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Anyone want to hack this frozen salmon?

by (326)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created February 16, 2012 at 9:44 PM

So, I've been trying to integrate more fish into my diet. My local Aldi carries frozen salmon fillets marketed as "Wild Caught Pacific Salmon."

However, I've heard that some "wild caught" fish are actually farm raised and passed off as the real deal. Horrifying. I don't want nasty farmed fish.

Most things I've read about buying salmon say never to buy "Wild Caught Atlantic" salmon. So, I try to stick to things labeled "Pacific" or "Sockeye."

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My concerns are mainly around the price (around 6 dollars). What do you all think? Farmed or wild-caught?

EDIT: to make question clearer.

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120 · March 07, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Hmm i wonder if the color is indicative of a younger salmon? That would stand to reason if its being farmed because tey would obviously want to take them young to increase turnover

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11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:55 AM

The "cream" tasteless colour may be due to the point in the spawning cycle that the fish was caught, as well as the many, many different species of salmon that vary wildly in colour. From my understanding (my boyfriend is a commercial fisherman) there are pretty strict regulations of wild catch, and fish farms cannot claim "wild" status according to regulations. It could vary from country to country though, so maybe it is different in Canada.

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11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:52 AM

The colour is also largely influenced by the kind of salmon- I have eaten some "pinks" wild caught by my BF and it is almost white it is so pale (especially early in the season, due to the spawning cylce). Chum and white tend to be very light as well, but sockeye are almost always a dark red. Wild compared to farmed sockeye there is a big colour difference however, wild is a much darker coloud particularly around late August.

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11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Alaskan ain't the only kind! I am a through and through BC sockeye girl, best fish of all time. Also, the "off season" is the time when fishermen sell a whole bunch of their flash frozen fish (which I would say is a majority of caught fish), so season buying can be a bit ambiguous. Same as @jj , they sell year round and it is perfectly safe to buy flash frozen fish at any time of the year.

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11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Does it say what kind of salmon they are? If they are lighter they might be pinks, chums, or whites, but I don't see what kind of the label.

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2485 · February 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Don't worry about the off season if it's frozen. They flash freeze the fish on the processing boats and then keep it frozen solid to ship to stores year round.

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Ah. Yes, I could see how that might be confusing.

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2175 · February 17, 2012 at 5:09 AM

Wild Caught could mean caught in the wild, but leaves much open in terms of if they were then moved to a farm and raised there.

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2175 · February 17, 2012 at 5:07 AM

This is confusing, but you have to look at it as the body of ocean itself. As it is not owned by any country. So if you are looking directly at the Pacific Ocean by itself, that water is the NE section of that ocean.

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24538 · February 17, 2012 at 4:31 AM

The NE corner of the Pacific Ocean is the coast of Alaska, but yeah that is weird phrasing.

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24538 · February 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM

"Most things I've read about buying salmon say never to buy "Wild Caught Atlantic" salmon.", also made me think you were ambivalent about wild caught vs. farmed.

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24538 · February 17, 2012 at 1:06 AM

This phrase, "What do you all think? Farmed or wild-caught?", and I thought you were inquiring about whether the price of wild caught was worth it. I realize now you were inquiring about whether the fish in the bag was wild caught. I'm pretty sure if it says "wild-caught" Alaska salmon it isn't allowed to be farmed pen-raised salmon.

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2485 · February 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I'm pretty sure all farmed salmon are fed supplements to give their flesh a pink color. But like you say, wild salmon can be a lighter color for many reasons, different species, they're caught at different times in their spawning cycles, differences in their food availability.

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM

What about reading my question made you think I prefer farmed fish?

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Yep, these fillets are an orange-pink color. Definitely not dark pink or red. They don't taste bad, but they're definitely not the highest quality. But, as long as they're wild caught, I'll stick with them whilst on a budget.

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Maybe Alaskan is the way to go. I'm not positive on that front. I just recalled reading that bit of information somewhere. Maybe it was "don't buy things labeled 'Alaskan Salmon' during the off season?" The "off season" is from November to March (i.e. now). So, I'm not certain.

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Um, I don't think farmed is preferable. I think wild is preferable. That's why I'm asking if you think this fish has been misleadingly labeled. Sorry if my question lead you to think I was praising contaminated farmed fish...

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3443 · February 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The color of wild salmon flesh depends on what they eat, so that would also mean that taste could be affected as well-and in my experience that is the case but even wild salmon that have stopped feeding during spawning can have very pale fillets. However it is possible to add the pigments to commercial fish feed to give them the same color although they may taste similar to other farmed fish.

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2485 · February 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM

If it says wild caught, it should be wild caught. Salmon can be caught of the pacific coast of Canada and some parts of Washington state. Those would be wild caught pacific salmon, even if not from Alaska. There's a few varieties of wild pacific salmon that aren't as deeply colorful and/or flavorful that tend to be cheaper, they're often labeled as chum, silver/white salmon or keta salmon. I haven't heard any indication that they're less healthy for you, and they're not typically farmed, they just don't taste as rich.

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326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Yep, these fillets are an orange-pink color. Definitely not dark pink or red. They don't taste bad, but they're definitely not the highest quality. But, as long as they're wild caught, I'll stick with them whilst on a budget.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Does it say what kind of salmon they are? If they are lighter they might be pinks, chums, or whites, but I don't see what kind of the label.

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15400 · February 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM

This is news to me. Why not Wild Alaskan? According to my sources, Wild Alaskan is the way to go - you cannot find anything better. Beware of Atlantic - it is mostly farmed raised.

2d1125a5eac227aacba801bcab3bb9b8
326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Maybe Alaskan is the way to go. I'm not positive on that front. I just recalled reading that bit of information somewhere. Maybe it was "don't buy things labeled 'Alaskan Salmon' during the off season?" The "off season" is from November to March (i.e. now). So, I'm not certain.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb
2485 · February 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Don't worry about the off season if it's frozen. They flash freeze the fish on the processing boats and then keep it frozen solid to ship to stores year round.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Alaskan ain't the only kind! I am a through and through BC sockeye girl, best fish of all time. Also, the "off season" is the time when fishermen sell a whole bunch of their flash frozen fish (which I would say is a majority of caught fish), so season buying can be a bit ambiguous. Same as @jj , they sell year round and it is perfectly safe to buy flash frozen fish at any time of the year.

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3885 · February 17, 2012 at 3:40 AM

The red Label on the picture {below right} says "Northeast Pacific". This is a bit confusing. My Geography tells me that the Pacific is North west not North east. Wonder if it is just a typo or they are deliberately trying to confuse/mislead.

Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7
2175 · February 17, 2012 at 5:07 AM

This is confusing, but you have to look at it as the body of ocean itself. As it is not owned by any country. So if you are looking directly at the Pacific Ocean by itself, that water is the NE section of that ocean.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · February 17, 2012 at 4:31 AM

The NE corner of the Pacific Ocean is the coast of Alaska, but yeah that is weird phrasing.

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3690 · February 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Canned salmon, salt-free, BPA-free, is a surefire way to get wild, since farmed salmon doesn't can well. But...it's not fresh.

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10 · April 06, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Agree, the regulations are pretty clear that if it says wild caught, it has to be wild caught.

But these regulations are routinely unchecked, and barely enforced. Even in rare instances when they are, the penalties are not severe. Given the drastic differences in toxin content between wild and most farmed raised salmon, and that misleading people in this way causes them to spend money against their will to put known carcinogens and other toxins in their body, and, to boot, does so in a part of the world where millions already die from cancer, the enforcement is wildly out of sync with the harm or importance.

Try calling a few stores which buy their fish from a supplier, and sometimes they will say they verify wild caught by asking the supplier, and relying up what the supplier says. Trader Joes is one such store, which is always goes by the maxim "trust us, as we trust what others tell us."

One argument is that more enforcement is very costly. But a small amount of enforcement combined with penalties in accord with the crime, would solve the problem. It is ironic -- in the U.S., at least, a country that has overzealous laws and penalties in many instances -- that we tend to look at this idea of flat out deceiving people [which is exactly what claiming farm raised fish as wild caught is, there's no gray area] about things they put into their bodies that contribute to mortality and serious disease, as not that big of a deal.

Given the enormous difference in price between wild and farm raised, the enormous (and increasing) market for fish, and the lax oversight and lack of attention to the importance of rules requiring companies not to lie to consumers about the content of the substances which they are selling to consumers to put into their bodies, it is, unfortunately, likely that a lot of fish is mislabeled.

And will continue to be until we get serious about the issue; which perhaps as a practical matter needs to start with informed, and very vocal, citizens who don't just join tea parties and listen to extensive rhetoric from a wildly uninformed Sarah Palin or GLenn Beck about how great freedom is, but insist upon those aspects of responsibility that respect individual freedoms rather than trounce upon them through deception.

Even for a libertarian, there are things we need to do together because it is either highly impractical or impossible to achieve individually. Such as, for instance, national defense, environmental protection, and integrity in food labeling -- not what ultimately determines food necessarily -- but labeling regarding what the food actually is, and its accurate content. Two of the three on this list, ironically, are things tea party leaders or anti government types seem to often scoff at. Which raises the question (as to other things): How much of this is true belief, and how much is rampant misinformation through an ineffective and cow towed media, and leaders who achieve their position through persuasive and nice sounding phrases but with terrible misunderstanding of the basic issues, concepts, facts, and science?

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448 · February 16, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I agree with VB. Anything which says "Wild" is good and if it doesn't say "Wild" then you should assume that it is farm raised.

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0 · May 22, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Be very cautious

shopping at your "Wally World" outlet for China.

If the color of your fish runs onto your plate it means the fish has been dyed. Look on the ingredients. If it ONLY list the fish you may be safe. If it is evasive about the kind of fish, how and where it was caught, or what all is in it, walk on by. Remember too, the dog or chum has half the good and twice the bad ingredients per gram as the good stuff.

Finally, after you have found your way through all the known landmines in most all things China, hope its lack of freshness is not your final hurdle. I have had frozen filets turn to stinky mush upon thawing.

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0 · May 24, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Hi, Like many of you, I am particularly wary of food products from China, so I went looking for facts. Check out this site regarding salmon processed in China but labelled 'wild caught Pacific'. It is the best info I have found so far to explain the sources of the salmon --- http://www.alaskaseafood.org/fishingprocessing/seafoodweb_may11/china.html

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24538 · February 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

What did you read that makes you think farmed would be preferable? It is the farmed stuff that is endangering the wild runs because diseases are escaping the farmed-fish pens and infecting the wild population.

There are basic supply and demand concerns around the wild salmon, and keeping the runs populated is important. But on a very basic health basis, farmed salmon is like CAFO beef, the EFA's are all screwy from being fed biologically inappropriate food.

One caveat with the wild salmon, higher marine mammals in Alaska have been showing signs of radiation sickness in a few locations in Alaska, so maybe wave a geiger counter over that package before buying it.

2d1125a5eac227aacba801bcab3bb9b8
326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM

What about reading my question made you think I prefer farmed fish?

2d1125a5eac227aacba801bcab3bb9b8
326 · February 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Um, I don't think farmed is preferable. I think wild is preferable. That's why I'm asking if you think this fish has been misleadingly labeled. Sorry if my question lead you to think I was praising contaminated farmed fish...

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · February 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM

"Most things I've read about buying salmon say never to buy "Wild Caught Atlantic" salmon.", also made me think you were ambivalent about wild caught vs. farmed.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · February 17, 2012 at 1:06 AM

This phrase, "What do you all think? Farmed or wild-caught?", and I thought you were inquiring about whether the price of wild caught was worth it. I realize now you were inquiring about whether the fish in the bag was wild caught. I'm pretty sure if it says "wild-caught" Alaska salmon it isn't allowed to be farmed pen-raised salmon.

2d1125a5eac227aacba801bcab3bb9b8
326 · February 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Ah. Yes, I could see how that might be confusing.

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120 · February 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Man i ate some cheap salmon two days ago from farmfoods (UK). It looked as if it had been stuck together from multiple pieces of salmon. It was hard as card when cooked and pretty tasteless.

I usually go on the colour of the salmon. From what ive noticed the darker red fillets also seem to be the tastiest while the light pink tends to be farmed and tasteless. Worth paying a bit more money for IMO. Just a shame salmon is so bloody expensive!

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2485 · February 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I'm pretty sure all farmed salmon are fed supplements to give their flesh a pink color. But like you say, wild salmon can be a lighter color for many reasons, different species, they're caught at different times in their spawning cycles, differences in their food availability.

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3443 · February 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The color of wild salmon flesh depends on what they eat, so that would also mean that taste could be affected as well-and in my experience that is the case but even wild salmon that have stopped feeding during spawning can have very pale fillets. However it is possible to add the pigments to commercial fish feed to give them the same color although they may taste similar to other farmed fish.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:52 AM

The colour is also largely influenced by the kind of salmon- I have eaten some "pinks" wild caught by my BF and it is almost white it is so pale (especially early in the season, due to the spawning cylce). Chum and white tend to be very light as well, but sockeye are almost always a dark red. Wild compared to farmed sockeye there is a big colour difference however, wild is a much darker coloud particularly around late August.

Cf89b6767687599fbbd8733757b5f215
120 · March 07, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Hmm i wonder if the color is indicative of a younger salmon? That would stand to reason if its being farmed because tey would obviously want to take them young to increase turnover

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-2 · February 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I just discovered the same thing today. Disgusting when I opened the bag the fish looks rather "cream" color and tasteless. This is the brand I purchased "Market Basket" Salmon Wild Caught, freshly frozen individually vacuum packed. In the back it says it was "Harvested" in the North Pacific. How can anyone "Harvest" a wild caught fish. Distributed by JOMCO for Market Basket Tewksbury MA. Only God knows what is in the bag perhaps, Red #7 + Pink #23 +fattening hydrogenated filling. Plain Trash poisoning people.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 25, 2012 at 1:55 AM

The "cream" tasteless colour may be due to the point in the spawning cycle that the fish was caught, as well as the many, many different species of salmon that vary wildly in colour. From my understanding (my boyfriend is a commercial fisherman) there are pretty strict regulations of wild catch, and fish farms cannot claim "wild" status according to regulations. It could vary from country to country though, so maybe it is different in Canada.

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