Should I eat salmon?

We are encouraged to eat two or three servings of oily fish a week.  This makes sense, as the omega 3 it contains is known to be beneficial for brain health and cardiovascular health.  
One of our favourite oily fishes is salmon.  It is versatile and tasty, but the high demand for it has led to the creation of large fish farms, with fish farms in Scotland and Norway supplying the UK.  The problem with this, however, is that keeping large numbers of fish in a relatively small space means disease can be a problem- and to remedy this, the fish are routinely given antibiotics.  Lice can be a problem too, and the fish are treated with pesticide based anti-lice treatments to keep them lice free.  The feed given to farmed fish can also be contaminated with carcinogens, including dioxin. Also, if you are concerned for the environment- and let's face it, we all need to be- think about the effect of all the faecal matter from fish farms polluting our seas, not to mention the pesticides leaching out.  Then there is the problem of fish escaping and possibly infecting wild popuations with lice.   
You may think the solution is to eat organic fish.  Unfortunately, the high standards we have come to expect from organic chicken and meat do not seem to apply to organic salmon.  It is true the fish have more space to swim, and are fed on fish waste from fish for human consumption (which is possibly safer than the alternative fish feeds) but the is little evidence to support the belief that eating organic salmon is healthier than eating non-organic farmed fish.
The best option in terms of health seems to me to eat wild salmon- but remember wild salmon stocks are endangered.  Expect to pay approximately double for wild salmon, and look for sockeye salmon cerified by the MSC.  You will be rewarded with a superior tasting fish which is also richer in omega 3 than farmed salmon.  However, If you want a cheaper (and more enviromentally ethical) alternative to this you could try keta salmon which is no more expensive usually than farmed salmon.  The downside is that it can be drier, and not as rich in omega 3s.  
Here is a recipe you might want to try with wild or keta salmon. 
Citrus salmon 
Serves 2
2 wild salmon fillets
4 tbsp tamari
Juice and zest of one large orange 
1 tbsp lemon
2 garlic cloves, sliced.
1/2 tsp stevia or to taste
Place salmon fillets in an oven-proof dish and mix tamari, orange juice and zest, lemon, stevia and garlic in another dish, reserving 2 slices orange for decoration if you wish.
Pour the mix over the salmon and top with orange slices if using.  
Place in an oven at 200degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with couscous, quinoa and vegetables or salad.


Janet x

Recipe and article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

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