Is farm raised salmon really that bad?

by 148 · December 29, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Nutritionally speaking, is farmed salmon that bad? It seems that even the omega 3:6 ratio of farm raised salmon is actually really good (2:1 respectively). I just ask the question because sometimes I really prefer farm raised as far as palatability goes.

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9 Replies

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12362 · December 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Farmed salmon is destroying the wild salmon stocks on the west coast of North America. There are some on-shore fully contained farms but they are in the minority.

Nutritionally speaking I wouldn't worry so much about the O3:O6 ratio, I would worry about all the crap they add to the feed so that the flesh is red and tasty.

Please don't support farmed salmon.

20462 · December 29, 2011 at 7:28 PM

A few things to think about: six ounces of East Coast Atlantic salmon has more DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids than the same weight of wild salmon. BUT farmed salmon has the highest levels of PCBs - toxic man-made chemicals. So it boils down to that the health benefits of both farmed and wild salmon exceed potential risks due to the Omega 3's. There are some farmed fish produced in environmentally friendly situations but there are aslo those that are getting antibiotics among other things they shouldn't

Nerd alert: Did you know that to produce one farmed salmon, you have to feed it more than its weight in smaller fish? So..

Have you considered eating smaller fish - anchovies, mackerel and sardines? They live shorter lives and don't have as much opportunity as the larger fish to pick up toxics. Also, since they are lower on the food chain, they are a more sustainable choice.

For me? Wild only or the smaller buddies.

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39204 · December 29, 2011 at 7:14 PM
4232 · December 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I try to avoid farmed salmon, which means that I have to trust in the labels on the product.

16858 · December 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Also keep in mind that there's new GMO salmon out now where they've inserted extra growth hormone gene copies. Do you really want to eat fish growth hormones, or the flesh of fish that have been fed GMO soy, GMO corn, antibiotics, and other crap?

77338 · December 29, 2011 at 10:32 PM

What Bree said. And if you try a taste test with both farmed and wild salmon you should notice the difference in taste and texture which is far superior in the wild fish.

And I don't want to eat recycled chicken feathers.

19504 · December 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I can no longer eat farmed salmon. It tastes bad to me.

3608 · December 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM

We all have to try our best to support wild-caught seafood, analogous to grass-fed/pasture raised animals. If I remember anything from all the Paleo readings/blogs/research, it's food quality first.

Farmed salmon also have the opportunity to escape. One could even say there's technically not even "wild" salmon anymore, due to contamination/pollution from so-called "closed" farm environments.

Do your best though, farmed salmon, in my opinion shouldn't be consumed frequently!

37013 · December 29, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I think the concerns center around feed-lot-type disease, what they're eating and what they're doing to surrounding environments. Other than that, they're fine. :-))

Mark Sisson approves of at least one brand of farmed salmon

Dr Kurt Harris mentions only non-farmed salmon.

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