Tag Archives: salmon

Salmon Dating: Stop Swimming Upstream And Find Your True Mate

salmon

A mature female salmon’s purpose is to make it to her natal river to lay her eggs and get them fertilized by a male before she dies.  Kind of macabre, but having a clear purpose and goal is what’s important here.  The female salmon’s journey starts in the salt-water ocean.

When she is ready to spawn, she swims thousands of miles to fresh water rivers and streams.  On her journey she is met with poachers, sport fishermen who catch and release, fishermen who catch for profit, bears, birds of prey, wolves, and other voraciously hungry mammals. 

Part of her journey also includes jumping upstream through a strong waterfall to get up to her natal river or stream.  Against all odds, many females make it to their natal river to spawn. Continue reading

Trying to Eat Healthy Ruined Friday Night Dinner : Why We Need a Change

carbseatornoI spent Friday night out at a movie and dinner with a dear  friend whose partner didn’t want to see Thor in a dark world or a dark theater. We Since we’d forgone the pleasures of GMO popcorn laden with insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fumigants, trans fats, artificial flavors, artificial flavoring and preservatives, we were hungry by the end. Which is where the night took a distinctly different turn from any other “dinner out” night I’ve ever had.

“Pizza?” Tess asked as we buckled up in my car.

Now pizza is my favorite food group in the whole wide world—right after popcorn. Could I dodge both bullets in the same night? I mean it was Friday and party time. Come on!

For once in my life there wasn’t even an inner struggle. “Um. Well. Maybe not.” What’s wrong with me? Somehow a carb fest of gluten with BGH-laced cheese just didn’t seem appealing.

“You’re joking. You love pizza.”

Tell me about it. “Yeah, well, not tonight, I guess. How ‘bout sushi?”

We live in a small town and food and entertainment options aren’t far apart. I drove the short way to the Japanese restaurant where the night’s theme of Consumer Apprehension continued to play out

Ordering a beer and saki wasn’t difficult. But then came the menu. I swear, it could have been labeled, “Pick Your Poison” the way we both eyed it. Tuna? Too much mercury. Crab? Sorry, it’s imitation (red-dyed Alaskan Pollack). Unagi (eel)? Yellowtail?

“Where’s the yellow tail from?” Tess asked the waitress. Another trip back to the sushi chef and we had the answer: Japan.

We looked at one another, the deadly word Fukushima hanging unspoken in the air between us. Forget the yellowtail. Forget the eel. What about the Northwest fallback favorite, salmon? I shook my head. Since Fukushima, for the first time in the 24 years I’d lived in the Pacific Northwest I hadn’t made the annual November pilgrimage to my fishing connection at the local Nisqually Indian tribe to buy the fresh-caught silver salmon that ran upriver from the Puget Sound estuary only 15 miles away.

Just say no to Pacific salmon.

Shocked at our dilemma, we continued to plod through the menu. Chicken? Neither of us could stomach the idea of eating agri-business chicken because of the ghastly tortured existence the birds endured. Same with beef and pork. “Shall I come back?” the restless waitress inquired.

“Sure.”

“Christ. I can’t believe this,” I murmured. Eating out used to be so much fun.

“You know, I went to Safeway the other day and walked through the whole store and couldn’t find one thing to eat that wasn’t processed, filled with sugar or artificial crap,” said Tess.

“Really? What about their organic section?”

“Trucked from God know where with a carbon footprint the size of Texas?” she shook her head. “I finally drove to the co-op, bought a bunch of local organic vegetables and we made a stir-fry.”

“Maybe we should just get uki-udon noodles and some veggies?” I suggested unenthusiastically. Maybe we should go to my house and cook?

The waitress came back. For lack of any other real choice, we both ordered miso soup and east coast shrimp. By that time all I wanted was another beer—or something stronger.

But dammit, I’ve numbed myself long enough. Last night was inevitable. It’s been coming ever since Rachel Carson first started blowing the whistle in her book Silent Spring way back in 1962. And although we’ve come a long way on the environmental front, we’re far from a widespread populist movement demanding clean air, clean water and healthy food on our tables. Hell, state amendments to label GMOs have been beaten out in the two most progressive states in the US through the vast injection of Monsanto Money into ad coffers.

We’re being sold bad health with a vengeance and we’re buying it with hardly a blink.

What will it take to change? Glow-in-the-dark caviar appearing on Elitist Corporate Tables worldwide and them finally waking up? Maybe. Or maybe more of us just need an educational Friday night out now and then.

5 Nutrient-Packed Foods for Healthy Hair

de5de856512394ea_shutterstock_96575575.previewMany of us assume that buying the best shampoos and conditioners will be enough to keep our hair looking healthy. These products do help to repair existing hair damage but don’t do much to promote new hair growth and cannot replace essential vitamins that we may be missing from our diet. There are certain essential vitamins and minerals that our hair relies upon, and a lack of these is often the source of many hair growth problems. Some simple changes to our diet can really make a big difference to the look of our hair.

Modern lifestyles can also have an impact – a busy lifestyle, lack of sleep, or even pregnancy can seriously make a difference in our hair health. Vitamin supplements have  been proven to help, but if you are looking for the most natural sources of these vitamins then here is a list of 5 food types foods that can help to provide those essential vitamins your hair needs.

Fish

Many sources site that salmon is the number 1 super food for healthy hair. This is because it contains a great combination of essential substances that our hair simply loves. Omega 3 oils help maintain a well hydrated scalp, and many believe this is essential to maintaining healthy hair growth. Oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3, and salmon is also rich in Vitamin D which is great for your hair follicles.

If you are someone who doesn’t like eating fish then certain vegetable sources can be a great way to get the omega-3 you need. Rapeseed, flaxseed, soya beans, walnuts, almond and even tofu are all good sources of Omega-3.

Vegetables with Beta-carotene

Beta carotene is present in many vegetables and provides us with a great source of Vitamin A. For many people who suffer from dandruff a simple addition of vitamin A to their diet can help solve the problem. Vitamin A helps to promote sebum oil which is our body’s natural conditioner for our scalp. It can also help with hair growth problems as it is said to assist with oxygenating our scalp. Sweet potatoes are known to be one of the best sources, and other vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and broccoli are also recommended.

Oysters

Oysters are also recommended to help fight scalp problems such as dandruff. A lack of zinc in your diet may even be the cause of hair loss, and oysters have a particularly high zinc content. Zinc helps promote the level of androgens in our body, and for some people a low level of androgens has been directly linked to hair loss. Crab, liver and beef are also good sources of zinc.

Eggs and other biotin rich foods

Our hair is essentially built using protein, a nutrient that has been associated with speeding up hair growth. Protein can be found in many types of foods, but eggs are one of the best sources. Another important mineral in eggs is biotin, and those who have a biotin deficiency may suffer from brittle hair. To prevent this, biotin has been proven to be effective from both foods and supplements if needed. Kidney beans and nuts such as almonds and even peanuts are also good sources of biotin.

Fruit and vegetables with Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for both our hair and skin. Vitamin C helps keep our blood vessels oxygenated, which in turn keeps our hair follicles healthy. Super fruits such as blueberries have a very high level of Vitamin C, and strawberries and citrus fruits are also good sources. Many vegetables such as green beans, spinach and broccoli are good sources, and the old-fashioned rule of eating colorful vegetables can give you a good indication of a high vitamin C content, as well.

You may have identified that one of these essential sources of vitamins is missing from your diet, and that may well be the cause of a particular problem. If you are concerned and believe you may have a nutrient deficiency then simple tests at your doctors can identify what vitamins and minerals you may be lacking. This Women’s Hair PDF can also help you to diagnose any hair health problems you may have!

Does Your Brain Need an Oil Change?

Humans really are fat heads. About sixty percent of the human brain is fat. To maintain proper brain health, you need to get adequate fat from your diet. But, not just any fat will do. Some fats damage the brain. The Standard American Diet (SAD) high in trans and hydrogenated fats worsens inflammation in the body, and this inflammation can damage delicate brain tissues. These unhealthy fats are found in fried foods, shortening, lard, margarine, baked goods, and processed and prepared foods.

Healthy fats help keep the lining of brain cells flexible so that memory and other brain messages can pass easily between cells. Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats are important to brain health and should be eaten in a one-to-one or two-to-one ratio to each other. However, the average North American eats these foods in a twenty-to-one to a fifty-to-one ratio, causing a huge imbalance and resulting Omega-3 deficiency. In this ratio, Omega-6 fats can cause or worsen inflammation, for which there is insufficient Omega-3 fats to keep inflammation under control. The typical diet, if it contains any healthy essential fatty acids, usually includes fats found in meat and poultry, or occasionally from nuts and seeds. Most of these fats are Omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in the highest concentrations in corn, sunflower, and safflower oils. But, you are more than what you eat. I read somewhere that “you are what you eat eats.” So that means if you eat a diet with meat or poultry that was fed corn, or other grains high in Omega-6s, you’re getting lots of Omega-6s indirectly.

The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds or oil, walnuts and walnut oil, some types of algae, krill oil, and fatty coldwater fish, particularly wild salmon. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, makes up a large part of the lining of brain cells, helps to keep the cellular lining flexible enough to allow memory messages to pass between cells, promotes nerve transmission throughout the central nervous system, and protects the energy centers of the cells, called “mitochondria,” from damage.

Fish that contain high amounts of this Omega-3 fatty acid include mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, lake trout, and herring. But be aware, some of these fish have become contaminated with mercury and, as you just learned in chapter two, some research links mercury to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So, it is important to avoid fish that consistently shows up high on the mercury radar, including predatory fish like swordfish and shark, as well as sea bass, northern pike, tuna, walleye, and largemouth bass. Salmon raised in fish farms also frequently shows up with high amounts of mercury, not to mention that farmed salmon often contains antibiotic residues and lower levels of the important Omega-3 fatty acids.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, PhD, is an international best-selling and ten-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Phytozyme Cure. and the upcoming e-book The Vitality Diet.  Check out her natural health resources and free newsletter at www.WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Stephen Rees

First, Bacon Vodka Now… Smoked Salmon?!

Bacon is the David After The Dentist of meat products. It’s seriously a viral sensation. I don’t know why but over the years there has been an explosion of bacon flavored products to supply a bacon-crazed society. I mean there is a freaking BACON OBSESSION CAMP in Michigan!

"Camp Bacon’s goal was to encourage a less fetishized approach to loving bacon. As the day came to an end, campers were more knowledgeable. But they weren’t any less obsessed," says The Washington Post.

One of these bacon products was Bakon’s bacon flavored vodka, which to this day, still gets my gag reflex going.

And then, apparently Alaska was like, "Hey, screw bacon! We like salmon!"

And then, THIS HAPPENED:



Which makes me wonder whether someone is going to be putting out smoked salmon flavored envelopes in the near future.

Chile’s Salmon Farms Verging on Breakdown

It seems like not a week goes by without industrial animal food production somehow making headlines–the H1N1 flu pandemic, astounding meat recalls, high levels of arsenic in chicken feed, or any of a dozen other concerns. One recent story that should have generated some rather large waves, however, has made only a minor splash. Chile’s salmon farming industry, second only to Norway’s, is on the verge of collapse.

Salmon are not indigenous to Chile, but grown in crowded cages installed in the bays and estuaries of the country’s otherwise beautiful southern fjord region. These "farmed" Atlantic salmon are fed a steady diet of wild fish–perfectly edible for humans, but more profitable when converted into "value-added" finfish. The approximately three pounds of wild fish needed to produce each pound of farmed salmon has caused some people to refer to finfish aquaculture operations as "reverse protein factories." Equally alarming, salmon farms have become excessively dependent upon toxic pesticides to combat sea lice and antibiotic medicines to thwart viruses that can run rampant among the high concentrations of rapidly growing, penned fish–not unlike industrial-scale hog, poultry, and cattle CAFOs on land.

But the drugs are no longer working. According to industry source Intrafish, Chile’s 2009 salmon output could decline by as much as 87 percent from last year–a drop from 279,000 metric tons in 2008 to between 37,000 metric tons and 67,000 metric tons. The cause is the widespread outbreak of a virus known as infectious salmon anemia (ISA). When the virus first appeared in 2008, many offshore aquaculture companies moved their production farms further south in Chile, into waters still unaffected by ISA. Instead of lessening the problem, the industry actually spread the virus into the southern waters.

The Chilean government and regulatory agency are now implementing measures to address the crisis, but their efforts, for the time being, have been too little, too late. Chilean salmon stocks have been devastated, and this is expected to send ripple effects throughout the world’s food supply. A 20 percent shortfall in the global supply of farmed Atlantic salmon is predicted for this year and perhaps 2010 as well. The human toll in this saga is also significant, as the salmon industry has become a primary employer in the southern region of the country, and could lead to the unemployment of as many as 15,000 people.

Experts had been cautioning for years about the hazards of unsanitary conditions and overcrowding in industrial salmon cages. The first widespread die-offs due to ISA began to mount early in 2008, but the industry declined to take protective measures to guard against further spread of the infection. Critics have called for improved conditions by limiting the number of salmon in the cages and by spreading the farms farther apart from one another to avoid transfer of disease and to lessen the concentration of harmful chemicals, antibiotics, and other adverse affects of large-scale fish production.

Unfortunately, this has not been the only alarming news in 2009 about Chilean aquaculture. In February, the Pew Environment Group obtained documents from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealing that the Chilean salmon industry has been using antibiotics prohibited on fish destined for the United States. Apparently, the FDA notified the three companies guilty of using the unapproved drugs that they can no longer use them on fish raised for the U.S. market. But questions remain whether or not the FDA will enforce these restrictions, and if so, how they will go about ensuring that the banned substances are not used.

Concerns over antibiotic overdosing and its potential to create antibiotic resistant disease organisms that could harm humans may become less of an issue if the Chilean salmon industry suffers an even further decline. Many are calling for a dismantlement of the industry. Others caution that without real reforms it could implode of its own unsustainable production practices. At a minimum, we should take this as one more in a long series of wake-up calls that our concentrated animal food operations–whether on land or at sea–need to be urgently reconsidered, before they are all on the verge of collapse.

 

Read more:

Pew Press Release on Unapproved Chemicals

Pew Letter on Unapproved Chemicals

New York Times article on Chilean Salmon Virus

New York Times article on Chilean Salmon Industry Rehabilitation efforts  

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