If you’re a salmon lover who doesn’t live in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest, then you’re probably waiting with bated breath for the first signs of wild salmon at your grocery store. I’m just starting to see it trickle in now, and I’m on a mission to get it while I can.
Deep, almost red-colored, lovely, gamey tasting wild salmon is cousin to mild tasting pale pink, farmed salmon most of us have available for a better part of the year. Wild salmon is in season, readily available and least expensive from May through early September.
We know salmon is a great source of protein and healthy omega-3 fats. So besides the taste, is there any reason to spring for the usually higher priced wild salmon? Here’s a side-by-side comparison between wild and farmed salmon to help you decide.
If you’re concerned about what you eat eats, and any risk for potential toxins, it might seem that wild salmon has a clear advantage, as long as it’s available and affordable. It’s important to note though, that all fish, wild or farmed, must adhere to FDA limits for PCB content and mercury levels – although some may measure just below the cutoff. It’s also helpful know the source of your seafood. Some, like Whole Foods Market, have stricter quality standards for their farmed fish. The company won’t source fish that have been fed antibiotics, added growth hormones, synthetic colorants, or poultry and mammalian by-products in feed. They also require farmers to minimize impact to the environment.
There are clear health benefits to eating fish, and the American Heart Association recommends adults eat it twice a week as part of a heart healthy diet. Like everything we eat, it’s good to aim for variety, so even though wild salmon is in season right now, mix it up with other healthy choices like arctic char, which is similar to salmon in taste and omega-3 content, or farmed rainbow trout which is a bit leaner and milder tasting, or ANY seafood you like!
What’s your favorite fish?