Thoughts from Chief Fishmonger, Dale Sims
"Waiter, please super size my order of genetically modified salmon." Boy, how close are we to this one. What should I do? Which side am I on? Do I support the genetic modification of animals because it might increase our food supply?
Am I opposed to genetic modification of animals on the grounds that this will spawn a new group — Frankenfood? I have friends in both camps, both supporters and detractors. I simply haven't made up my mind. I can't say I know enough yet to form a clear opinion.
The libertarian in me says if you want to grow genetically modified salmon, then grow it. Of course, I also support your right to be wrong and your right to look foolish. I frame this as an issue of choice. I have major concerns with agricultural GMOs. The right of a farmer to grow organic beets can be violated or compromised by cross-pollination with GMO beets. In fact, the spread of GMOs in agriculture is so extensive today that the definition of GM-free aquaculture feeds that include things like corn or soy or rapeseed oils is no longer 100% GM free. Rather, the definition is: "below the 0.1% limit of detection." The other aspect of freedom of choice is labeling. I want to know how my food is grown and what is in it. So by gosh, if you're proud enough to grow a GM salmon, then embrace it. Identify it, label it and proclaim it. We'll vote with our forks and our pocketbooks, and may the best man (or salmon) win!
In 1977 I was cooking in a little French bistro in San Francisco. A specialty of the house was the saumon en croute — salmon wrapped in puff pastry. We carefully took each serving and molded the puff pastry into the shape of a salmon. Whenever a waiter brought one of these into the dining room, the patrons all went gaga. We thought this was the cat's meow. Have you ever seen a beef wellington shaped like a cow? While reminiscing about this saumon en croute the other night, I came up with a solution for all salmon, whether it be wild, farmed, or genetically ignored. We won't need to harvest wild salmon. We won't need to farm any salmon, including one that's been altered genetically. My solution is somewhat akin to the Replicator on Star Trek.
Early on the NASA space program did research on growing food in labs from DNA. Well… let's do that now! We can take strands of salmon DNA and grow nothing but pure salmon meat, no head, no fins, no scales or pesky little bones, just pure salmon meat. We can reduce all kinds of labor costs by growing portion size pieces of salmon flesh. We can grow them in molds so that each portion is shaped like a little fish. We won't need any temples of fine dining like the French Laundry. Instead we can all go to eat at the French Laboratory. The waitstaff will be decked out in white lab coats with hairnets and rubber gloves. In furtherance of this idea here's a list of possible ways this pure salmon meat can be prepared and served on menus: Please feel free to send me your recipe suggestions too!
- Bunsen Burner Barbequed Salmon
- Petri Dish Provencale
- Test Tube Teriyaki Salmon
- Sandoz Salmon Sashimi
- Roche Roasted Salmon
And for those with larger appetites who enjoy seafood platters, we offer the Monsanto Medley.