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New York Times Food writer distorts salmon farm facts: British Columbia grass roots demand printed clarification

A Canadian spokesperson for a British Columbia community group says there's something fishy about the way New York Times food writer Marian Burros fell for anti-fishfarming rhetoric, hook, line and sinker.

June 25, 2003

A Canadian spokesperson for a British Columbia community group says there's something fishy about the way New York Times food writer Marian Burros fell for anti-fishfarming rhetoric, hook, line and sinker. Now Laurie Jensen is demanding the New York Times set the record straight before the damage done to her community is permanent.

"In the past month readers around the world have been learning the hard way that you can't believe everything you see in the New York Times," Jensen, President of the Society for the Positive Awareness of Aquaculture, said today. "Now here we go again."

Burros wrote in the May 28 'Dining and Wine' section of the Times that: "while all salmon in the store may look similar, the Department of Agriculture says farmed salmon contains almost twice the total fat, more than twice the saturated fat and fewer beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon."

Jensen responded: "Burros is using the figures for wild Atlantic salmon and comparing them to farmed Atlantics. You can't buy wild Atlantics in stores, so why does the Times' dining section use wild Atlantics for comparison? To bolster the activists' case."

Jensen also pointed out the figures for beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids were 2.018 g/100g for wild Atlantics and 2.005g/100g for farmed Atlantics, hardly a significant difference but enough for the writer to steer readers away from farmed salmon and toward greater consumption of dwindling commercial wild salmon stocks.

"Compared to wild chinook, which are available to consumers, farmed Atlantic salmon total fat is nearly the same (10.85 grams per 100-gram portion for farmed Atlantic, 10.44 for wild chinook), but wild chinook has more harmful unsaturated fat (2.183 Atlantic, 2.507 chinook) and less Omega 3 (beneficial) fatty acids (2.005 Atlantic, 1.68 chinook). And while farmed Atlantics have higher total fats than the other wild salmon; chum, coho, pink ands sockeye, they also have higher levels of the "good" fats.

"Nearly 62 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. Both farmed and wild salmon have nutrients that are very beneficial in preventing these diseases. We think the New York Times owes heart-conscious Americans a clarification of these data as much as it is owed to our rural community where salmon aquaculture is a vitally important part of the local
economy."

he SPAA news release has been sent out in response to the following New York Times article: Farmed Salmon Looking Less Rosy
By MARIAN BURROS - http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/28/dining/28WELL.html  

For further information: please contact: Laurie Jensen, President, SPAA, 250-286-8802 (office), 250-830-7615 (cell) or www.spaa.ca;

Join the Aquafeed.com discussion on how we can lend our voice to supporting aquaculture at: http://aquafeed.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=52  

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