Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hey Salmon Producers Give Me a Break

I used to enjoy watching John Stossel on 20/20 and his Give Me A Break segments. I even had the opportunity to attend a dinner at Stetson Law where he spoke. I wonder what he would say about the current state of the Salmon industry. That most of the Industrial Salmon Complex are owned by few companies leads one to ponder conspiracy theories.
We are all guilty for enjoying the relatively inexpensive farm raised Atlantic salmon during its hey day. The American people generally ignored all the bad press the lowly salmon had to take. Food writers and scientists alike criticized the fish because of the way in which it was raised, that it was dyed or color added, and that it was contaminated with toxins, or that it just didn't taste as good. Maybe Top Chef contestant and finalist Stefan will forget all he thinks he knows about farmed salmon after his disappointing showing cooking or overcooking as the judges determined lean wild coho salmon. Despite all its bad press most people love the richness and fattiness of Atlantic Salmon.
But will we still like the price. In the past month the price of farmed salmon at the wholesale level has increased by upwards of 30 percent and is showing no signs of leveling off. Give me a break!
Why is this? Has demand risen so sharply to justify these prices? No, the facts of this case are a result of ISA infectious salmon anemia in Chile. The fact that many of the same companies own farms both in Chile and worldwide have not prevented these widespread price increases.
Maybe now is the time for a widespread boycott the likes of the Give Swordfish a Break. Well maybe after Lent.

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