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Wild salmon has been fished for thousands of years. During Roman times, the fish used to be packed in seaweed and covered with ice – brought down from the mountains – and it was sent to the four corners of the Empire! It was also preserved in salt.
Salmon used to be a very popular food for many centuries. But during the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution caused so much water pollution that several species, including wild salmon, started to disappear. So farming techniques began to develop over the past hundred years. Today, 6 out of 10 commercially available salmon originate from aquaculture.
In fact, the word “salmon” refers to several species of fish of the Salmonidae family. Commercially available varieties primarily include Atlantic salmon (almost entirely farmed) and four species of Pacific: red – also known as sockeye, pink, chum and coho.
Being an oily fish, salmon has a high content of omega-3 – obviously of marine origin – and is therefore beneficial to health. However, as it is a carnivore, salmon is relatively high up in the food chain and may contain significant doses of heavy metals and other harmful toxic pollutants. So as always, it should be consumed in moderation.
Try one of our salmon recipes:
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on May 19, 2012.