The last few weeks have seen a few announcements from large food chains that possibly show a changing approach to food.
On January 26, Target announced that they would no longer sell farmed salmon. Their justification was a shift towards greater sustainability and approaches which preserve local habitats. I am not qualified to comment on the validity of the argument though Seachoice (a Canadian program supported by 5 Canadian Conservation organizations including the Suzuki Foundation) agrees with their assessment of farmed salmon (placing the wild salmon as an item of some concern).
Farmed salmon has come under fire for a variety of reasons (which of course have counterpoints) which include unnatural diets (including corn), threats to local habitat and use of antibiotics that can alter the salmon and their environment. I have seen a single salmon farm in my life – it was a series of nets just off the shores of Cape Breton. I was told by local scuba divers that there was a giant amount of refuse in the area (fish do have to use the bathroom) that they anecdotally felt was altering the local aquaculture. There were also concerns of the nets breaking and the farmed salmon mixing with the wild salmon in the area.
There are many sides to any argument and now that the second largest discount retailer in the US has stepped in, the argument is bound to escalate.
Whole Foods is a less surprising entrant to the world of food ethics. They have announced that they are phasing out sources of oil that originate from the Alberta Oil Sands, justifying that they `create higher than normal greenhouse footprints.`
There are many sides to this debate as well and I suppose it`s less surprising that a company like Whole Foods is stepping into a debate like this one.
An any rate, 2 fairly significant stories in a short time. It`s fascinating to watch and we`ll be looking for more.