Worry not, soon I will run out of posts about fish and seafood! However, while I am still on this wave, I want to talk about farm raised fish vs wild-caught fish 🐟. Honestly, I didn’t even think about it and that there is any significant difference, until mom of my ex mentioned this difference and that I should never buy a farm raised fish. I think it is time to investigate a little! Is there a real difference and what is it?
First of all, let’s think why there are so many fish-farms? Humans are overfishing and exhausting our Earth in many more ways (alas), so logical solution is to grow own fish, thus oceans and rivers won’t be left lifeless! Great decision *clap-clap-clap*. I, personally, worry a lot about our planet and ecology, so I should encourage to buy farm raised fish. Debates can heat up, because obviously it is still bad for ecology in many ways, so let’s leave ecology out of this. What about health? As with chicken and other farm raised animals, people want to get more profit, so their fish is full of antibiotics and pesticides (why? Because this poor fish is packed in tanks, which leads to blooming parasites and other diseases). Even worse is farmed-raised fish from China is very cheap, but their “nice” waste management leading to water contamination in farms, which make fish…. Yeaaaah. Not good. But if you don’t buy fish raised in China, you should be okay. Personally, at the stores I saw fish which was grown in China, lots of it, so make sure to read label on a package, when you buy it (you can find more information here).
Now it is getting even more depressing. The more articles I read, the “funner” it becomes. If we talk about salmon (one of the most popular fishes), then first of all, I want to talk about color. Wild salmon eats krill, which turn their mean pink color in a natural way. On farms salmon has to eat ground parts of other fishes, so their meat stay gray and they farmers just dye it in a “right” color 😒. Here is a SalmoFan chart of colors to pick from (yep!) :
Little bit more information from this article: “Farm-raised salmon has 5-10 times more PCB’s (cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyl) than wild caught. In three independent studies scientists tested 37 fish meal samples from six countries, and found PCB contamination in nearly every sample. They are feeding the fish toxic food, which produces toxic meat.
According to USDA data, farm raised salmon has 52% more fat than wild caught. Toxins are stored in fat and the fat in farm raised salmon is found to be contaminated with over 100 pollutants and pesticides. (Source: Environmental Working Group)”
I take in consideration thought, that this study happened long time ago, and maybe now it became better, but since farmed raised fish Is so much cheaper, I am sure that it doesn’t get fed by high quality natural (organic) food.
Now one more thing, which actually started it all. My ex’s mom (who is my friend now) said hat farmed-raised fished has “bad omega acids and I had to research if this is true. I didn’t find any indication of “bad omega acids, but I think it is actually about Omega-6 acid. Omega-3 and 6 are both essential to our bodies, but farm-raised fish has too much of it (about 3 times more than wild salmon), in opposite to Omega-3 acid. Here is a chart with differences, and link to the full article:
But I can hear someone is yelling “hey! But wild caught fish contain mercury and other toxins (thanks to people and pollution that we create)”, and you know what I will reply? They are correct… Nowadays even wild caught fish is not always “clean”. Best choice is Alaskan wild-caught fishes, because they are the cleanest. If you are interested, you can read some tips about avoiding mercury in fish here