Seafood is a common component of the global diet. In North America, the demand is high for different types of fish. At the top of many people’s lists is salmon. Full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a fatty fish that is a mealtime favorite. However, a question puzzling many is “What is the difference between wild salmon and farm-raised salmon?”
Farm-raised salmon live in a salmon farm that is in an enclosed area of oceans, lakes, or ponds with limited ability to swim freely. Due to this, disease and infestations spread easily and a high level of contaminants can be found in the water. This poor environment leads the fish to contain more fat than wild fish. To combat these problems, the farm is treated with a variety of chemicals and pesticides. As to be expected, these make their way into the flesh of the fish and research indicates these chemicals become part of the food chain.
The food fed to a fish farm is not comparable to the diet of wild salmon. They are fed a processed diet that is high in fat and high in protein with the intent of making them larger. The fish feeds often contain additives – specifically an additive to mimic the pink coloring found naturally in wild salmon. This type of salmon ends up with a shorter life cycle.
These environmental factors ultimately affect the quality and taste of farm-raised fish.
Wild-caught salmon, however, lead a healthy and natural life. Wild salmon populations are able to swim freely and consume a natural diet. Wild fish like Alaskan Salmon have higher health benefits and are excellent sources of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. Their natural environment and lifestyle make for less fatty fish and a better-tasting meal.
Wild Versus Farmed Salmon
In the end, the choice is up to the individual. For most, wild salmon is the way to go. The nutritional differences and health benefits of wild salmon are incomparable. Moreover, no prepared farmed salmon can challenge the superb taste of those caught in the wild.