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Farmed Fish, "Wild Caught" and "Wild-Caught, Atlantic": What is the Difference?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I go out of my way to avoid farmed fish. But I didn't realize that farmed salmon are fed poultry litter and hydrolized chicken feathers. So it seems easy enough: avoid all farmed fish. But what about the point here that the most contaminaed fish come from Northern Europe, and it doesn't seem to matter whether they're farmed or wild caught? That's according to Fox News's "7 Foods You Should Never Eat":

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/12/01/7-foods-should-never-eat/

From Northern Europe, we also get fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, and salmon, of course. I thought as long as they're wild caught, it's okay. Obviously there is the issue with mercury but you avoid that by not eating fish everyday (who can?). So what am I missing here? Only Alaska-caught wild salmon are ok? Is the article just referring to wild-caught salmon: i.e., there may still be wild-caught Atlantic sardines, tuna, etc. but no more salmon?

  1. The Fisheries Expert Won't Eat: Farmed Salmon Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

The problem: Nature didn't intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. "You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer," says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. "It's that bad." Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it's farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 09, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Oh, they mux up the droppings and feathers and turn them into pretty little pellets so we all don't gross out.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on December 08, 2011
at 10:43 PM

What do you mean pellets? From what I hear they're eating chicken droppings and chicken feathers.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on December 08, 2011
at 10:42 PM

I thought the fisheries were inland. Didn't know they had fisheries built in the ocean.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 06, 2011
at 03:32 AM

PS Real fish don't eat pellets!

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:36 AM

There are wild salmon in the Atlantic but most of them are just escapees... And, there are no commercial fishing of salmon in the Atlantic. So, all Atlantic salmon you will see in a store is farmed even if it says "fresh" or "natural" or "organic." I'm not sure what your question is but you might not appreciate that fish farms are basically pens in the ocean that contain the fish in one spot where they feed them "feed." So fresh farmed Atlantic is just salmon from a pen somewhere in the Atlantic that is brought to you "fresh" (i.e., not rotten).

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:22 AM

But the q is, if the package says, "fresh Atlantic," you would assume it's wild caught somewhere in the Atlantic. They're saying that it's not. How could that be: if they're from the fishery, aren't they hatched there? Farmed fish "fresh from Atlantic" is oxymoroninc.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 04, 2011
at 09:13 PM

The quote is only talking about salmon.

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2 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:42 AM

The taste and texture of farm raised fish is totally different- I'd describe it as bland and mushy. We eat wild caught Pacific salmon and it tastes like real food.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 06, 2011
at 03:32 AM

PS Real fish don't eat pellets!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 09, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Oh, they mux up the droppings and feathers and turn them into pretty little pellets so we all don't gross out.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on December 08, 2011
at 10:43 PM

What do you mean pellets? From what I hear they're eating chicken droppings and chicken feathers.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:23 PM

I imagine that the Pacific fish--especially from the Alaska/NW coast-- are less likely to have high PCBs, Mercury, etc...

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