Salmon farming vs wild salmon harvesting

Salmon is a food that everyone wants on their dinner table, but there are problems with the industry as it now stands.

At one time wild salmon and the industries supplying this healthy fish flourished in the salmons’ spawning grounds of the Northwest and Alaska. However, today, people are either eating wild salmon from canned sources or are buying the now affordable farmed salmon.

The flavor of a grilled farmed salmon is very good, and consumers have been buying it eagerly. Farmed salmon, however,  is not what it is cooked up to be; it contains toxic substances that could possibly cause cancer.

An online source said farmed salmon contains sixteen times more PCBs than wild salmon. PCBs are Polychlorinated biphenyl which are mixtures of 209 individual chlorinated compounds. They are no longer manufactured, have been out of commercial production since 1977; but were once used for refrigerants and lubricants in transformers and in other electrical equipment. They were useful because they burn easily and make good insulators.

Yet they now exist because of environmental pollution and the fish absorb them from contaminated sediments and from their food. Yet, the consumption of salmon has not been banned by the government, but it is recommended that farmed salmon be eaten only once a month. It is not banned entirely because salmon is such a heart healthy food. So the problem boils down to this: Should farmed salmon be eaten for its heart healthy properties, or should it be shunned for its potential cancer causing potential?

Recommendations give these tips: Trim the skin and all the visible fat from the salmon; broil or grill the salmon because this eliminates more of the visible fat; or, try salmon from canned sources.

Another problem with farmed salmon is that of North Western and Alaskan salmon fishermen losing their jobs. In 1980, 99 percent of salmon was from the wild, now its only 40 percent. The situation has grown so severe, that Alaska bans farmed salmon industries.

There are 121 salmon farms in British Columbia and seven in Washington State. About 70 percent of salmon produced there are now from farms and not from the wild.

There are two species of Atlantic Salmon: Salmo Solar and Atlantic Salmon. There are six species of the Pacific salmon, of the genus Oncorhynchus, family Salmonidae. Of this latter group, the specific names are chum, chinook, pink, sockeye and coho.

So, why not indulge yourself in canned salmon the next you think it is time for a salmon treat. It is much less expensive and one can of salmon can supply protein for a family of six for dinner. It’s only a little bother to open up a can of salmon, dump it into a pan, add a little salt and pepper, a bit of chopped onion, a little flower, a little corn meal, an egg and whatever else you use to pad your salmon patties to make them filling for your family.

These are tasty when cooked in a large skillet with canola oil and on top of the stove with medium heat. For an extra crispy patty be generous with the corn meal and make sure the skillet is hot when you place them in. After a minute or two, turn the heat down and cover and let cook for about five minutes.

Then turn them over, uncover, and brown the other side. When crisp, drain on a paper towel. The only drawback to cooking salmon on top of the stove instead of on the patio on a grill is the odor. The odor does linger. But then we can’t have everything, a healthy diet and a good smelling house at the same time.

Fastidiousness, I believe, can also be carcinogenic; in a roundabout way, that is. In life there’s always choices, if not between farm salmon and wild salmon; it’s between heart healthy salmon and carcinogenic salmon.