SALMON: Farm vs. Wild

 

If you follow the nutrition news, you may already know that eating fish regularly can help lower blood pressure, improve mood and enhance memory.But, you may also have heard about the risk of contaminants in fish.The risk varies widely depending on where and how the fish are raised.Recent studies have found that wild salmon is less likely to be contaminated than salmon raised in fish farms.

 

One of the main differences between wild and farm salmon is their diet.Wild salmon eat krill and tiny crustaceans, while farm salmon are fed fish meal pellets.There are a few problems with the diet of farm salmon.The fish meal is often contaminated with PCBís - a carcinogen that was banned in 1977, yet still remains in our environment. The farm salmonís diet results in a light gray coloured flesh, which is not very appetizing to consumers.For this reason salmon farmers will inject colour into the salmon flesh to increase its eye appeal.Farm salmon may also have been given antibiotics to prevent illness that results from too many fish in close quarters (much the same as large beef and chicken operations).

 

Mercury is another concern. It is found in almost all fish, but the level of toxicity is directly related to mercury levels in the water.Atlantic salmon tends be more contaminated than Pacific and Alaskan salmon.In general the smaller the fish, the less risk of mercury, which makes wild caught salmon, trout and haddock your healthiest choices.

 

Eating fish is still a healthy choice, but small, wild caught fish provides the most health benefits without toxic contamination that could threaten your health. ††Source: Environmental Working Groupwww.ewg.org