Braly: Wild vs. farmed salmon

Braly: Wild vs. farmed salmon

March 10th, 2010 by Anne Braly in Blogsfood

Target just announced on their Web site that it's eliminated all farmed salmon from its shelves nationwide. In its place, all salmon sold by Target brands will be wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Well, it's a shame that we don't have a Super Target in our area selling wild salmon. But you can get it at most every grocery store in town. Just watch the labels.

So, what's the difference? Unless you've been living without any food news, here's why:

* Wild salmon have a 20-percent higher protein content and 20-percent less fat than farm-raised, making it healthier for your heart.

* Farm-raised salmon receive vaccinations and antibiotics to keep them healthy in their unhealthy living conditions. Fish naturally have disease and parasites. It isn't a concern when the fish are swimming in open areas with plenty of room.

* Salmon get packed into fish farms and are raised in unhealthy conditions. When the fish are crowded, the chance of them spreading diseases and parasites is much greater, so vaccinations and antibiotics are essential.

* Farm-raised salmon are exposed to pesticides.

* Farm-raised salmon contain a synthetic pigment to make them pink in color. This pigment is canthaxanthin and retinal damage is a side effect. Wild salmon get their pink color from eating pink krill.

* Farmed salmon have a higher toxic equivalency score than any other food. Farm-raised salmon have three to 10 times the amount of dioxin then wild caught salmon.

* As you can see, wild caught salmon is clearly the choice as far as I'm concerned. I love salmon, but think it's a shame that wild-caught is so much more expensive than farm-raised, but it's worth every penny.