Wild Caught vs Farm Raised

We used to buy farmed salmon at sam’s club constantly. It was tasty, easy to prep, and always in stock. Then once we hired a nutrition coach, she told us to stop immediately. Don’t eat “frankenfish.” So fish quickly left our diets.

We have tried a few times since then to eat the frozen wild caught fish that are available at Sam’s. They even have a meat department with several varieties of fish, many of which are wild caught. They recently even had wild caught salmon! It was dark red and looked very appealing, but it wasn’t as tasty for some reason. The flavor wasn’t there and neither was the texture that we had grown to love. They also had wild caught swordfish, chilean seabass, cod, and more. We also tried the cod… my coworkers really appreciated it when I microwaved that for lunch.

Turns out farmed fish have a much higher omega-3 content because they get it through the feed. Also, sockeye salmon is a dark red and atlantic salmon is paler. So I’m thinking we prefer the atlantic, which is also higher in omega-3’s than sockeye. The only reasons it’s red to begin with is because of the red algae that is eaten by the krill it eats.

Ok I got a little sidetracked. Let’s go over the pro’s and con’s of farm raised fish.

PROs
🐟Farmed fish are non-gm
🐟u.s. regulations prohibit the use or hormones or antibiotics to promote their growth
🐟buying farmed fish over wild caught will often save you money

CONs
🐟Farmed fish contain higher levels of PCB’s (a potentially carcinogenic chemical)
🐟Farming can be sketchy depending on who is doing it (damage to the ecosystem)
🐟Wild caught fish contain more trace minerals than farmed fish because the farmed fish have a limited diet.

What should you buy?
Look for “sustainably caught” and “sustainably farmed” fish. So now you have to do a bunch of homework before you buy your fish.
Consult http://www.seafoodwatch.org/, download the app, and do a little research. Turns out the salmon we were buying is farmed in Chile, which is labeled “avoid” in this app. The salmon at Whole Foods is a better choice, and is sustainably farmed in Norway.

In general wild caught fish are better for you nutritionally, but not necessarily better for the planet. It really depends on a lot of factors about how the fishing is being done and how the farming is being done.