting that no one has brought up is the issue of health with respect to salmon (and other farmed, or potentially farmed) fish. My wife's ob-gyn has told her that while she is pregnant, she is to eat 1 serving of wild salmon per week - whether she wants to or not. Farmed salmon are a big no-no, however. Mislabeling, in this case, could very much be hazardous to a person's (and a person's future children's) health.

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...