Ethical Dilemmas at the Ballard SeafoodFest


The Ballard SeafoodFest is coming up this weekend, and I’m probably going as I always do for the smoked salmon dinner.

In past years, I've also come home with a fresh, whole 5- to 10-pound Alaskan silver salmon, at $2 a pound, from a very sweet couple who stand in front of Olsen’s Scandinavian Foods. (I just contacted Olsen's, and the price has gone up to $3 a pound. Still a bargain!)

According to this Ballard News-Tribune article, Bob and Janet Jones are retired missionaries who spent 25 years in Italy working on projects to “evangelize Italians” through the Presbyterian church. The Joneses send the proceeds from the sale back to Italy.

I feel so conflicted about my purchase, even as I'm stuffing the fish with chermoula sauce and grilling it up at my sister's house for our Sunday dinner. I don’t contribute to any religious organizations that proselytize. But it’s only $10-15. And they’re Presbyterians, just like my parents are now (though Mom and Dad are with me on the proselytization thing). And the money is being sent to Catholic Europe, not a postcolonial nation with a long history of religious "conversion" attempts. But it’s funding bible distribution. But it’s only salmon, and it's so good...

All ethical (or culinary) guidance welcome.

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