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Monday, 22 June 2015 11:48

What’s Wrong with Farm Raised Salmon?

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We’ve all heard the news that we need to have omega-3’s in our diet for all its numerous health benefits. Salmon is one of the highest ranking source of it. Hopefully you are not purchasing the farm raised versions of salmon though, as it may do more harm than good.

There have been some serious concerns regarding high levels of contaminants contained in many farm raised salmon sources (this applies to any farm raised fish too).  So much so that a Norwegian researcher, biologist Alexandra Morton, claims the type of contaminants detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development associated with autism, ADD / ADHD and reduced IQ - especially detrimental to women of childbearing age or women who are pregnant.

This is only one of numerous concerns around farm raised salmon. Farm raised fish are being fed corn and soy,  (probably genetically modified) other grains, poultry and pork, foods never intended for fish to consume. Wild salmon swim around in a natural environment  eating what nature intended them to eat.  The nutritional profile is much more complete, with nutrients intact, including an important antioxidant, astaxanthin. Synthetic astaxanthin, (derived from a petrochemical) although not approved for human consumption, is permitted and used in farm raised fish feed instead.  

Farmed fish also contain synthetic vitamins,  pesticides, especially toxic copper sulfate,  (used to keep nets free of algae) along with PCBs, dioxins, toxaphene and dieldrin,  and of course mercury.  That’s not even explaining  at least three lethal fish viruses found in fish farms. On top of all that,  there’s misleading labeling when ordering salmon in a restaurant.  Some studies discovered that up to 70-80% of fish in restaurants,  marked “wild” were actually farm-raised.

When dining out:

  • A tip off is that mislabeled salmon will typically be described as "wild" but not "wild Alaskan." Always ask the store or waiter where the fish is from.  If they don't have a confident  answer for you,  it's probably farmed.
  • Alaskan sockeye salmon cannot be farmed, so if you find sockeye salmon, it's usually wild.
  • Whether in a grocery store or a restaurant, ask the attendant where the fish is from. If it's wild, the store/restaurant will have paid more for it, so they know. If the answer is unknown  it's a red flag that it's farmed.

So get your omega 3’s from fish but make sure  the fish you consume is wild Alaskan or supplement with a good quality omega-3 supplement.  CMWM carries its own superior line of fish oil in its clinics.

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