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Published: Friday 26 July, 2013

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SEATTLE Forget the debate over farmed vs. wild salmon. Never mind the issue of food miles.

The most important thing to know about that salmon on your plate is whether its fresh or was frozen out at sea the latter being better for the global environment, according to a study conducted by researchers from Sweden, Canada and an environmental think tank in Portla bags online sale nd, Ore.

The threeyear study looked at salmon in the global sense, calculating its carbon footprint. Thats a different approach from other research telling us what fish to eat. You might see stickers on grocerystore fish saying its sustainably caught, for example, but thats more a matter of whether a fishery is wellmanaged and whether other species are accidentally caught at the same time. Theyre missing some of the main drivers for environmental change globally.

A big one is transportation, she said.

Fresh fish come on an airplane. Thats the only way it can get to you, she said. And that flight has a high cost, in terms of greenhouse gases. If the fish was frozen, it could instead be transported around the globe on a container ship, which uses far less energy, the research showed. In environmental terms, fresh fish is roughly twice as bad as frozen, according to the research.

Fish shouldnt fly. They should swim, said Scholz, with the Portland nonprofit Ecotrust, an environmental think tank and advocacy organization. She conducted the research with academics in Sweden and Canada.

It counters the notion, embraced by many food activists, that buying local food is best for the environment.

She realizes that fishlovers may scream upon hearing her recommendations.

We have this fetish with fresh, she said. But she believes that a justcaught fish that is flashfrozen at sea tastes just as good as fresh.

Sven White, meat and seafood merchandiser at PCC Natural Markets, agrees that generally, shoppers prefer fresh over frozen in season. However, he said customers understand the environmental cost of flying fish in and do buy frozen, as well.

PCC does not sell farmed salmon. Scholzs group, however, said that while farmed salmon may have an impact locally the water around salmon farms may be more polluted, for example thats less important when youre considering the planet as a whole.

The study nonetheless advocated wild salmon over farmed, especia bags online sale lly in the Northwest. Consumers in other places, where there are no wildsalmon stocks, rely on farmed fish. In that case, the researchers found the methods used on Norwegian farms were better than those used elsewhere. bags online sale