Heuser Health


Salmon: Wild vs Farmed

WE LOVE SEAFOOD! In fact, the average american consumes 16.1 pounds of seafood per year. According to The National Fishery Institute, the top three most consumed seafood products are Shrimp, canned Tuna, and SALMON.

The American Heart Association recommends people should eat fish twice a week, especially salmon. Salmon is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fat and is a good source of protein while being low in calories and saturated fat. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and are associated with better cholesterol levels. You can learn more about the benefits of Omega-3’s at Health Ambition. With our demand for salmon growing each year, it’s no surprise our population of wild salmon is dwindling down. This lack of natural wild salmon has increased production of “farmed salmon.”

Based on the naked eye and taste bud, one would think there’s no nutrient difference between farmed and wild salmon. However, your taste buds are lying to you. Farmed salmon has nearly double the calories and fat than wild salmon! Wild salmon also contains more calcium and iron as well as potassium. Here’s a play by play break down:Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 4.11.21 PM

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Farmed fish usually contain more contaminants. Fish that are farmed are raised in floating net pens near the ocean shore. Hundreds of thousands of fish are packed into pens and fed a diet of processed pellets made from a variety of small processed fish. The types of fish used to make the pellets are usually caught in the polluted waters closer to shore, and are often contaminated with industrial chemicals. Farmed fish are fed more, one of the reasons the fat content and calories are higher.

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 2.06.49 AM The farming method can also be hazardous to our environment. Farmed fish are more subject to disease. Disease can spread quickly throughout the entire pen. Some sick fish escape into surrounding open water and spread disease to wild fish populations. In an effort to control disease, farmed fish are often given antibiotics. (I’ll order the salmon… without the side of antibiotics!)


While wild salmon is more expensive, it’s a far better choice for your health and environment. Aside from the health benefits, wild salmon is often tastier. Unlike farmed fish, wild salmon have more freedom to move resulting in more muscle. This healthy muscle develops and affects the taste and texture of the fish. Farmed fish are often fed coloring to appear “salmon pink” because their natural coloring appears a grayish color.

 Moral of the story. Natural food sources are always your safest bet. When you purchase your salmon, make sure you are aware of it’s origin/content to ensure a healthier nutrient source. Don’t swim upstream with your health! 

For more information on farmed salmon vs wild salmon CLICK HERE