Wild About Fish

Why is certain tilapia more expensive than another? Why does some salmon appear gray while others are pink and/or red?  The answer most likely depends on whether the fish is wild or farm raised.  Wild fish are found in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams; farm raised fish tend to live in a more controlled environment on fish farms that are specifically designed for mass production. As a result of the growing human population and overfishing, fish farms have become increasingly more popular to maximize revenue and to keep up with the high demand.

The majority of farm raised fish are trout, salmon and tilapia.  They can be sold year round, while wild fish are primarily found fresh from June to October and are always available canned and frozen.  Most fish in the United States, especially salmon, are farm raised.Several issues arise with farm raised fish due to being confined within a small swimming area. The most notable concern is their food supply of pellet feed, made up of a large concentration of fish, which results in high PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) levels.  These PCBs have been linked to certain cancers.  Additionally, these toxins are slowly entering the waters and being consumed by their wild counterpart.

Since more fish means more money, overproduction leads to limited movement, resulting in fattier fish as well as excessive contamination.  Farm raised fish are dyed with unhealthy artificial coloring, giving them a pinkish tone in order to appear wild.  Most wild fish feed on krill, giving them their rich color.  From a nutritional standpoint, farm raised fish provide less protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than wild fish.  Farmed fish also contain more unhealthy inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.  Wild fish is always the healthier option, since they are not injected with unnatural additives.

Although the benefits of eating farm raised outweigh the risks, it is important to realize the health concerns associated with eating it.  To minimize PCB exposure, prepare the fish by grilling, broiling, or baking and also remove skin and visible fat.  For a more economical way to consume wild fish, look for canned or frozen.  Learn more about the benefits of eating fish and how to create a more nutritious meal by contacting Dan at (978) 807-8579 or visit seachangefitness.net.

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