While it may not be reasonable to visit all the places where your food is farmed, it is a reasonable expectation to know the source of your food.
By Geraldine Sangalang
I judge restaurants and grocery stores for their cleanliness and service, making purchases based on past experiences.
But other than u-pick fruits in the summertime, I can’t say that I had visited another farm that nourished me.
So when I was invited to visit a salmon farm just off the coast of Vancouver Island, I gladly accepted the opportunity.
Growing up in Greater Vancouver where fresh salmon is readily available, it peaked my interest to view the source.
I travelled by seaplane to one of Mowi Canada West’s salmon farm, as part of a delegation that was attending the 2019 BC Seafood Expo and Festival held at the picturesque Comox Valley. The trip to the salmon farm was breathtaking as we flew over Vancouver Island’s lush coastlines.
The salmon farm is a floating structure which includes indoor and outdoor working space, offices, control rooms, storage for fish food and space for staff to rest. Outside the salmon are organized into pens and submerged into the ocean.
Staff explained local strategies to keep fish safe as whatever the salmon eat, the consumer eats.
Likewise, any treatments used to manage nature’s challenges would have some effect to the local environment. As described by staff and as in any livestock operation, chemical and non-chemical treatments are used to keep the fish healthy.
The salmon and the environment they are in are closely monitored constantly using underwater cameras.
Did you know that no GMOs or hormones are used to enhance growth in B.C.’s farm-raised salmon?
Or that one salmon farm is roughly the same size as two soccer fields in length, and 30 meters deep with 98% water and only 2% fish?
I learned a lot about how our salmon is farmed.
This experience also sparked my curiosity about where the other food we eat are coming from. It made me realize that prior to this experience, the source of my food was not a priority.
While it may not be reasonable to visit all the places where your food is farmed, it is a reasonable expectation to know the source of your food. I’m grateful that I was able to make that connection with a salmon farm and I hope you can too.
Geraldine Sangalang is a Vancouver-based human resources professional, writer, and entrepreneur.