Difference Between Wild-Caught And Farm-Raised Salmon

man cutting salmon on a cutting board

Rather, farmed or wild salmon, salmon from Scotland, Norway or Alaska… as with everything, tastes vary from one person to another when it comes to salmon. But it’s not easy to make your choice in front of the supermarket shelves when you don’t know the characteristics of a particular salmon.

First, you should know that wild salmon only come from the Pacific. Atlantic salmon, which can be found at the supermarket, comes only from pond farming (fillets in Atlantic water). 

If you like to order Salmon you can have a look at how to order them online here on this page.

Overcrowded ponds which increase the risk of disease and the accumulation of toxins. Second, you can see the color difference in the attached photo. This difference comes from the food that the salmon eat. He is wild eats real seafood; its orange pigment comes from natural astaxanthin (family of carotenoids), an antioxidant much more powerful than beta-carotene and beneficial for the brain, eyes, and skin! On the other hand, farmed salmon eat human-made food that contains synthetic astaxanthin. 

We already know the harmful effects on synthetic vitamin E and beta-carotene’s human health, so why use synthetic astaxanthin to feed fish that will then be eaten by humans? It’s a question of money, of course… Some researchers say that fishing in Norway is more respectful of the environment and the health of the fish. 

Prefer Alaskan salmon.

Atlantic salmon today consists of 90% farmed salmon. It’s easier to find wild pacific salmon. As for Alaskan salmon, it is systematically wild.

The advantage of wild salmon is that it is rich in astaxanthin, a natural coloring found in shrimp, which gives it its red color, which is also an excellent antioxidant!

Conversely, farmed salmon is naturally gray due to their diet. This is why breeders add a synthetic version of astaxanthin and thus have a range of colors depending on the color they want to give to the salmon.

Besides, farmed salmon are often the subject of a significant antibiotic administration (mainly for non-organic). Culture conditions, leading to overpopulation of fish, are also often criticized.

The downside of wild salmon is that it is paradoxically more contaminated than farmed salmon, especially with mercury metals. This is explained by the pollution of the oceans and the contamination of the salmon diet.

Salmon on toast

The Alaskan salmon is the one that does the best because the sea is less polluted. Therefore, it is the one that makes it possible to benefit from the benefits of wild salmon by limiting the harm linked to the contamination of the oceans.

Responsible fishing and farming: which labels to trust?

Global salmon consumption has tripled since the 1980s, resulting in significant overfishing. WWF thus warned of the gradual disappearance of wild salmon populations. In 20 years, the Atlantic salmon population has been estimated to have halved.

My take on Salmon

I love a good piece of Salmon, but I also like to eat healthy. After doing all this research I think the best advice I can give is to look for Alaskan salmon that was wild caught in the Pacific ocean since it seems that this is the only real Salmon.

Harold Lawler

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