Salmon: What You Should Know Before You Eat It

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and it supposed to be very good for you. Farm raised, wild caught, organic…these are all labels that can be found on salmon packaging, but how do you know which one to buy?  Dr. David Carpenter from the Healthy Child Science Advisory Committee has a few clarifications and debunks some myths about salmon.

Originally posted on MSN Health on Feb 2, 2011

According to Dr. David Carpenter:

MYTH: Organic is best.
TRUTH: There’s no standard for organic fish, so go with wild. Organic implies antibiotics aren’t put in the water, but the salmon still get feed that has contaminants.

MYTH: Skip all farmed salmon.
TRUTH: If you can’t get wild, opt for farmed Canadian, which has fewer contaminants than farmed European.

MYTH: Mercury is the issue with farmed salmon.
TRUTH: Salmon has little mercury. Dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, and other toxins are the culprits.

MYTH: Wild salmon has more omega-3’s than farmed.
TRUTH: Farmed salmon has more. They’re fed fish oil. But the toxin risks outweigh the benefits of the fatty acids.

* * *

The same should be considered when purchasing fish oils.  Stick to companies like Pathway, Nordic Naturals, Carlson, and Xymogen for a high-quality supplement.

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GMO Salmon? What Next?

I don’t think you should mess with nature. We have more than enough food on this planet to feed everyone thousands of times over, yet we still believe that tampering with nature is going to help with food quality and quantity. AquaBounty Technologies announced that they have genetically engineered a faster-growing Atlantic farm salmon that they want to make available in grocery stores. The FDA has just concluded 2 days of hearings to try to determine if this “frankenfish” is safe. For the time being, permission has not been granted to proceed, as the FDA is asking for more research. But we surely have not heard the end of this.

There has been much resistance to allowing GMO fish to enter our food supply. Some arguments include:

1. Genetically altered salmon will not have to be labeled as GMO. If AquaBounty Technologies can prove that it’s “safe,” the FDA would require no further labeling.

2. AquaBounty and their advocates can’t prove that it is safe in the long run. GMO salmon could have a big impact at both environmental and human levels.

3. Farmed salmon in general have been found to be less safe to eat than wild caught salmon, as they have a higher concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the concentrated fish meal used to create their feed.

Weigh in. How do you feel about GMO foods?

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