Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thou shall have a fishie, on a little dishie

Birdseye have an advert selling salmon products, in which their main selling point is the fact that they only use sea-caught salmon.

Farmed salmon are apparently fed a colourant so that their flesh is the colour people expect of salmon, which in wild salmon they acquire through their diet.

Much like flamingoes are only pink if they're getting the right food.

I'm dubious about this. I think conserving our seas should be a higher priority. Surely we should change our expectations and educate ourselves to accept the "wrong" coloured but farmed salmon, ie. remove the artificial colourings from farmed fishes' diet and eat them, instead?

I'm not sure what environmental impact fish farms have, of course (and maybe I should look into it before shooting my mouth off - but let's not let it stop me for now :D), but I am aware of over-fishing and the future of our seas as issues. I don't know whether wild salmon stocks are threatened, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Obviously what sells is the driving force, but the consumer isn't always right; things like artificially shining apples and not accepting funny-shaped ones at supplier level mean our expectations of our food are unreasonable.

Not that I'm not guilty of buying this stuff. (Apart from fish, I don't eat fish).

I remember there was a recent hoohah about Rick Stein's restaurant selling cod. I thought that was ludicrous: the people to worry about on the cod issue are the mass-producers of fish-fingers and fish'n'chip shops, not one celebrity chef's restaurant. Of course, it's demand, people like their cod.


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