Thursday, March 27, 2008

Salmont collapse- There's nothing bad for you at the farmers market

So said Michael Pollan at a recent talk at Stanford promoting his new book "In Defense of Food."

We can get fish from Half Moon Bay at some farmer’s markets like the San Mateo City College Market and the Menlo Park market. Pietro Parravano explains that salmon require management of both, ocean where the focus has been, and land based habitats, where salmon are born and die. The land habitats are under pressure from water usage causing the wild fisheries to collapse of the west coast.

“Craig Barbre, of Morro Bay, said he and his wife took their boat to troll off the coast of Alaska last summer and may have to do the same this year. But with soaring fuel costs, there's no guarantee they can make ends meet.”

But given the price of salmon or tuna at the farmer's market people feel that they are doing the environment a favor by consuming farmed salmon. Belmont is only 12 miles from Half Moon Bay yet its impossible to get fish from Half Moon Bay in Belmont. There are three Safeways in Belmont. Farmed salmon from Marine Harvest in Chile are dying of Infectious Salmon Anemia. “Many of these salmon still end up in American grocery stores Costco and Safeway."

The Times article says farmed fish consume “medicated food” which “contained antibiotics and pigment as well as hormones to make the fish grow faster.” The antibiotics are used in higher doses than are allowed in the US and "some antibiotics that are not allowed in American aquaculture, like flumequine and oxolinic acid, are legal in Chile and may increase antibiotic resistance for people." The feed is colorized with "rosy, which has been associated with retina problems in humans."

That these sick salmon could end up in the food supply is not surprising. Downer cows have been in the food supply for a while and the recent big recall only happened because of exposure.

So eat less salmon (or tuna) and get local fish from the farmer’s market or out at the coast. We should be eating less predatory fish anyway, because our mercury tailings from power plants, static removers, florescent bulbs, thermometers, etc. ends up concentrated in the large predators, along with other pollutants, and the government irresponsibly puts a label warning on fish instead of addressing the issues with product manufacture and disposal.

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