Are "Wild Caught" Salmon Healthier to Eat?

We have all heard the suggestion to purchase wild caught seafood vs. farm raised. Why is this?

What are the advantages of farm raised salmon?

The main reason, and most obvious reason, people enjoy farm raised salmon is financial. It is typically a couple of dollars cheaper than wild caught salmon.

From a nutritional standpoint, the USDA found that farmed salmon contain similar amounts of protein as wild caught salmon. In addition to the protein, they also found there was 50% more potassium and 3x as much iron, and much higher amounts of B vitamins vs. wild salmon. 35% more omega-3 fatty acids were also a benefit.

Is there a disadvantage to farm raised salmon vs wild caught?

While farm raised fish is typically more affordable, there are some legitimate concerns about it vs. wild caught.

Norwegian researchers have raised serious concerns about high levels of contaminants in farm-raised salmon.

Anne-Lise Bjørke Monsen, a Norwegian pediatrician and specialist in medical biochemistry whose work is focused on the significance of micronutrient status during pregnancy and lactation for growth and neurodevelopment in infants, explains:

I do not recommend pregnant women, children or young people to eat farmed salmon. It is too uncertain both how much poisons contain the salmon and how these substances affect children, adolescents and pregnant women.

She points out that the type of pollutants detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development and is associated with autism, AD / HD, and reduced IQ.

The Norwegian Health Department has issued new recommendations to pregnant or childbearing aged women. Due to the potential toxicity of farm raised salmon, they are suggesting they limit their consumption of farm raised salmon to a maximum of two meals per week.

The Norwegian researchers are not the only one to find toxicity issues. The “Journal Science” published some recent findings. The researchers evaluated 700 salmon samples from around the world and found that concentrations of organochlorine chemicals were far higher in farmed salmon than in salmon caught in the wild.

George Mateljan, founder of Health Valley Foods, says:

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 are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed because without it their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture research says that farm-raised fish contain higher amounts of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fats instead of the predominance of healthier omega 3s found in wild fish.

What are you to do?

While farm raised salmon may be a little more affordable than wild caught salmon, invest in wild caught salmon! Farm raised may have a couple of nutritional benefits, the wild caught is overall superior in quality nutrients as well as being lower in toxicity.

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