Yesterday, I had a status update that sparked lots of questions regarding all issues about fish. Two of the biggest concerns that I picked up from all my wonderful readers were:
• What is the difference between fresh and farmed salmon?
• Should I buy the organic fish over conventional fish?
Most people struggle with buying any type of fish with all the recommendations out there and all the talk about pesticides, mercury, and other issues that pop up in the news. So how do you make sure you are buying the healthiest fish for your family?
Below I have given a little information that will get you started with making healthier choices when it comes to Salmon, which is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are necessary for proper heart and brain health.
Imagine Wild Salmon leaping up into the air working against the flow of a pristine Pacific river. Just watching them work upstream brings on many happy feelings and thoughts about being able to observe nature at its finest.
As far as consuming Salmon, wouldn’t you rather eat the Salmon from this natural habitat? When have you thought, man that Salmon that grew in that small pool that was so overcrowded with fish and given so many unnatural food and other substances to keep from getting sick, just sounds so delicious?
Wild Salmon (preferably Wild Alaskan Salmon or Wild Pacific Salmon) is fished from its natural habitat where it fed and bred in nature. It got the correct food without all the other antibiotics and unnatural food. It is free (or as free as possible) from all sorts of contaminants that can wreak havoc on our bodies if we consume too much.
Salmon has a short lifespan which allows less time for any contaminants to build up in this fish. Wild Alaskan Salmon also comes to us from some of the purest crystal waters of the earth that is so much cleaner than the environments of the rest of salmon.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is the organization that oversees wild fish populations. Their regulations are 500x more protective of salmon than the FDA which oversees farmed salmon.
For more information on the safety of your salmon or other fish, visit: www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish or contact your states fishing advisory board.
Overall, Wild Salmon is the best source of omega-3s without the high levels of contaminants. Make sure it is labeled as “wild”.
The majority of Salmon that is in restaurants and grocery stores are from Fish Farms. Farmed raised salmon have higher levels of PCBs, dioxin, mercury, and many other toxic substances that can cause cancer.
With the conditions on fish farms, the use of antibiotics is common practice. This can lead to further drug-resistance in bacteria that can affect the health of humans.
We do not need any more “super-bugs” thank you very much! My work as a nurse already involves way too much gowning and gloving! Let’s stop making conditions that lead to more of these “super-bugs”!
In addition, farmed fish are fed byproducts from cows. This can lead to the transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease otherwise known as mad cow disease. If you do not already know what this disease is, it involves prions that attach the brains of cows.
There have been human cases of this disease from eating beef from a cow that had the disease. This leads to dementia and death. There is no treatment. This disease can be transferred to the fish from their cow byproduct feed that those in the industry see nothing wrong!
There are no reported cases of humans developing this disease from fish, but this disease can stay dormant for a few decades! I am not taking any chances!
Another disease that has been found in farmed fish is an infection that causes many different issues such as destroying the skin and scales of fish. This disease is unheard of in the wild, but due to changes with farmed fish, this disease is the leading cause of death!
Farmed fish also has 52% more fat than salmon in the wild. Contaminants are soaked up in the fat. Which one do you think would have more contaminants even if the environments were the same?
There are just so many diseases and contaminants that are found in farmed salmon that the only salmon you’ll find me eating are wild! I just do not like taking those kinds of chances!
What about organic farmed salmon?
The classification of organic farmed salmon is a recent development in the past 2 years. It is definitely a step up from feeding cow byproducts to these fish, but it does not lower the amount of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs that have more to do with the conditions of the fish farms.
Wild salmon can’t be classified as organic…so do you really want glorified farmed salmon that are still full of contaminants and lots of other junk? Pretty much still the same thing as regular farmed salmon!
Then we have the genetically engineered fish….
Yup! They are now trying to get genetically engineered salmon approved by the FDA! Who wants frankenfish! These fish will grow twice as fast and secrete tons more hormones!
The first real issue is that there are no safety tests for human consumption! Do you want to be a human guinea pig when it comes to eating frankenfish? It has already become aware that one potential health hazard that could come with these frankenfish is the increase in seafood allergies!
Just what we need! What other health risks will pop up? What do you think about eating fish that hasn’t been proved as safe?
The other real issue with these frankenfish is the very REAL possibility that these genetically engineered fish can escape into the wild (millions of farmed fish escape annually already) and will wipe out the wild counterparts.
Should we even risk the extinction of REAL WILD SALMON for the purpose of making fish grow faster? What do you think?
Tips for YOU and Salmon
Stick to wild Alaskan or wild Pacific Salmon. These are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and contain the least amount of contaminants! Spend the little bit more money for wild salmon and protect your family’s health and the health of the eco-system. (I’m not usually an all out advocate for “saving the rainforest”, and I do appreciate the rainforest, except for my reusable shopping bags) Let’s make sure we preserve the real salmon and not drive another species to extinction because of human’s selfish desire for bigger fish!
I really want to know what you think! I added a lot of my own little “one-liners” in there but I really would love to hear your side of the story! What do you think of the fish industry? Does this blog post answer your question of the difference between fresh and farmed fish and whether you should worry about buying organic salmon? Let me know by leaving a comment below!