Pay the extra money for wild caught salmon and reduce your exposure to chemicals toxins and mad cow disease!
A very important issue, especially in my household, because my son Kysen ADORES salmon! It might not be a surprise to many of you that I have determined that WILD salmon is healthier than farm-raised. What WILL surprise you are the scientific reasons why!
Well, for starters, take a look at the picture (to your left) that I took while looking at the salmon section at Trader Joe’s. Pretty self-explanatory, huh! Two things stand out: the color and the fat distribution. You can always tell when it’s wild caught salmon because the color of the flesh is so much more red. Another thing you can plainly identify is how much more fat there is in the farm-raised fish. Of course, one of the main health reasons to eat salmon is for those ever-important omega-3 fatty acids. So, why does it matter then that the farmed-raised salmon has so much more visible fat? Aren’t those fats good for you?
The reason those extra-fatty farmed filets are worse for you than their wild counterparts is that the farm-raised fats are full of TOXINS! In all animals, toxins are stored in fats (that explains why I sometimes feel crazy when I’m dieting
). Farmed fish (not just salmon), are kept in small, densely-packed areas where infection and disease are widespread. To combat these unsanitary conditions, the sick fish are given antibiotics (just like cows, pigs and chickens).
So, these antibiotic residues are stored in the fat, there is more fat pound for pound, and then there are even other hidden toxins that can be found lurking in your farm-raised fish, read on!
The other thing you have to worry about is what the FISH are eating! You don’t know if the salmon are being fed food that contains harmful PCB chemicals or other toxins (in the US most are). Just imagine: whatever is in those mysterious “fish pellets” that are thrown to the farmed salmon is going to end up inside of you! I’d much rather envision the salmon on my dinner plate as having eaten shrimp, plankton and small crustaceans like they were meant to! Don’t brush this “salmon are what they eat” matter aside either, and hold on to your lunch, because here is the #1 reason why you should avoid eating farm-raised salmon (or any other fish): COW BRAINS!
Yes, you saw right! COW BRAINS! There is a wonderful minute-and-a-half-long video on NutritionFacts.org that goes over this very topic, and I will just give you some of the highlights here. First a little history: Guess what! “We used to (for the past 12 years) feed cow brains to pigs and chickens until last year when Obama’s FDA banned the feeding of cow brains to most other farm animals.” Thank you Mr. President! But guess which lucky species of animal still gets to partake of these bovine brains? Fish! Yay for the unsuspecting American consumer (the EU has banned the feeding of any cow parts to any other animal including fish). So why does it matter if the fish eat cow brains, or any other animal eats cow brains for that matter?
Why, MAD COW DISEASE, of course ! Isn’t it funny! We started off talking about salmon and now we’re talking about mad cow–only in America
Don’t feel so smug next time there is a reported mad cow outbreak and you are settling down to a nice Herb-Crusted Salmon at your local Cheesecake Factory, cause you’re just as susceptible to the outbreak as your steak-eating dinner partner! “Last summer, a group of neurologists raised the concern that by feeding the cow brains to farmed fish , the consumption of farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious prions from mad cows to humans.”
Tests were performed in Greece just this past July with the conclusion being that the disease does build up inside of the fish who consume the infected cow brains and could potentially lead to human infection!
One of my favorite consumer advocacy groups, Environmental Working Group (EWG), did a report in 2003 that concluded “farmed salmon in the U.S. has the highest levels of PCBs (toxic man-made chemicals),” more than their wild counter-parts. According to an article on the topic on CNN, it is recommended that if you have to eat farmed-salmon, limit consumption to once a week and trim off the skin and fat as much as possible.
In my opinion pay the extra $2-3 per pound and buy the wild caught salmon. In my opinion it tastes far superior and let’s face it, there’s no way you’re going to be able to get through a farm-raised salmon filet without thinking of COW BRAINS from this point on
Do you know of any other nasty little secrets in the American food supply? Please share with the rest of us mommas !