Another Kind of Farming

Fish “farming” started with catfish in Mississippi some 35 years ago and has grown to include salt water fish and shrimp. But as pointed out by one of our long term customers, it has now gone the way of other types of close-quarter/fast growth production for eggs, chickens, beef and pork. It has changed the resource from a high quality food to a poor quality food. After reading my comments on our herbivorous tilapia addition to our ponds, she explains it better than I can after reading Greenberg’s Four Fish (I have just started reading it myself). Here it is:

As always, I enjoyed reading your newsletter with the delivery. I have great interest in feeding my family the most natural and healthy diet I can (that is why I have been a member of your CSA so long!) I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject, and I thought you might be interested in a book I found fascinating about salmon, cod, sea bass, and tuna entitled FOUR FISH, by Paul Greenberg. As you mention, Greenberg is a big fan of tilapia because it is herbivorous, will grow anywhere, and produces excellent meat at a low cost. With salmon, however, the opposite is true. In fact, salmon is an omnivore/carnivore, which makes its farming very inefficient and unhealthy.
Similar to what happens with factory farming, the intensive farming of salmon destroys the Omega 3 acids in salmon meat, because they are given an unnatural diet of grain and fish meal. Furthermore, the fish meal is made from krill, anchovies, etc. (forage fish) . . . the base of the food pyramid in the ocean . . . so we are overfishing those fish as well . . . which further endangers all the wild fisheries.
In fact, it takes 3 pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed salmon . . . not very sustainable. For the most healthful salmon, its best to buy wild caught. That way you know the salmon spent its life eating a natural diet and will therefore deliver the most healthy benefits.
While our food as a whole continues to be adulterated, knowledgeable eaters are changing our world. I can remember only 10 years ago being told that what we were starting was “just a fad” that would wane and force us back into conventional production. Thanks to you, it has gone the other way, for us and all of those like us.

All thanks go to you, who have decided that value is more important than “cheap”.

JVF