Hey, all. Just a quick post to make a point that’s related to our Wild Salmon Salad post from the other day.
If you read that post, you’re aware of the fact that the salmon we serve here at Dig Inn is from Alaska (Icy Strait Point, Alaska, to be exact). Sourcing salmon from Alaska was a very intentional decision for the reasons we laid out in that post – wild Alaskan salmon is much safer / better for you because of the way it’s raised. You don’t have to worry about PCBs like you do with farm-raised salmon from other parts of the country or world.
But Alaska obviously isn’t local – it really couldn’t be any further away. And as you know, we’re all about sourcing fresh, local ingredients here at Dig Inn.
So what gives?
The answer is that local isn’t always better. There are times when the local product is significantly inferior to a product that’s grown or raised much further away.
Salmon is a great example. Just check out this page about farm-raised Atlantic salmon over on the Environmental Defense Fund website. According to the EDF, this type of salmon is an “eco-worst choice,” due to elevated levels of PCBs. And the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (one of the most trusted fish safety resources*) agrees – suggesting that you avoid all kinds of farmed salmon, regardless of where they come from. Also, because Atlantic salmon have been so heavily fished over the years, wild salmon are few and far between in this part of the world. So wild salmon isn’t even an option for us here locally.
As you can see on both the EDF and Monterey Bay Aquarium websites, wild Alaskan salmon is the best type of salmon you can buy, and that’s exactly why we chose to serve this type of salmon here at Dig Inn – it’s the highest quality salmon product there is.
So this is an obvious example of a time when the local product is not better, which is why we chose to source a product from further away (even though we’re not super excited about the food miles implications).
Just wanted to point this out. While we do our best to support local farmers as much as possible (and we do so by sourcing a bunch of our meats and veggies locally), we won’t “go local” at the expense of serving a lower quality product. So I guess you could say that quality trumps local in our book, but we do our best to get both whenever we can.
Does this make sense? Please let us know if you have any questions about this issue or our sourcing philosophy in general.
* Btw, you should totally download the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch smartphone app, which provides a super helpful pocket guide that tells you which types of fish are safe to eat and which are best to avoid.