Breaking Bad on AMC: a serial killer’s advice on seafood

Breaking Bad is awesome, which is why it’s so weird this was shoehorned into the cold opening.

Alaska salmon's Blog

“You can make [crystal meth] any damn shade you want.”

“Yeah, like they do farm-raised salmon. Jesus, you ever see how pink they make that crap-like flamingo pink. Sure as hell don’t come out of the ocean looking like that. “

This biological and nutritional information comes to you from a drug selling, serial killing, character on season 6 of the AMC hit show Breaking Bad (episode 5). We’re not sure how this character: a drug dealing, fried food eating, New Mexico dwelling killer would profess to know so much about an ocean fish? Weird? The scene comes right before the opening credits – right when you’re really paying attention.

Correct us if we’re wrong, but has anyone ever seen another scene anywhere on Breaking Bad that offers “education” on a food product – or any commercial product at all? We think not, and would therefore question the reason this addition to…

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6 thoughts on “Breaking Bad on AMC: a serial killer’s advice on seafood”

  1. What is the purpose of Roche Pharmaceutical’s Salmofan product if not to artificially change the colour of farmed salmon? The source of the information in Breaking Bad is not really the issue, but is it accurate? If not, who are Roche’s customers for its Salmofan product?

    1. The salmofan is just a piece of vinyl, it does nothing to change the colour of farmed salmon. It’s like the books of colours at the paint store. And no one really uses the salmofans anymore. More than a decade ago, when they were used, they helped feed manufacturers and farmers figure out what level of colour should be in salmon flesh, which gets its colour from its food, just like wild salmon. There’s nothing artificial about it. Wild fish get colour from carotenoids in their food, and so do farmed salmon. The only difference is farmed salmon eat pellets.

      1. Slightly disingenuous response. Of course the salmofan is a piece of vinyl, but it was developed as a marketing tool to sell Roche’s astaxanthin, a petrochemical derivative product widely used as an artificial colorant, inserted into feed. There is nothing natural about the colors of farmed fish, whatever the propagandists would have you believe.

      2. Well, your sentence implied that the salmofan itself changes the colour, I responded with attempted humour. If that offends you, too bad. I also answered the question I assumed you were asking. And no, the salmofan was not a marketing tool. Like I said, it was like a book of paint samples at the paint store, helping farmers and feed manufacturers make sure they were using the correct amount of carotenoids in the diet of their fish.

        Secondly, astaxanthin is required for fish health, as it is a potent antioxidant among other things. That’s why it’s also heavily marketed as a health supplement. The nature-identical “petrochemical derivative” products as you call them (a disingenous term, “chemically synthesized” is far more accurate) are not used for human health supplements.

        “Many strategies have been developed for this synthesis with the oldest and still most widely used involves a Wittig reaction of two C15-phosphonium salts with a C10-dialdehyde (Fig. 2A)(Widmer 1981).”

        This is an interesting study in that it also points out that the chemical synthesis variety is far more environmentally-friendly than other varieties derived from yeast or from algae ponds.

        Lastly, did you know there’s nothing natural about the colours of wild salmon or flamingos? They all get their colour from what they eat! If they didn’t eat astaxanthins, their flesh and feathers would be grey!

        The “natural” argument is silly and subjective since no one can ever agree on what “natural” actually means.

  2. It is amazing that the writers of such a well done show, are so ignorant to the facts of farming. They seem to put a lot of work into making the method labs just like they may be in real life. But then put zero research into a clear statement that is completely made up. That farmed salmon are coloured with food colouring! But I guess the best thing to accept is that the show is not real, and only to assume none of the facts are real. I picture the writers to be about as bright as the bottom end characters. Facts are not important and it is not a fact based show at all.

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