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Whole Foods Salmon: Same N6:N3 ratio as wild?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 09, 2013 at 2:36 AM

The fish-guy at Whole Foods today told me to check out their website where they have all kinds of interesting data on fat ratios of their farmed salmon, and how they are the same as wild.

I took a look but didn't find what he was mentioning.

I know their farmed atlantic is much fattier (and tastier) than wild, but are the fat ratios really ok?

If so, I totally would much prefer the farmed product.

WF boasts about their sustainability and how awesome their farmed fish is.

Is it true?

Thanks, Mike

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:06 AM

OK. As I read through my answers, I think the only reasonable conclusion is to go with the wild, even though I don't like the taste or texture nearly as much. RATZ!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:05 AM

According to cronometer, wild salmon has virtually no omega6 whereas the regular farmed has a very significant amount (although there still is more omega3 than omega6). The ratio of omega3:omega6 was 12.7 for wild, but only 2.5 for regular farmed. I will have to see if I can nail down specifics for the whole foods brand.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:59 AM

What a great link! However, perhaps it's more information than I want to know: About the pigment: Pigment in grow-out feed, including astaxanthin/canthaxanthin, must be from a non-synthetic source. This standard applies to pigment used for coloration, stress tolerance, and antioxidants. Producer guidance:  As a by-product from processing, shrimp shells are permitted for use as pigment.  Pigment from Phaffia yeast is permitted.  Pigment the bacterium Paracoccus carotinifaciens is permitted.  Producers must obtain approval from WFM to use other types of colorants

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:57 AM

I think the better question is your first one. How can they be grain fed and have high omega 3? Are they fed flax? If so, is a salmon fed corn and flax seed as healthy for you as a wild salmon?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:55 AM

I guess I need to determine how much omega3 is in wild salmon (8oz - uncooked)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:54 AM

4.14 Additional for salmon: To ensure that farmed salmon sold to Whole Foods Market provides enough beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, all farmed salmon must contain at least 1,820 mg of combined EPA and DHA per eight ounce piece of uncooked salmon (227 g)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:53 AM

Thanks for the link! If the salmon is fed grain, how could it be a good source of omega 3? (I'm sure the answer is in the link. I will take a look).

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3 Answers

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3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Here's the document he was referring to: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sites/default/files/media/Global/Core%20Value/WFM%20Quality%20Standards%20for%20Farmed%20Seafood_salmon.finfish.shrimp_%20Jan%201.%202013.pdf

Biggest concern, they use a grain feed with added pigment to help with the color. Probably better than farmed fish from china, but probably not as good as wild caught Alaskan.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:55 AM

I guess I need to determine how much omega3 is in wild salmon (8oz - uncooked)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:54 AM

4.14 Additional for salmon: To ensure that farmed salmon sold to Whole Foods Market provides enough beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, all farmed salmon must contain at least 1,820 mg of combined EPA and DHA per eight ounce piece of uncooked salmon (227 g)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:06 AM

OK. As I read through my answers, I think the only reasonable conclusion is to go with the wild, even though I don't like the taste or texture nearly as much. RATZ!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:05 AM

According to cronometer, wild salmon has virtually no omega6 whereas the regular farmed has a very significant amount (although there still is more omega3 than omega6). The ratio of omega3:omega6 was 12.7 for wild, but only 2.5 for regular farmed. I will have to see if I can nail down specifics for the whole foods brand.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:57 AM

I think the better question is your first one. How can they be grain fed and have high omega 3? Are they fed flax? If so, is a salmon fed corn and flax seed as healthy for you as a wild salmon?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:59 AM

What a great link! However, perhaps it's more information than I want to know: About the pigment: Pigment in grow-out feed, including astaxanthin/canthaxanthin, must be from a non-synthetic source. This standard applies to pigment used for coloration, stress tolerance, and antioxidants. Producer guidance:  As a by-product from processing, shrimp shells are permitted for use as pigment.  Pigment from Phaffia yeast is permitted.  Pigment the bacterium Paracoccus carotinifaciens is permitted.  Producers must obtain approval from WFM to use other types of colorants

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:53 AM

Thanks for the link! If the salmon is fed grain, how could it be a good source of omega 3? (I'm sure the answer is in the link. I will take a look).

1
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:42 AM

I think farmed fish is fed grain-based food which it seems would hurt the n6:n3 ratio. Maybe they're also giving the fish flax to improve the ratio? Either way though, doesn't seem nearly as good as wild fish. Trader Joe's has very affordable frozen wild caught fish.

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on January 09, 2013
at 03:56 PM

At Whole Foods right now (at least where I live), they have farmed King and wild Coho. King is delicious and Coho is just okay. I wonder if your preference for farmed is because of this. I personally believe that wild King takes much better than farmed King. Also, Alaskan King is generally sustainably fished (because of the hatcheries), so it's the one food that's insanely good for you, insanely tasty, and environmentally guilt-free. And expensive. And not always available, like right now.

Seems like WF is trying to get you a modicum of n3. Not as good as wild n3, but okay. Personally, I stick to wild not because of the n3, but because of all the other nutrients the farmed fish is probably lacking as well given their diet. I've learned to enjoy the Coho quite a lot. But when that wild King comes back, I'll be in heaven!

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