Spread over a bagel or roasted on the grill, salmon is one of my favorite fish. Packed with those heart-healthy Omega-3s, salmon is both healthy and flavorful.
But the salmon fishing industry is less than healthy. The fatty orange fish have been heavily overfished and fish farms are suffering from a virus that’s leaking into the wild population. According to this op-ed by Taras Grescoe in the New York Times, farmed salmon is also heavily treated with pesticides, and because the FDA doesn’t test for one particularly toxic one, it could very well be present in most salmon you buy at the supermarket. Farmed salmon also takes enormous amounts of fish protein to sustain.
So what’s a fish lover to do? Eat lower down the food chain. The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers a bounty of information on which fish to eat and which to avoid. Rather than serving grilled salmon, for instance, opt for trout, striped bass, tilapia, sardines or Pacific Halibut. Check out their resource guides to find the best fish to eat for your region.
Given how cheap salmon is — check out the jumbo packages at Costco — it’s easy to buy without guilt. But the price we’ll pay if we continue gulping down this aquatic being is that there may not be any in the years to come.