Many Americans are aware of the health benefits of eating fish. The American Heart Association has recommended eating fish at least two times per week as part of a heart-healthy diet because fish contain large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat shown to encourage healthy cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Salmon is at the forefront of being an essential part of everyone's healthy diet, but there is a big difference in salmon sources offered to American markets, and as the photo indicates, a pretty vivid one.
As you shop for salmon, you are presented with two options-farmed and wild salmon. While farmed salmon is cheaper in price and definitely more abundant in your local grocery stores and restaurants, that doesn't necessarily mean it is the smartest choice.
Any time I am at my local fish counter, I always make a point to look at their salmon. Occasionally wild salmon is displayed, but much more often I see only farmed salmon being offered, and I don't like what I see...if I sound biased it is because I am! I've hauled too much wild salmon home from Alaska to feel otherwise.
Any label that says "Atlantic Salmon" is farmed...the reason being Atlantic fisheries have been immensely over-fished and wild salmon numbers are no longer sustainable. And while there is a large consumption of farmed salmon in America-again being cheaper and largely more readily available than wild salmon, in my mind farmed salmon looks anemic and unappetizing, and research has given me reason enough to avoid it like the plague.
Wild Alaskan salmon exist and swim freely in their natural environment, subsisting on their natural food sources in cold, contaminant-free waters. Farmed salmon are kept in highly populated pens, in close proximity and unable to move freely.
While wild salmon feed on krill and shrimp, which gives it it's healthy red color, farmed salmon are fed highly-processed pellets made of fish, grains, chicken by-products (including droppings) and oils. Its color is naturally beige, and fish farmers use dyes to color the flesh to make it look more appealing. Any uneaten food and other contaminants settle to the bottom and accumulate. Pesticides and antibiotics are also abundantly used. This toxic cocktail contains dioxin, PCP's and other pollutants, and can contaminate the water, not only affecting the penned salmon but can have an adverse effect on wild stocks nearby. PCB concentrations in farmed salmon are, on average, eight times higher than in wild salmon. The disease can spread quickly.
Research has shown that farmed salmon is 5 times more toxic than any other food tested. It is also much higher in saturated fat and Omega-6 fatty acids than wild salmon.
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon has been proven to be the least-contaminated of any salmon source known, by far. It's low-fat, high Omega-3 content is a staple of anyone's healthy diet, and is a favorite of those looking to lose weight and achieve other fitness goals, such as reducing body fat while building muscle mass.
Yes, wild salmon costs a little more, but as in most things, you get what you pay for. With all it's benefits over farmed salmon, why wouldn't you want to feed your family only the healthiest, most nutritious food available?