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Wild Vs Farmed Salmon

The choices for salmon have become overwhelming over the last number of years. Anyone that is a fan of salmon products and has been to their local market or grocery store can vouch for the number of choices in the fish section now. Not only that, but the choices come with significant price differences as well. The biggest question we get is no doubt the choice to buy wild or farmed salmon. So lets address that question a little further. To be completely honest the choice of which salmon to buy will ultimately fall with you and what’s important to you in the fish.

In terms of taste, quality and look there is no doubt that wild salmon is a much better quality product than its farmed counterpart. Its a pretty simple formula here, anything naturally raised is going to be a superior product to something that is farmed. The product is naturally raised in clean waters and the process is able to take place as it should. I myself prefer wild salmon as I feel the taste is significantly enhanced versus the farmed product.

Farmed salmon is basically what it sounds. Its raised in large tanks usually in other parts of the world where the waters may not be as clean and there is quite the process to raising the salmon that the wild doesn’t need. With all this in mind there is still a much needed place for farmed salmon as the price point for this fish is very enticing, so it really comes down to a choice of what you value the most. Below is an insight into the development process of farmed salmon. Notice we didn’t need to include this in the wild salmon discussion.

Here’s the basic rundown of how a farm raised salmon ends up on your table:

1. Surgically extracted salmon egg and sperm are used to create a new fish.

2. Fish eggs are incubated and hatched.

3. Fish babies begin their lives in controlled freshwater environments.

4. Salmon are exposed to increasing levels of salt in water.

5. Fish are vaccinated against infectious diseases before they enter a pen with tens of thousands of other fish.

6. Salmon is fattened up on a concentrated, high fat combination of ground up fish, fish oil, and grains. The food pellets also have color additives that help give the farm raised salmon the nice pinkish color we’re all accustomed to. Otherwise, they’d be a dullish grey color*.

*Wild salmon, by contrast, obtain their pink hue from their natural environment by feasting on a diet of krill, which eats red algae.

7. When the salmon weighs 8 – 10 pounds they’re killed, packaged, and shipped to your neighborhood grocery store.

Either one you choose is really not a bad choice as in the end fish is fish, the farmed versus fresh will always be a debate but really you cant go wrong with either one. So enjoy.

Shafeen Jinnah