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Sep 6, 2011 09:43 AM

Organic salmon - tasteless in many ways

Looking at a menu listing "organic Canadian salmon", I wondered what it all meant. It turns out not much.

"The first thing you should know about "organic" salmon is that the designation isn't official – it doesn't come from the National Organic Program or include the U.S. Agriculture department's "certified organic" seal. Some "organic" salmon on the market may come from Europe, where organic standards have been established (but may not measure up to the strict standards contemplated in the United States). Other "organic" salmon may be from farms that call themselves organic and may have higher standards regarding feed and other conditions than most salmon farming operations, but aren't certified by the USDA."

According to this site with more info, it doesn't taste like much either\

"the stuff just doesn't taste great. In a taste test described in the U.K.'s Guardian, there was no discernible difference between conventional farmed salmon and that labeled as organic. Neither could hold a candle to the firm, flavorful, wild-caught varieties."

For me, when I see that on a menu, it is going to tell me something about that restaurant or fish shop. My take is that this is a place out to decieve the customer and destroy the integrity I know I previously felt about the word 'organic'.

That type of business leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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  1. Unfortunately, this parallels the experience I've had with virtually everything labeled "organic." It never tastes any better than the conventional version and is usually worse -- and is always much more expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: acgold7

      My issue with this is the misuse of the term organic, not whether organic is better or not.

      Organic is no different than conventionally grown in terms of taste. There is good and bad in both.

      A cob of corn or tomato bought at a farm or farmers market, even if grown conventionally, will taste better most of the time than the stuff in supermarkets. Ditto on organic.

      There are reasons for eating organically that have nothing to do with how something tastes.

      Unfortunately mass marketers have glommed on to the term to sell food usually at a higher price. What gets me annoyed with the fish thing is that the term organic is regulated in the US and must meet certain standards ... except in the case of seafood.

      So, when I saw the term, I didn't know exactly what that meant in terms of salmon. Honest to Neptune,if a business can find some tiny openeing to decieve the public, they will.

    2. Ugh. If it's organic salmon, it will necessarily be farmed salmon (since wild fish and game can't be labeled as organic in the US) and have all of the drawbacks that entails.

      In any case, organic feed solves neither the culinary or environmental problems associated with farmed salmon, so this is quite a cynical (or misguided) marketing ploy. I would not want to order such "organic Canadian salmon" from a restaurant, but I am lucky enough to live in Seattle and thus have little chance of encountering such a thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lavaca

        Hope you are not eating endangered salmon off the Pacific Coast. From the second link

        " some salmon populations are healthier than others. Generally Alaskan salmon are doing well, but those caught off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California should be avoided. The Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch program is a good place to keep tabs on which species are a better choice."