Continuing his effort to promote and protect Alaska seafood, U.S. Senator Mark Begich challenged Hollywood fitness guru Harley Pasternak’s People Magazine article about the difference in traits of farmed fish vs. wild fish.
In a letter that describes the benefits of wild salmon over their “floating corncob” counterparts, Begich describes fish farms as environmental polluters that feed their fish “crops” with genetically modified grains.
In the letter sent yesterday Begich said “It’s a disservice to point your clients and your fans toward farm fish, the corncob couch potatoes of the ocean, instead of encouraging them to eat fresh, healthy wild fish like Alaska salmon. Alaska salmon is abundant, natural and sustainable. Our industry employs over 70,000 fishermen and processing workers and provides more than half the seafood produced in the U.S. Mr. Pasternak is a popular health and fitness personality who has written several books on healthy lifestyles,” said Sen. Begich. “Before he writes another book or blog post or magazine article I want to make sure he has all the facts. As we say in Alaska, ‘Friends don’t let friends eat farmed fish.”
Below is the letter sent from Sen. Mark Begich to People Magazine’s Harley Pasternak.
Dear Mr. Pasternak,
I understand in Los Angeles they call you “The Man Behind Hollywood’s Hottest Bods.” And while my wife and I are big fans of your work (Robert Downey Jr. and Halle Berry), your recent column in People Magazine doesn’t pull its weight when favorably comparing farmed fish with wild fish for a healthy diet.
Why should consumers choose wild fish over farmed fish?
So if you like the taste of antibiotics and are a big fan of genetically modified food that harms the environment, then farm-raised fish are for you.
Mr. Pasternak, your life’s work is making people fit and healthy, and you seem to do a great job at it. So it’s a disservice to point your clients and your fans toward farm fish, the corncob couch potatoes of the ocean, instead of encouraging them to eat fresh, healthy wild fish like Alaska salmon. Alaska salmon is abundant, natural and sustainable. Our industry employs over 70,000 fishermen and processing workers and provides more than half the seafood produced in the U.S. every year, over 5 billion pounds. It’s also sustainable. Alaskans wrote the book on sustainable fisheries management because it’s as good for our long-term economy as it is for our health.
We may not be so different—except that you work with Halle Berry. We both want consumers to make the best choice for a healthy diet so they can live longer, stronger and enjoy a higher quality of life. I hope you will reconsider your column on farm fish and instead become an advocate for fresh, delicious, naturally-organic and sustainably caught wild Alaska seafood.