Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wild vs. Farm Raised Salmon

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for salmon and told you to trust me and buy wild caught salmon.  Today, I'll tell you why.  I have included links to two articles that sum it up very well.  They both focus on salmon, but I choose to purchase all my fish wild caught.  Yes, it's more expensive, but my health is important to me so it's worth it.  You should have no problem finding frozen, wild caught salmon fillets.  It is a bit tougher when you are looking for Mahi Mahi or Halibut.  I usually get my Mahi Mahi at Sam's Club or Trader Joe's.  Sam's used to have Halibut, but they haven't lately and I haven't been able to find it anywhere else.  Wild caught shrimp, in Kansas, is pretty difficult to find.  However, just a couple weeks ago at Dillon's I found a frozen package that said it was wild caught.  It's hit or miss, just take the time to look.

Yes, I just googled the topic to find these articles, but they look like credible sources and it's all information I have read before written by many different people.  They all say the same thing; farm raised salmon is: injected with dye to give it the pink color (without it they would be grey), given antibiotics because there are so many of them in an enclosed space that without it they would all get sick, and higher in fat and lower in the beneficial Omega-3's you normally give your body when eating wild caught salmon. 

My Dad and I share a passion for wild caught fish.  He is the one who told me several years ago about all the articles he read on the topic.  One more topic he brought my awareness to is that you  may read on the front of the package "Wild Alaskan Salmon", but then on the back of the package it says "product of China".  Confusing, huh?  How is it ALASKAN Salmon, but then coming from China?  Often, the fish is caught in Alaska and then quick frozen and sent to China for packaging.  There's debate on how safe this is.  I currently don't have any salmon packaging at my house because I usually take it out and store it in the freezer in clear containers so I honestly am not sure if mine said packaged in China on them. I will update this post the next time I go salmon shopping. However, if your package just says Wild Caught Salmon on it and then says packaged in China, the fish probably came from China and I'd stay clear.  Make sure you buy Alaskan salmon and you're probably okay.  Obviously, your best best is to have it caught AND packaged in Alaska...but, good luck with that in the middle of the United States. :)

One last thing, I wouldn't order salmon at a restaurant unless you're specifically at a seafood place where you know it's fresh.  Chances are, it's farm raised if you are at Chili's or at a sports bar watching a game.  I know, I know, you're just trying to eat something healthy at a place like that, but instead you end up ingesting dyes and chemicals and antibiotics.  (And people wonder why I stress out when I have to go to places like this.  What's a girl to order?!) My suggestion is to not be afraid to ask your server!  They may not know, but they can easily go find out for you if they serve wild caught salmon/fish.

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