Healthy Eating – All You Need to Know About Farmed vs Wild Salmon

Just like the world is changing and growing, so are the health requirements. Doctors, physicians, and nutritionists are recommending that people eat more fish. Fish contribute to a more balanced diet and provide protein, which helps you maintain energy.

More specifically, salmon is being recommended because it is a fatty fish that will provide us with most of the Omega-3 that we need in our diet. When we go to buy salmon, we always see them labeled in the store as either farm raised salmon or wild caught salmon. What is the difference? Which is better for you and your family? These questions will be answered and more to ensure that your family is getting the best salmon it can.

Farmed vs Wild Salmon

Farmed salmon are just like they sound. Salmon that was raised on a farm before ending up in the store for you to buy. Some farmed salmon companies can be found in the countries of Chile, Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Iceland, and Ireland, as these countries have the ideal oceanic conditions for salmon, making it easier to maintain the farms without having to keep them indoors where the climate can be controlled.

In order for the farms to be successful, cold water temperatures and sheltered coastlines are required. The first year of the salmon farming takes place in controlled freshwater and then the salmon are transported to seawater cages where they grow to harvestable sizes.

Wild salmon are the salmon that are caught in their natural habitat. There are less wild salmon than there are farmed salmon and with the way the population is growing, we will eventually need a lot more salmon then the wild can provide.

Differences in Nutrients

A large difference between farmed salmon and wild caught salmon is the amount of nutrients that each provide. Farmed salmon have higher levels of calories, protein, fats, Omega-3, and Vitamin-C. Each of these nutrients are essential to the health of most people. If we were to eat only wild caught salmon then we would have to eat almost double the amount of farmed salmon in order to get these nutrients.

It is important to note here that wild caught salmon is higher in minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Even with this difference, the farmed salmon will still offer these types of minerals as well, just in smaller amounts.

Environmental Effects

When it comes to deciding whether farmed salmon or wild caught salmon is better for you and your family, the environment also comes into mind. Most people have negative thoughts about farmed salmon, when in reality, the farms are beneficial to both the farmed salmon and the wild caught salmon. One way this is true is because farmed salmon will help prevent the extinction of wild salmon. With the amount of people on Earth expected to grow rapidly in the upcoming years, the wild salmon population would not survive the increased fishing that would indicate. The farm raised salmon will help to protect the wild salmon by feeding a majority of the population.

When you compare farmed salmon and wild caught salmon, there are pros and cons to both. The wild caught salmon may provide you with more minerals, but the farmed salmon will give you more of the fatty acids and vitamins that are required by doctors and nutritionists. Farmed salmon also helps to keep the wild salmon alive by having them hunted less. Farmed salmon not only benefit the people who eat them, but the wild salmon by keeping them in their natural environment.