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Webchat with Waitrose fish experts, Mon 22 June, 1-2pm

(221 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Jun-09 12:28:13

As some of you may already know, our friends at Waitrose are sponsoring the film The End of the Line, which is all about ocean sustainability and the dangers of over-fishing.

And on Monday (22 June, 1-2pm), Quentin Clark and Neil Nugent from Waitrose will be joining us for a live webchat all about fish.

Neil is an executive chef at Waitrose and will no doubt have lots of lovely fish recipes up his corporate sleeve. Quentin is Waitrose's fish buyer and knows all there is to know about responsible fishing (and fish-eating).

We hope you'll join us for the chat on Monday but, as ever, if you can't (or you can't wait), please post your advance questions here.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:00:15

Question: how can you justify selling any farmed salmon at all given what you know about the huge risks to health because of PCPs and dioxins which are concentrated in their food and antibiotics and sealice treatments all of which pose risks to human health from ingestion?

From a marine conservation point of view, selling farmed salmon is criminal as it takes more than 3lb of wild fish to raise 1 lb of farmed salmon, and said fish are often juveniles of endangered species.

I shop in Waitrose but hope fervently that you will take the lead in raising awareness that far from being a health giving food, farmed salmon is both a health risk and an ecological disaster.

And before you plead that not all farmed salmon is equal, please know that I am fully aware that even so called 'organic' farmed salmon is treated with 'SLICE' a sealice treatment which is carcinogenic. The soil association have let their brand down badly in allowing the term organic to be applied to farmed salmon. The same conservation issues outlined above apply to all farmed salmon.

Further any farmed salmon's flesh would be grey were it not for the addition of canthaxanthin, a substance that was banned as a tanning pill in the UK because it accumulates in the retina.

Why are you stocking this stuff?

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:01:09

I buy tilapia but have tos ay it very fast as I dont really know how to pronounce it.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:03:49

A survey done in 2004 for the journal 'Science'. Their conclusion, using the standard set by the environmental protection agency was that because of the concentration of pollutants in salmon food, the vast majority of farm raised salmon is only fit to be consumed at a rate of one meal or less per month. The same survey concluded that Scottish farmed salmon should be no more than three times a year. That is from a health RISK point of view.

In other words farmed salmon is dangerous for human consumption.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:05:28

Can i recommend the book 'Bottom Feeder' by Taras Grescoe. The End of the Line cites much of the same research. If you are really promoting this film, what are you doing selling anything but wild salmon.

It really is not acceptable.

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:06:05

god you are serious today soph.
say tilapia.
go''rn

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:07:29

Responsibly farmed Tilapia in an enclosed system so that it isn't polluting water sources is fine.

I am very serious about this, dh lives and breathes this stuff, and has been concerned about it for years. We do not eat any farmed salmon and would never give it to ds.

So many people have no idea about this, that's what makes me angry.

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:08:03

you said it right.

well done

<gavel>

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:08:48

I thank you.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:09:35

apparently you say it with the emphasis on the LAP as in sitting on my lap.

ti-LAP-ia

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:12:20

oi how was that party and what did you wear in the end?

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 18:13:59

was fantastic. wore THOSE shoes. and green dress. and big bangles that matched the shoes.

[fish credibility leaves the building]

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:15:13

no no
i meant the one with the yellow gap top

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 18:15:27

AND how are the blue shoes? omg

TheUnstrungHarp Sat 20-Jun-09 18:23:29

I had a vague idea that there were issues with farmed salmon, sophable, but didn't know they were so serious. Thanks for bringing it up - have just looked up the study you mentioned.

Was planning to have Waitrose salmon this evening (not so keen now). It says on the packet:

"From Waitrose dedicated farms in locations carefully chosen for their highly oxygenated, fast flowing tidal waters, where the salmon are reared to the highest welfare standards with care for the environment."

You wouldn't think there could possibly be anything wrong, would you? Hope Waitrose fish experts can answer sophable's question.

I avoided farmed salmon in both of my pregnancies, and only eat it occasionally now, much preferring to buy wild salmon. Most people seem to think that I'm mad and that my midwife was mad for suggesting this (I had no idea previously), so I'm glad to have affirmation!

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 20:13:51

unstrung that packaging is the equivalent of asda 'farmer bloggs bred beef, he really cares' i.e. the only thing that can be said for it is that it is british. it is better than chilean farmed salmon (your cheapest stuff, any economy atlantic salmon). but it is still very bad for your health.

i have to say, that the main reason most people eat salmon is for the health advantage of it being rich in omega 3. but the health advice about farmed salmon is to make sure it is really well cooked and to dispose of it's skin and as much of the oil (where toxins are concentrated) as possible. modern farm techniques increasingly use food which is not rich in omega 3, so the health advantages are gone.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 20:15:15

cantsleep you were given very good advice indeed. and same goes for giving farmed salmon to children. not advisable.

sophable Sat 20-Jun-09 20:19:12

have to add that if you look at the study, it says that toxins are greatest in farmed salmon from scotland and faroe islands. less so in chile. HOWEVER, there are far fewer restrictions on anti-biotics and de-licing treatments outside Europe.

TheUnstrungHarp Sat 20-Jun-09 21:11:40

It makes for pretty grim reading doesn't it?

Am very interested to hear what Waitrose have to say on this.

(Didn't know about toxins being concentrated in the skin - I always give it to the cat for a treat. Poor little thing's probably in toxic overload.)

EachPeachPearMum Sat 20-Jun-09 21:24:58

The USDA recommend eating farmed salmon no more than twice a year. We never eat British salmon at all- just Wild Alaskan when I see it. (Only seem to have smoked wild Alaskan at christmas/New Year time- bah!)

BEAUTlFUL Sun 21-Jun-09 00:42:08

How would I know if I'm eatimg farmed salmon, say if it were in a fish pie ready meal?

sophable Sun 21-Jun-09 01:33:48

fish pie ready meal is definitely farmed. probably the cheapest kind of farmed.

if it doesn't say it is wild it is farmed.

MagNacarta Sun 21-Jun-09 08:29:54

Good timing, I posted this week to ask if anyone had some ideas on how to include omega3&6 in our diet more (rather than suppliments). I'm not a huge fish eater although I love sashimi (??) and am a bit lost how to cook it, so I need educating. Which are the best fish for omega 3's and do you have some great ideas on what to do with them?

PS - a lovely man on the Waitrose fish counter saw me floundering (s'cuse pun) and sorted me out wish some salmon and a garnish bag - was fab.

Jumente Sun 21-Jun-09 09:48:09

Oh this is brilliant, feels very 1940s for some reason to be having a housewifely chat all about fish smile

JulesJules Sun 21-Jun-09 12:01:44

Am I right in thinking that squid has no sustainability issues?

DH and the DDs love it - they usually have it with chilli, garlic, a few prawns and squid ink spaghetti. Any other ideas?

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