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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wild Caught vs. Farm Raised Salmon

Hello Neighbors!

You know I'm a big fan of salmon and eat it regularly. Normally I get my salmon from a big-box super center in large quantities to portion out, vacuum pack and freeze for later use. But I've often wondered where this salmon comes from and is it my healthiest option.

George Mateljan over at The World's Healthiest Foods is featuring salmon this week and he offers insight to the farm vs. wild salmon dilemma.

Is there any nutritional difference between wild-caught and farm-raised fish? Is one type better for me than the other?

From both a nutritional and environmental impact perspective, farmed fish are far inferior to their wild counterparts:

Despite being much fattier, farmed fish provide less usable beneficial omega 3 fats than wild fish.

Due to the feedlot conditions of aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin. Farmed salmon, in addition, are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed, without which, their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color.

Aquafarming also raises a number of environmental concerns, the most important of which may be its negative impact on wild salmon. It has now been established that sea lice from farms kill up to 95% of juvenile wild salmon that migrate past them.(Krkosek M, Lewis MA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.)
So, the next time I shop the big box I will be asking from what waters has my fresh salmon swam? Really, if we are going to try and eat ourselves into nutritional Nirvana we must ask and deserve to know where our food has been.

Thanks George and World's Healthiest Foods.

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