“Global Study Reveals Higher Levels of Potentially Harmful Flame Retardant Chemicals in Farmed Salmon than in Wild.” (source)
Salmon is one of the most delicious as well as most nutritious foods on earth. I eat it almost everyday. This fish is full of essential nutrients your body needs. The natives of the Pacific knew this intimately. They consumed salmon to live. These friends of the earth also used every conceivable part of the salmon; bones for tools, uneaten meat for jerky, and so on. This fish was revered by the natives of our country and for many reasons should be by us too.
Today, over fishing of these important members of the earth has caused their numbers to significantly drop prompting many of the species to land on the Endangered Species List. However, the demand for salmon has not decreased.
According to the Alaskan Salmon Report, between the years of 2000 and 2004 Americans alone consumed more than 284,000 metric tons of salmon. One third of these salmon were Pacific Salmon and two thirds were Atlantic salmon.
Types of Salmon
There are two types of salmon, Pacific and Atlantic. Within the Pacific group there are a few different species. These five main species of Pacific salmon are:
- Chinook or King
- Sockeye or Red
- Coho or Silver
- Chum or Dog
- Pink or Humpback
In addition there are two types of Pacific salmon only found in Asia; masu and amago.
Each of these species and types of salmon live in saltwater but are born, spawn and usually die in freshwater. In fact, if you don’t know the salmon’s life story you may be interested. This saltwater fish is born in the freshwater streams, after birth the fish swim to the sea where they live for three to four years. When it comes time for the fish to spawn they mysteriously travel upstream to the exact spot in the freshwater river where they were born. At this time they spawn, then die. The salmon certainly have an interesting life cycle. This life cycle is one of the reasons the Natives were so mesmerized by this fish and paid it such great honor.
But before you buy your next salmon steak be sure you know what you’ll be putting into your body.
AquaBounty, GMO’s and Salmon
As you know, there are different types of salmon. With many of the desired types of salmon being placed on the endangered species list, food manufacturing companies have responded to the demand for these salmon by farm raising salmon. Farm raised salmon are less nutritious and less desirable than their counterparts, wild salmon.
Farm raised salmon contain less of the highly sought after omega-3’s, they contain more toxins via their diet and use of antibiotics and pesticides, and they are even fed a reddish-pink dye in their food so there body meat turns a more appetizing pink color.
In addition, farm raised fish and salmon present a host of environmental concerns. But today, one company, AquaBounty, has taken this farm raised fish a step further and developed genetically modified salmon.
Genetically modified means just what it says; the genetics, the inner structure that makes the salmon what it is has been changed.
In general genetically modified foods present several problems for the consumer that you must know about before you buy these foods and in particular this type of salmon.
GMO Foods Offer a Host of Problems:
- Increase in allergies
- Increase in antibiotic resistance
- Problems with endocrine system
- Disorders of the reproductive system
- Increase in aging symptoms
AquaBounty, is a biotechnology company founded in 1991 that describes itself in the following way,
“a biotechnology company focused on improving productivity in commercial aquaculture, an $86 billion industry and the fastest growing segment of the worldwide food industry. Our objective is the application of biotechnology to ensure the availability of high quality seafood to meet global consumer demand.”
AquaBounty is striving to meet the increased global consumer demand for salmon, but are they doing are your expense? Many in the medical and scientific community think so. I highly suggest you avoid eating these types of genetically modified salmon and instead opt for the most natural type of salmon you can find. This will be the wild salmon.
As companies in the United States, unlike many European countries, are not required to label their products GMO, it’s essential you look instead for labels that say the salmon you buy is wild. (Don’t be afraid to get to know and ask the person at your local fish store or counter questions about where the salmon is coming from too.)
It’s important to consumer wild raised salmon for its incomparable health benefits.
Wild Salmon is Rich in:
- Omega 3’s
- Vitamin E
- Good fats
Farm raised salmon is not as nutritious, and GM salmon lacks the same nutrients and offers a host of other potential problems.
When shopping for salmon be sure to look for the following:
How to Pick Salmon
- Fresh smelling (not fishy or odory)
- Clear eyes
- No slime in gills
- Red gills bright in color
- Firm flesh that springs back to the touch
- Free of cuts on belly area or other parts of the body
- Free of discoloration
- Consistent coloring, no dark spots
- Flesh intact with bone
When you do select a healthy salmon to eat be sure to store it properly too. Salmon should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator such as the meat drawer or the lowest shelf in the back of the fridge.
Since salmon is the number three most consumed fish in the United States it’s important to know what you’re buying and at all costs avoid AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon.
Salmon was honored by the natives here before us for many reasons. Eating salmon is a great health choice but be certain you’re consuming the correct kind of salmon to bring you optimal health and vitality.
Salmon is one of the healthiest food choices you can make and salmon ranks in at the third most consumed fish in the United States behind canned tuna and shrimp. And while salmon can offer a host of health benefits, not all salmon are created equally. New to the market is AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon. Learn all about the dangers of this type of fish and what salmon to look for at your market.
Dr. Axe's Action Steps
- Only Buy Organic (non-GMO), Wild Caught Salmon
- Tell everyone about the dangers of GMO Salmon and Fish Farming