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Wild, Farmed, and GM

salmon-safe-logo 250x297In a far away land, there lived a fisherman who fished and fished and fished. The salmon he caught were sold at the marketplace. He was an early rising and hard working fisherman who had learned the habits of the fish. He understood their cycles and seasons, like when they would return to spawn. He respected the gift of the fish and so only fished in such a way as to not hurt the future of the fish or its ability to continue to feed not only people, but all living things within the watershed (bears, eagles, earthworms, grasses, trees).

As the years marched on, the fisherman noticed that the fish he was catching were a little smaller and less plentiful as they once were. He still sold his fish at the marketplace, but now he had competition from a farmer selling “farmed” fish. The farmer was raising salmon in a pen. The cost of raising the fish was cheaper and the marketplace got a bargain.

Eventually, word spread that the farmer’s fish didn’t have the richness, color, or the revered Omega 3s found in the wild salmon populations. The farmer soon discovered, however, that if he took the food of the wild salmon, like sardines and herring, and made it into fishmeal and fish oil to feed his farmed salmon, they tasted better. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bycatch (incidental or unwanted fish and other marine species) in the process and, as to be expected, a lot less fish for the wild salmon to eat.

The marketplace was growing weary and leery of farmed salmon, and for good reason. The farmer realized that the customers were becoming educated and were voicing their opinion about the overharvesting of sardines and all the bycatch. To make matters worse, word was getting out that his farmed fish were “getting out.”

After some thought, the farmer contacted another farmer and started to buy genetically modified (GM) soybeans to supplement the fish meal and fish oil, to help his farmed salmon grow bigger sooner. He reasoned that if his fish grew quickly, not only would they be ready for market sooner on less feed, but they would spend less time in the pen, meaning less chance for escapement. All of this would mean more profit.

Later, when a scientist discovered that a growth hormone could be injected into the salmon egg, causing the fish to grow twice as fast and twice as big, the farmer embraced the scientist. The marketplace, however, embraced neither, but instead let the farmer know that they would not eat his farmed, GM-fed, or GM-altered fish.

Thankfully, the fisherman was still fishing and bringing his nutrient-rich, Omega 3 laden wild salmon to  the marketplace, where he was greeted by excited customers who valued the fish and the fisherman for helping them live better and eat better.

Always organic, always GMO free.