Not all fish are created equal. Some are more healthy and sustainable options than others. Even those in the same family like salmon where you find:
With all these choices available to us, how do we know which to select while out grocery shopping? Did you know that the term Atlantic salmon is misleading? Or that “fresh salmon” on a restaurant menu is more than likely not entirely true? “Atlantic” is put on the packaging and refers to farm-raised fish. Not fish caught in the Atlantic ocean and brought to your table.
The truth is that the wild Atlantic population has been severely depleted due to over-fishing. And despite aggressive conservation efforts, the numbers remain extremely low. So, to compensate for this Atlantic salmon farming began. In the last ten years, to respond to more demand, aquaculture has increased over 400%. This has had a significantly negative impact on the environment because of the dumping of fish excrement, uneaten food, and various chemicals into the oceans. Farming requires the use of commercial feed that contains antibiotics and potentially other contaminants which the fish retains. This is what we, in turn, eat.
There are better choices for our health. The first is to stay away from Atlantic, wild, and farmed salmon. Look for wild caught fish from Alaska such as Chinook (or king), coho, pink and sockeye. This is deemed the best as it is filled with nutrients, sustainable and approved by the animal welfare experts. Frozen tends to be less expensive than fresh, plus still retain the flavor with the flash-freezing that occurs on fishing boats. If canned salmon is your preference, look for the word “wild” on the label.
Bottom line, salmon is exceptionally healthy for you. It is a great source of protein, vitamin B12, selenium, omega-3, and the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. If you make the better choice in terms of salmon type, the benefits only get better.