Food News Today for Saturday July 12th, 2014

California Salmon hits the road. Myths about organic food.

July 12, 2014

California Salmon hits the road

The California drought is leaving Salmon with no option but to hitch a ride to get to the Pacific Ocean. Young chinook salmon who would ordinarily make their annual migration through rivers and streams have been left with no where to go. 

Kari Burr, fishery biologist with the Fishery Foundation of California, told the Associated Press, "The drought conditions have caused lower flows in the rivers, warmer water temperatures, and the fish that would normally be swimming down the rivers would be very susceptible to predation and thermal stress".

To solve the issue - state and federal wildlife agencies are trucking nearly 27 million smolts to the ocean. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that's about 50 percent more than normal - thanks to the drought. The young fish acclimate to water in net pens before the boats take them out to the bay where the fish are released and pulled to the ocean by tides. 

And thanks to the trucking, now a large number will grow to  be king salmon. The only issue is that skipping the water migration means that they won't know how to swim home to spawn in three years. When the rain improves river flows, some can be placed into creeks and streams in the hopes they will return,  but for now hitting the road seems to be their…and our.. best option


Consumers tend to be a little more health conscious  these days, and as a result there's a strong interest in labels like "organic". But what exactly does that mean? The Washington Post examined some common myths about organic food, here's a few of our favorites:

Myth number one: If a product is labeled organic, it hasn’t been exposed to herbicides or pesticides. Wrong! Only the “100% Organic” label guarantees the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition of organic - which is, that meat, eggs and dairy products are free of antibiotics and growth hormones; produce is grown with fertilizers free of synthetic or sewage components; and no genetically modified organisms are part of the product.  For products with just the"organic" label only 95 percent of the ingredients must be organic. And products with the label “made with organic ingredients” can have as little as 70 percent organic content. 

Next myth - Organic food is better for you.

An easy assumption, but is it? The residue of herbicides and pesticides on conventional food is not supposed to be a danger to human health, and while the American Academy of Pediatrics does suggest that lower pesticide levels in organic foods could reduce the risk of ingesting drug-resistant bacteria, they also say “in the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease.” 

Finally:  Organic food is better for the environment.

As the Washington post explains,  just because food is organic doesn’t mean its production and distribution are necessarily good for the environment. For example,  a can of organic black beans from Bolivia, a bag of organic rice from China transportation to your neighborhood grocery store creates a carbon footprint much bigger than transporting products locally grown.

So don't let this turn you off organics,  it's just another good reminder to know what you're buying!


Thanks for watching! 


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