Farm Raised vs. Wild Caught Fish

farmed fish

When it comes to seafood, there is a real difference between farm raised and wild caught fish.  Wild caught fish is significantly healthier than farm raised fish, and it is better for the environment.

Farm raised fish are typically raised in tanks or pens in rivers, lakes, or the ocean.  Since they live in such compact and confined spaces, they contain more hormones, toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, fat, and diseases than fish that are allowed to be in their natural habitat.  Farmed fish have more than three times the saturated fat as wild.  Sea lice are common in farmed fish.  Since wild fish can swim near the fish farms, sea lice can infect the wild fish in the area, killing many juvenile fish.  Farmed fish are frequently fed antibiotics to try to control sea lice infestations and other diseases.  They are frequently given hormones to increase breeding and growth.  Farmed fish have been found to contain high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE, which is a chemical used as a flame retardant.  PBDEs are thought to contribute to cancer.  Farmed fish have also been found to contain polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in levels 10 times higher than in wild caught fish.  PCBs are another potential carcinogen.

Wild caught fish swim the oceans, lakes, and rivers and therefore seek their own food.  This means that they are usually free from toxins, antibiotics, and hormones.  They also have much lower incidences of disease than are found in farm raised fish.  Their activity level also makes them lower in fat.  Wild salmon has 32% fewer calories than farmed salmon.  Wild caught fish are higher in protein and contain more Omega 3 fatty acids.

While it is true that farm raised fish is less expensive than wild caught fish, it is beneficial to your health and to the environment to make the choice to purchase only wild caught fish.

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