Salmon: eat less, but better: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

Appreciated smoked for feasts, fresh because it is easy to cook, raw in sushi or frozen so as not to miss it, the reputation of the favorite fish of the French has flaked after tumultuous reports. European regulations have allayed fears. But even rich in Omega 3, it must be consumed in a reasoned way.

The cash puzzle

Oncorthyncus refers to wild salmon from the North Pacific (Alaska, British Columbia, etc.) and is eaten in frozen, canned or smoked form. The Salmo salar defines Atlantic salmon that is 90% farmed in Scotland, Ireland, Chile and Norway. The latter two sources have been accused of antibiotic abuse, atrocious living conditions and questionable nutrition.

To know. In France, seven out of ten salmon come from Norwegian farms. Fishing for wild salmon in Finland and the Baltic Sea is extremely limited.

The impact of industrialization

Intensive aquaculture degrades the seabed, depletes stocks of small wild fish to transform them into flour and oil. In France, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese) calls for the development of sustainable farms for food sovereignty and environmental protection.

To know. The food safety agency Anses recommends eating fish only twice a week, alternating between lean and fatty fish because fatty species attract mercury and other pollutants.

L’ aquaculture made in France

French sectors with very strict specifications and a reduced carbon footprint are entering the market. “Raised in the open sea in the harbor of Cherbourg, in low density cages, it is firmer because it is muscular. It is also the only one to be delivered the same day ”insists Pascal Gourmain, CEO of Saumon de France (

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To know. Fresh or smoked, this salmon is fed with non-GMO grains, oils and meal from less polluted Pacific fish. Our advice: buy it during special operations at Casino, Carrefour, Super U or Système.

French wild salmon, a precious commodity

“There are multiple causes for its weakening” explains Étienne Rivat, doctor of science at INRAE ​​in Rennes. “The proliferation of hydroelectric dams; pollution of rivers and seas; global warming is harmful to this cold-water fish and the parasites that have escaped from the intensive farming that it absorbs. “

To know. From Brittany to the Loire to the Pyrenees, researchers observe the 10,000 salmon returning to their place of birth to reproduce and die there. They are the watchmen of the rivers.

Crazy about smoked salmon!

The sector has made efforts to control water, the dyes used and the “responsible fishing” labels. And the French devoured 30,935 tonnes (Source: Adepale according to Eurostat) in 2018! Wild salmon from Alaska, Scotland and Ireland are the most popular for their taste and texture.

To know. The new “Fumé en France” logo highlights French know-how. Handcrafted, smoking takes several days. Industrial, just a few hours and that changes everything!

Trust the labels

The acronyms MSC and ACS in turn certify sustainable fishing or farming. If the AB logo guarantees food from organic farming, its flavor is more bland. In terms of taste and quality, the Label Rouge remains THE safe bet.

To know. The price is a guarantee of quality for Maison Barthouil ( which since the 1950s has been pampering wild salmon from Adour.

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Throughout history

Until the 19th century, salmon traveled up rivers by the millions to reach the icy waters of Greenland. Before 1789, the prisoners of the Bastille complained of eating too much of it. In his Briefs, Talleyrand even gives an idea of ​​their size. He says he bought a “Rhine salmon as tall as a man, and another from Moselle measuring at least six feet (about 1.80 m)”.

The right choice on the stalls

Fishmonger from father to daughter, Jessica Maury does not play with salmon in her fishmonger in the Saint-Quentin market in Paris (Un poisson en ville, 85 bis, boulevard de Magenta, 75010 Paris). She gives us her advice.

“The taste of fresh wild salmon is second to none. Especially if it comes from the Adour whose fishing is seasonal (from March to August) and limited to very small quantities to protect its species. Its price is suddenly very high, but you really have to have tasted it once in your life. If not for a high quality meat, I prefer farmed salmon that come from Scotland, namely the Superior and the Label Rouge. I particularly defend French aquaculture, in particular Normandy, with Salmon from France and that from Isigny pampered on the Bay of Veys. Both fresh and smoked salmon, for which their smoking method respects traditional know-how. “

Read also :

⋙ 60 million consumers peel what is in the fish we eat
⋙ Why should you (absolutely) avoid putting lemon on smoked salmon?
⋙ How do I know if my salmon is (enough) cooked?

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