I was eating at my favourite restaurant recently and found something out about how gullible I am and what I was eating. I do no eat farmed salmon for the reasons listed below but I do love seafood and fish. So when my server told me my arctic char dish I was having was wild I believed her. Why not, it seemed logical.
That is until the stomach ache happened. I had eaten it twice and was okay but the third time I felt really sick. So when I asked a new server if it was wild the response was no. He thinks they get it from Saskatchewan……
I am from Saskatchewan and it is no arctic. I looked into it a little bit and realized he probably meant Manitoba because they farm a lot of arctic char there. The arctic char is a cousin of the salmon and trout and is mostly farmed. I wonder what they feed them?
Here is why I chose not to eat farmed salmon. Check out what they eat:
- Farmed salmon are kept cooped up in pens where they absorb higher amounts of PCB’s & have no room to swim.
- Farmed salmon can be extremely high in PCB’s. PCB’s are chemicals that attach easily into soil & sediment because they do not break down easily. This chemical can be easily consumed by eating fish that have been absorbing it through the water & sediment that they live in. Farmed salmon may contain as much as seven times the levels of PCB’s as wild salmon.
- Farmed salmon is up to 50% fatter than wild salmon due to the fact that they are caged up in large numbers with no room to swim. PCBs accumulate in this fat. Just when you thought you were eating salmon to cut calories, the farmed stuff isn’t helping you out.
- Farmed salmon does not have anywhere near the amount of vitamin D that wild salmon has. There is no way to make a penned up fish produce it. That happens naturally.
- Farmed salmon can catch lice from being caged up.
- Farmed salmon is injected with artificial colour to give it that red/orange colour. These fish are not natural, nor do they feed on what a wild salmon would eat, so they just don’t look or taste the same. Not even a little food colouring can change that.
- Farmed salmon are carnivores. This means they are fed a mixture of fish pellets (which as you may have guessed is ground up fish), genetically modified soy & canola, poultry litter & hydrolyzed chicken feathers to name a few. Why would a salmon want to eat poultry?
If you love salmon try opting for wild caught in moderation. Beware of atlantic salmon because as nice as it sounds, it is the farmed stuff.