Food focus: Honey Smoked Salmon

smokedsalmonSalmon is healthy: high in protein and omega-3 fats.  We’re told to eat 2 servings of fish a week, and if you only chose salmon, you’d get a fairly good dose of omega-3 fats.  Smoked salmon has the same nutritional profile as fresh, and has the added benefit of being ready-to-eat.

The Honey Smoked Fish Company clearly wants to convince more people to try smoked salmon.  Lately, the radio advertising for Honey Smoked Salmon has been coming fast and furious, so I had to try it.  The saturation advertising seems to be working, because the display in the local grocery store was stripped bare the first time I went to buy some.

Despite the name, Honey Smoked Salmon isn’t super sweet.  It has a very pleasant slightly smokey flavor, and is flakey and tasty.  It would be very easy to use to make a sandwich, top a half bagel for breakfast, stuff into a pita or just eat with a fork for a snack.

The problem is the sketchy advertising claims.  Salmon already has a major health halo.  Why would a company selling a healthy convenient product need to resort to half-truth, or outright misinterpretation or misrepresentation of research to sell their smoked salmon?  Consider these claims:

  1. Salmon is a safer source of omega-3 fats.  Safer?  Than what?  How so?  What evidence do you have to make that statement?  Answer: none.  There is no known safety issue.  Ignore that claim.
  2. Ditch the sugary cereals and give your kids smoked salmon for breakfast, because it’s a great source of energy.  Wrong.  Salmon is packed with protein.  Metabolizing and burning protein for energy is a waste of a valuable nutrient — protein.  The best energy source is carbohydrates, and salmon has none.  So while there’s nothing wrong with ditching sugary cereals, don’t think of salmon as an energy food.  The best effect for kids is that the high protein content of salmon keeps them from getting hungry before lunchtime.
  3. Gluten free!  Oh please.  First problem: they’re playing into gluten fear-mongering hysteria to hawk a product.  Second problem: no fish that ever lived contained gluten.  Nor any other animal or animal-sourced food.

Of course, you don’t have to buy Honey Smoked Salmon to get those benefits.  Other smoked salmon will do.  But this product does taste good and so if the price is right and you like salmon, it’s worth a try.  Just tune out the factoid advertising claims.

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