It's Time to Give Up Salmon

Populations are decreasing, and farmed specimens aren't healthy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2008 8:16 AM CDT
Salmon sit on ice Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.    (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Salmon is supposed to be the perfect indulgence: low in saturated fats, high in omega-3 fatty acids, cheaper than ever at your local supermarket. But Taras Grescoe thinks you should stop eating it anyway. Wild salmon populations are dying off, he writes in the New York Times, thanks mostly to man-made habitat problems and overfishing. And the farmed salmon that's taken over grocery store shelves is not the healthy alternative it appears to be.

Farmed salmon are routinely prey to parasites and disease. To combat the disease, some farmers have begun using powerful pesticides—the kind used to rid trees of pine beetles. It’s not something you want in your body, Grescoe argues, declaring that for now, “I’ll be eating closer to the bottom of the food chain. Sardines, it turns out, taste pretty good barbecued.” (Read more salmon stories.)