How Does Wild Salmon Measure Up to
By Jordan Rubin, founder of Garden of Life
High in protein, high in omega-3 fatty acids, a
provider of vitamin D, B12, niacin, selenium, B6, magnesium and
calcium—those are just some of the benefits of eating salmon and other
But what about farmed salmon versus wild salmon? Are
there any differences? The answer is a resounding yes. And these
differences are significant for health.
starters, North American, South American, and European farm-raised
salmon have high levels of PCBs and other environmental toxins (as
many as 14 toxins--some of them human carcinogens) than wild salmon,
according to researchers at Indiana University and five additional
research centers. The study’s leader, Professor Ronald Hites, from the
IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said, “We think it’s
important for people who eat salmon to know that farmed salmon have
higher levels of toxins than wild salmon from the open ocean.”
They think it’s so important that they also
recommended limitations on how much farmed salmon a person should eat
per month. The recommended amounts varied from one-half a meal of
salmon per month to no more than two meals of salmon per month.
Compare those recommendations to how much wild salmon you can safely
eat—which is as many as eight meals per month—and you catch a glimpse
of how serious these scientists consider the toxins in farmed salmon.
And this is a rather broad problem, since the
production of farmed salmon has increased 40-fold over the past twenty
years. And it appears that the toxins may be derived from what these
farm-raised salmon are fed. Hites and his fellow scientists measured
toxins in this “salmon chow’—which is a mixture of ground-up fish and
oil fed to the farm-raised salmon—and found a correlation between the
toxicity of the feed and the toxicity of the salmon. They believe that
the toxins are passed from the feed into the salmon.
But the toxin level in farmed salmon is not the only
reason why wild salmon is preferred over farmed salmon. Here are some
more convincing reasons:
- Wild salmon contains more omega-3 fatty acids
than farmed fish, a Norwegian study suggests. In the past, it was
believed that farmed fish contained more beneficial omega-3s, but
more recently, it is generally accepted that the percentage of
omega-3 fats in farmed salmon is lower than in wild salmon.
Additionally, farmed salmon is usually cooked in ways that reduce
its fat content (due to its contaminants), thereby lowering its
fatty acid content. Finally, fish feed is being used with less fish
meat in it and more plant foods, which can lower the amount of
omega-3s in the salmon.
- Salmon farmers often use antibiotics and
pesticides to control disease and these can be passed along to any
consumer of the fish. These chemicals can potentially causes
negative health effects for those who ingest the antibiotic-ridden
or pesticide-laced salmon.
when it comes to your choice of salmon, it’s best to “take a walk on
the wild side”—by selecting wild salmon, that is.
Notes from Christine:
To help figure out if you are buying farm-raised
salmon or wild salmon, Atlantic salmon is farmed salmon and Alaskan
salmon is generally wild salmon. It is does not say “wild” salmon,
chances are that it is farmed.
Environmental Defense Fund has an informative webpage about the
quality of fish types that include the Eco-Best to the Eco-Worst. They
have classified the Atlantic farm-raised salmon as an Eco-Worst choice
and recommend that it should not be eaten more than one meal per
month. Whereas the Alaskan Wild Salmon is on the Eco-Best fish list
and can be eaten safely more than 4 meals per month.
You can visit their
website by clicking here.
For high quality supplemental sources of Omega 3's, see the
Ocean's 3 Beyond Omega 3 fish oil products.
For more information on the benefits of Omega 3's,
see the following articles:
For more writings from Jordan Rubin, click on the
following book links:
Read the Article:
Guidelines & Suggestions for Better Nutrition for a Healthier You!
Also: Nutritional Support After Internal Cleansing
By Christine Dreher, CCH, CCH