But, is farmed salmon really healthy enough for the populace to consume? According to numerous resources, farmed salmon contain high levels of BPCS (Polycarbonate pinwheels), which have been “ linked to reproductive and immunological problems in several species of wildlife. ” (Anon. , 2004) Unlike some consumers, I do not think the low cost of farmed salmon outweighs the health risks from BPCS. Wild salmon can get costly, while farm-raised salmon can provide consumers with the desired product for a fraction of the cost. Half the salmon sold world-wide come from fish farms. (Anon. , 2004) With so many Americans out of work and restaurants and other businesses struggling to keep their doors open, archiving farmed salmon cuts down on costs while providing customers with an option of a heart healthy, protein enriched fish that consumer’s desire.
Farm-raised salmon is perfectly safe and healthy. (Anon. , 2007) Farm-raised salmon is affordable, low in mercury, high in omega-3 fish oil and a sustainable resource year round.
(Anon. 2007) Farms gather eggs and aid in fertilization in a controlled setting for 12-18 months until Juvenile salmon are moved to net-pens until adulthood. Salmon farms use scuba divers to monitor the cages on a regular basis to check on the status of the fish. Anon.
, 2007) When these salmon reach their harvest size the harvesting process is “ designed to ensure high quality and fresh salmon, which is quickly shipped to a harvesting plant, then distributed to stores and restaurants. ” (Anon. , 2007) The price of farmed salmon is usually around $6/pound compared to wild salmon at $12-$15 per pound.
Farmed Salmon is an affordable, healthy and year round choice of fish. Farm-raised salmon may be more affordable, but is it really safe? BPCS are man-made chemicals used in electrical equipment and as additives to paint, plastics and other products. Hooligan, 2003) Unfortunately, they are now found in today’s farm-raised salmon. (Anon. , 2004) BPCS stick to soil and sediment and can also travel through the air. High doses can kill fish. BPCS are also said to be persistent, cancer-causing chemicals that contaminate the environment and food supply. Farmed salmon accumulate BPCS from the fishmeal they are fed.
The feed usually consists of small ground up fish like herring and anchovies, which are high in oil and fats. Salmon feed is contaminated with high levels of BPCS as they tend to fester in oils and fats. Farmed fish are exposed to leaky old equipment and incinerators that will contaminate the feed with BPCS. Wild salmon and other coca mammals such as seals can also accumulate BPCS as a side effect of industries and their pollutants and run-off, but in low and harmless levels. Hooligan, 2003) “ If farmed salmon with the average PC level were caught in the wild, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) advice would be to restrict consumption to no more than one meal a month.
But, because farmed salmon are bought, not caught, their consumption is not restricted in any way. ” (Hooligan, 2003) Apparently, salmon were not always such a big part of the U. S. Diet and the Food and Drug Administration has not updated its BPCS health limit for commercial seafood since was originally created in 1984. Many environmental groups like the Environmental Working Group have been submitting their data to congress and the FDA, encouraging immediate action. (Hooligan, 2003) Presented with all of the facts on farm-raised salmon, I see only one option: avoid it at all costs. Farm-raised salmon may cost significantly less and may come from a respectable and conscientious far but I would rather not take the risk of consuming a product if there is even a chance f high BPCS levels that could cause reproduction challenges or even cancer.
If PC can travel in air and soil, I must be exposed to them daily, but why would I knowing put them into my body? I feel it is very important to know where all of the food I consume comes from, which is why my favorite salmon to eat is the one that is caught right before my eyes. Though, I have not yet hooked one myself, my companions have had the good fortune to catch salmon in the Nooks River. I will also happily support wild Alaskan salmon fishermen by purchasing the very expensive and low risk choice of heart healthy fish! I encourage every person to take a closer look at what they are consuming and know the facts.
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