Farm Raised and Full of Chemicals
Commercially raised fish grow in controlled pens in lakes, oceans, rivers, or large tanks. The purpose of farm-raised fish is to make fish cheaper and more readily available to consumers. About 90% of the fish consumed in the US is farm-raised.
A large part of the low-quality farmed fish can be attributed to the feed containing corn, grains, fish oil, and ground-up wild-caught fish. Added food coloring to fishmeal gives farmed salmon their pink color. Since farm-raised fish eat a limited diet, they are naturally gray. Wild salmon eat krill, colored by red algae; they are pink.
Why Go Wild?
Fishermen catch wild-caught fish in their natural habitats, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. Wild-caught salmon consume naturally occurring organisms in their environment, which is far more diverse than farmed fish regularly consume. Moreover, wild-caught fish are not fed antibiotics since wild fish do not carry the same risk of disease and infection as farmed fish.
Fish caught wild has higher nutritional value than fish raised on farms. Because wild fish eat so many different foods, so they consume a diverse blend of nutrients and trace minerals in the oceans.
Wild fish are responsible for finding their food and can swim long distances during their life at sea. For that reason, wild-caught fish tend to be lean. Farm-raised fish are raised in confined spaces and generally eat limited food sources since the primary goal is to quickly fatten and grow the fish. Because these fish don’t eat the best diet, the fat content of farm fish tends to be higher than wild-caught fish.
Farmed fish may be treated with preservatives to make them last longer on grocery store shelves and keep them moist. The most used chemical is sodium tripolyphosphate, making foods, especially seafood, appear glossier and more appealing. TSP is a cleaning agent, lubricant, food additive, stain remover, and degreaser. Flash-freezing wild-caught fish is a great way to maintain a fresh seafood flavor all year long- and does not contain preservatives.
Farm-Raised, Wild-Caught, and the Environment
Fish farms have been associated with pollution and disregard for ocean wildlife for many years. The use of open net cages in the ocean can leak chemicals and diseases into the sea, putting marine life at risk. Farmed fish are known to escape their pens, allowing them to breed with wild fish. Farm-raised fish are more susceptible to diseases and parasites and are, therefore, regularly treated with antibiotics that do not occur naturally in the ocean.
Generally, seafood is farmed to prevent the overfishing of wild fish populations. Climate and consumer demand have led to the depletion of wild salmon stocks. But, like genetically modified foods, farmed fish is no stranger to controversy. Many farmed-raised fish are genetically modified to reduce disease risk and enable faster growth to make more food.
In other cases, salmon on farms have been fed other fish, wild fish, that are dangerously low in supply, thereby depleting other species. Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your sources and where your seafood supply comes from.
Know Your Seafood Source
Labeling seafood can confuse choices since it’s generally not clearly labeled with an organic tag like your produce. Knowing your seafood source is the best way to ensure you’re not getting the kind of product that hasn’t been pumped full of antibiotics and fed GMO-based fishmeal. US Wellness Meats offers sustainable, wild seafood from reliable sources. Order yours today to experience the difference.
Find wild-caught seafood recipes on the blog!