Anyone want to hack this frozen salmon?

by 325 · May 22, 2013 at 04:59 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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11 Replies

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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.

15380 · February 16, 2012 at 09:50 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.

3854 · February 17, 2012 at 03:40 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.

3608 · 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.

10 · April 06, 2013 at 06:49 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?

455 · February 16, 2012 at 09:57 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.

0 · May 22, 2013 at 04:59 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.

0 · May 24, 2012 at 02:16 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

24412 · February 16, 2012 at 09:55 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.

120 · February 16, 2012 at 09:55 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!

-2 · February 24, 2012 at 09:43 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.

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