Wild or Farm Raised??

I wanted to get the opinion of all T-folk out there on what you think is better. I love salmon and as we all know, fish oils should a staple in our diets. But what’s the major difference in wild and farm-raised besides the fact that farm raised are fed carotine to give them that extra color and are higher in fat? Are the omega 3’s and 6’s different? Wild salmon difintely tastes better, but with a student like me, it gets expensive to buy wild salmon 2-3x a week for $14.99 a lb. When I can get farm raised for $5.99 a lb. Is wild all that better for you?

Do a search of google for omega 3 content of fish. There is a few charts and most have farmed salmon as having more DHA/EPA than wild.

Wild is better for other reasons, but I guess that is one advantage of farmed.

In Atlantic Canada, farmed salmon is getting stigmatized for being too high in mercury. Don’t know if that applies to other farmed salmon. Or maybe it’s just media hype on a slow news day.

From LL’s most recent blog:

Q2. Large, predatory wild fish accumulate mercury in their tissues but what’s the contamination risk surrounding farm-raised salmon?

A2. In contrast to wild fish, the contamination risk with farm-raised salmon is principally Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as evidenced by recent media attention and research.

Stick to wild salmon.

This was all over the news a few months back. It was in total agreement with LL’s blog quiz. Apparently the people who are farming salmon are doing a piss poor job of it if they are getting enough crap in there to link farmed salmon to cancer in humans. Maybe if they would step it up, use cleaner water, and better food, this would not have happened in the first place.

PCBs are found in both wild and farm-raised fish, though much lower in wild fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in both, but again higher in wild fish. Sure, if you’ve got the money you would be better off with wild fish. But if you can’t afford the wild fish just buy the farm-raised. It’s still good for you, just not as good as wild. Unless you eat fish every day (either farm-raised and wild), PCBs aren’t a major concern.

If you do eat fish regularly, both farm-raised and wild, I would suggest checking checking the PCB content of the water the fish are from, as some waters are much higher in PCB content than others (namely more industrial/populated areas such as the east coast and waters around big cities). The FDA and other similar organizations have this information available if you look around little.

Depending on the type of fish used, many fish oils and caps contain the same levels of PCBs as those found in farm-raised fish.


For good wild, canned salmon, check out Dave’s albacore dot com.

It’s available at some health food stores but you get a break on the price if you buy a case from his website.


  1. “Unless you eat fish every day (either farm-raised and wild), PCBs aren’t a major concern.”

EFAs are needed every day. So one needs to consume them either by supplement or by eating fish every day. Personally I eat either wild fresh salmon, wild canned salmon (Lexie is correct Dave’s is good), or sardines every day. If cost is an issue use canned sardines.

  1. “Depending on the type of fish used, many fish oils and caps contain the same levels of PCBs as those found in farm-raised fish.”

If one is using a high quality fish oil supplement (molecularly distilled) neither PCBs nor mercury should be an issue.

this same issue applies to all meat we eat. if it’s been put into a ‘factory farm’ setting, and fed something that’s not naturally its food source. then it will not have the healthy components we need to truly have optimal health. CLA is only found in grass fed meats, a compound that’s been found to make your heart healthy!!

wild salmon has more essential fatty acids, at least in the proper proportions (omega 3:6 ratio), then does factory farmed fish. imagine the conditions, a crowded pool, where you can barely swim amoungst thousands of your probably genetic twins amid excrement and being fed pelletized grain, something you would never eat in the wild. ick. of course, that applies to almost all factory farmed meat. hmmm… salmon is just one example.

I think the most important thing to consider is that just eating fish is more important than worrying about whether it is canned, frozen, fresh, wild or farm raised.