Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Wild-Caught vs. Farm-Raised Salmon

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I hope everyone had a great weekend. I worked (as usual) and am off today. Guess what I’m doing??!! Getting my hair highlighted! Can you believe I’ve never colored my hair, not even highlights? My hair is just so naturally dry that I’ve always been scared to get it colored, but I was recently talked into it but a stylist. She was a great saleswoman.

Before I leave to get my hair done, I thought I’d post about a topic that is brought up quite often these days. One of the many questions I get, over and over again, is this; “Is wild salmon really that much better for you than farm-raised?“

You be the judge;

The chart above was taken from the World’s Healthiest Foods website. It looks at fish, in general, not just salmon, but as you can see farm-raised fish have a lower ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. What does this mean? Basically the lower the ratio of omega-3, compared to omega-6, the less bioavailable the omega-3. This isn’t good! We need those omega-3s to protect our brains, our eyes, our heart, heck…our entire bodies! When a food has more omega-6 the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 are masked.

Check out the two salmon fillets below. Which one do you think is the wild and which one is the farm-raised?

If you guessed the one on the right is farm-raised, you are correct. How can you tell? The one on the right has larger streaks of fat. When salmon are enclosed and not able to swim freely, they get fat, hence the larger streaks of fat. One might think this means the farm-raised salmon has more omega-3 fat, but in fact, it has more omega-6 fat. You will also notice the difference in color. The one on the right looks like a perfect shade of “salmon”….right?! Almost fake. That’s because it is (see below).

Source: iStockPhoto

The World’s Healthiest Foods website has a great article about the benefits of wild-caught fish. Among some of the benefits of wild-caught fish include;

  • More bioavailable omega-3
  • Fewer pesticides and antibiotics (especially carcinogenic PCBs)
  • No artificial coloring to make the fish pinker
  • Better for the environment

QUESTION: Do you like salmon? Do you buy farm-raised or wild?

I actually buy both. I know I just posted all about of the benefits of wild-caught fish and the problems with farm-raised, but to be honest I can’t afford wild-caught fish/salmon all the time! I eat salmon twice a week, and until I have kids, get pregnant or start making more money I will only buy wild-caught every other time. I do buy my fish from a reputable grocery store/source, not just from anywhere, so that’s good enough for me. Plus I take omega-3 in the form of a fish oil supplement to make up for that extra omega-6 in the farm-raised salmon

Erin from The Healthy Apron posted about a website called Clean Fish, which promotes the sales of the best in-season, clean and safe fish! Check it out, it’s pretty neat.

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