A recent TV advertisement in the UK has stirred up the salmon farming industry. The advertisement shows a man in a lab describing how farmed salmon is coloured with the chemical Astaxanthin. The speaker then holds up on of the now famous "Salmon Colour Charts"
- (via a message found at EdwardTufte.com - in a discussion about Salmon colour charts)
And now, some of the text from a press release from the salmon industry. Look out for the language games -- they're not immediately obvious. No, really.
“Captain Birds Eye charts the wrong course in advert about farmed salmon” says Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation
“The Scottish salmon farming industry is very disappointed that Birds Eye has chosen to take this rather melodramatic and cynical approach to its advertising when the fact is that salmon, wild and farmed, are pink because they consume carotenoid pigments. In the wild, salmon take up this pigment from such food items as shrimp and other organisms. Our farmers simply provide the same elements in their feed and the same natural process in both wild and farmed fish means that the pigment is absorbed into the body.
Salmon cannot synthesize carotenoid pigments and so must find them in their diet, to assist the reproductive process and protect the eggs. Colour charts are used to ensure that the salmon are fed sufficient quantities of carotenoid pigments to meet their and the consumers’ needs.
- via the SSPO, but italics added.
I wonder my supermarket is using the same logic for its smoked haddock - do I need it to be pigmented with that acid yellow colour?