Salmon: Get the WILD type

28 Oct

When you go to the supermarket to buy salmon, which kind you do look for? Coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, Sockeye and Pink salmon are among the common ones you might see. Or perhaps like many, you just choose the one with the lowest price…the Atlantic farmed salmon.  And that’s understandable because we students are on a tight budget, and salmon isn’t exactly the cheapest food out there.

 However, it is one of the healthiest fish in the world. That’s why it’s considered a superfood. When we buy salmon, we are looking for the high amounts of omega-3, vitamin A, vitamin D, and protein along with B-vitamins and minerals. The wild fish generally contains 20% more protein and 20% less fat than farmed fish. And because farmed salmon can store more fat, they appear to have higher omega-3 content on the labels. The truth is wild salmon have much more usable version of omega-3s. Our bodies cannot make omega-3, so it must be obtained from diet. Omega-3 is essential to brain function and research shows it reduces inflammation and decreases the risk for heart disease and cancer. Health Canada recommends 400 I.U. of vitamin daily. Wild salmon contains more than 500 I.U. while farmed salmon have 60 I.U.  Likewise, wild salmon has 154 I.U. of vitamin A and farmed salmon has 40 I.U. That’s 8x more vitamin D and 3x more vitamin A in wild salmon!

If salmon has a nice deep pink colour, it must be good right? Well, this is why it’s not: because the public is so crazy about the health benefits of wild salmon, farmers decided to feed their salmon colour enhancers to give the flesh a deeper colour in order to sell more. You wouldn’t be able to tell them apart unless you ask where it’s from. The coloring compound is called astaxanthin, a lipid-pigment that is added to salmon feed.

The whole controversy about the toxic levels of these fish is still ongoing. But so far, scientists found that the biggest risk is avoiding the consumption of fish, rather than the toxic levels in the flesh. For me, I think the best way to eat wild salmon is raw, aka Sashimi! It’s totally worth the money.

– Sarah

 

References:

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100219/bc_ctv_investigates_food_fish_100219/20100304

 http://www.paystolivegreen.com/2009/02/wild-salmon-vs-farmed-raised-which-is-better/

http://pdf.gaalliance.org/pdf/gaa-tom-may10.pdf

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Go wild for salmon.(Nutrition News).  April 2004 v65 i4 p232(1)Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness, 65, 4. p.232(1). Retrieved October 09, 2011, from Academic OneFile via Gale:http://find.galegroup.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/gtx/start.do?prodId=AONE&userGroupName=guel77241

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2 Responses to “Salmon: Get the WILD type”

  1. Susanne Wong October 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Sashimi is great way to eat salmon and it’s very low maintenance…as long as you find someone to prepare it for you! It’s scary to think what lengths the farmers would go to just to gain profit.

  2. Hui(Amy) Chen October 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    MMMmm I agree no better way to eat salmon than sashimi…hungry for some right now! I didn’t know there wer so much difference in the nutrition of content of wild vs farmed salmon!! I didnt know farmers fed the salmon colour enhancers….now it makes me nervous when I see lovely deep coloured salmon and have to think twice whether is it natural or a special feed was used to contribute to the bright colour…

    Hui(Amy) Chen

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