TV Chef endorses farmed salmon

California-based syndicated celebrity chef steers readers to BC Canada grassroots website that promotes farmed salmon
January 7, 2005

A syndicated chef whose TV programs and weekly newspaper columns reach millions of households is directing his readers to visit the web site of a Campbell River-based grassroots-group that promotes BC aquaculture.

In Chef John Pisto’s weekly column of December 29, the popular TV personality writes “farmed salmon is superior for cooking and eating and the supposed environmental threats are overblown.”

Monterey, California-based Chef Pisto acknowledged in his latest column that his conclusions “will make some people mad,” but said he “never shies away from controversy.” And he added this farmed vs. wild salmon issue is a “prime example” of a majority of people and the media wrongly believing a popular myth.

In directing his readers to , the web site of grass roots group Positive Aquaculture Awareness, Chef Pisto concluded: “Check out the facts, make up your own mind and, if you feel better paying two to three times more for frozen wild salmon – go for it.”

According to PAA official Leanne Brunt, the TV chef’s endorsement couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’ve just added six new Foundations to our web site’s Foundation Finder search engine,” she said. “Some of these foundations are active in Chef Pisto’s own Monterey Bay area.

“We knew activists’ pockets were deep. Through the Foundation Finder we’re beginning to find out how deep. People have a right to know where activists get their money, and what motivates them to spread misinformation,” says Brunt. “We really appreciate Chef Pisto’s public statement that farmed salmon is safe and nutritious.”

The web-based tool now lists 12 US-based organizations and documents more than US$28 million in grants to BC environmental groups opposed to fish farming.