I am a big seafood fan. My three kids, my husband, and I would be happy and content to eat little else but fish, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, squid…you name it. If it lives in the ocean, chances are we LOVE it. One of my big favorites is salmon but not all salmon is created equal so there is one type of slamon, incidentally the same one you will most likely see in conventional grocery stores, that I will not eat…farmed salmon.
In the book The Healthiest Kid, Dr. Sears talks about why farmed salmon is less healthy than wild caught salmon. He brings to light that farmed salmon has little room to grow and move about like a fish normally would. Farmed salmon are also fed concentrated pellets of food that contain fish and what would be considered fish junkfood. It is not nealry as healthy or as rich in omega3 fatty acid than wild caught salmon is. This is abundantly clear in the color of the fish you see at the fish counter. Farmed salmon is pale and sickly looking despite the fact that it most likely has had articial color added to it to make it look more like the salmon that it is. Read the label carefully and you will see the words “color added”. They have to add dye to the fish food to make their flesh the rosy pink it would be under normal circumstances. Although even with this “dye job” you can see the difference when farmed and wild caught salmon are placed right next to each other. The farmed salmon is still not anywhere close to the color of the wild. The picture above shows a comparison. The salmon fillets on the left side are a pale pink and the Salmon fillet on the right is a deep coral pink. I know which one I would rather eat. How about you?
This morning I was watching a news program on TV and they had several fish inspectors and experts being interviewed about the health benefits of salmon. According to them, farmed salmon should be eaten no more than once or twice a week. Why? Because the the concentrated fish pellets given to farmed salmon have a higher concentration of mercury and dioxins than the normal diet of a wild salmon. This was very surprising to me.
Oh well, just one more reason to buy wild caught salmon only. It is more expensive then farmed slamon and not as widely available (I buy mine in bulk at Costco) but the extra cost is well worth it, specially for hard core seafood lovers like those in my family.