Salmon Facts: Farm vs Wild

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Fifty years ago, Norway revolutionized the salmon industry with the introduction of Salmon farming. Farmed Salmon are raised in contained spaces underwater and fed by humans. Wild Salmon are in decline because of overfishing, and this has increased salmon farming, known as aquaculture.

George Mateljan, founder of Health Valley Foods, says farmed salmon have a 20% higher fat content and 20% lower protein content than wild salmon. They also have higher Omega 6 fatty acids, which increases inflammation, unlike healthy Omega 3’s, which has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Aquaculture advocates believe farming salmon benefits wild salmon populations. They proport fewer wild salmon are killed. Ocean proponents disagree. One study found sea lice from salmon farms kill 95% of young wild salmon nearby. Two more studies found that farmed Salmon contain more cancer-causing PCB’s, due to toxic diets. Fish farms also use antibiotics, which make their way into the wild populations when feces leaks into the surrounding oceans.

Ocean advocates want salmon farms banned and the focus to be shifted to conservation of wild salmon populations. Realistically, improving how fish are farmed with enclosed systems that keep waste and fish inside are more feasible.

Consumers can help by only purchasing wild salmon. To learn more, click here.

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