Generally, most people assume that wild seafood is better than farm-raised seafood, but is that true? In this article, I would like to explore this notion to determine whether true or not.
Fish that are caught in the wild
This means exactly what it says: fish caught from the ocean, streams, lakes, and rivers, using either a fishing pole/rod with a fishing line and bait or using nets. For many people, wild fish, whether freshwater or saltwater dwelling, are considered ‘organic’ because they live in the wild. Therefore, the belief is that they must provide us with a wider variety of nutrients when consumed. Plus, they aren’t pumped full of antibiotics, and medications like farm-raised fish are in an attempt to keep them healthy and promote growth.
Fish that live in their natural environment have a varied diet, helping prevent disease and illness. There is also no need for their environment to be treated and monitored.
Farm-raised fish are exactly what it says, they are raised in human-made pens and tanks, and their environment is controlled and monitored in order to raise as many healthy and alive fish as possible.
Regrettably, though, some fish farms can become a bit too haphazard when it comes to quality control. This can mean that they have been or are using practices that aren’t considered sustainable, which can ultimately be harmful to the consumer. Therefore, it is recommended when purchasing farm-raised fish that you check where they have come from and that they have been raised on a sustainable fish farm that has the proper quality controls in place. Sometimes the labeling and packaging of farm-raised fish can be confusing. For example, it may not show where the fish was raised versus packaged.
There is also the risk with farm-raised fish that they may have been fed with substandard fish food, which could then be ingested by the consumer, or that their water has been treated with chemicals such as PCBs and pesticides.
Wild v’s farm-raised
The fishing industry is enormous, and as such many fish are becoming extinct due to over-fishing in some waters. As a result, countless eco-conscious people feel that eating fish that are caught in the wild is unsustainable, and therefore feel consuming farm-raised fish is more eco-friendly. With this in mind, the fish farming industry must adhere to sustainable practices.
Another factor to consider as well is that it is impossible to know where a wild fish has been swimming and what they have eaten or been exposed to. We all know our oceans are becoming polluted with plastics and other harmful substances. On the flip side, we know precisely what a farm-raised fish has eaten and been exposed to. This is why farmed salmon is actually what’s recommended in sushi!
Depending on the fish farm and the food that the fish have been given to eat, some farm-raised fish may have a higher level of omega-3, which is considered very healthy, and good fats that give the fish its flavor and help it stay moist when cooking. This is true, especially if they are being fed premium fish food. On the other hand, some farm-raised fish are being fed with substandard fish food that can contain animal waste and byproducts. Wild fish are believed to have less saturated fat.
Hence, just how nutritious a fish depends wholly on the diet it consumes and what breed of fish it is. For example, wild-caught salmon has less fat but Farm-raised salmon has more protein, Omega3 and Omega 6 per serving.
What do you prefer?
In the end, it all boils down to personal preference. Some people favor the taste of wild-caught fish, whereas others prefer farm-raised fish because, quite often, the flavor is milder.
Whether farmed or wild, fish is considered very nutritious, with the nutrients being very similar from both sources. For example, even though farmed salmon has a higher fat content, it does contain almost the same amount of protein and cholesterol levels as wild salmon.
Fish, whether farmed or wild, is considered very nutritious. There are pros and cons to the consumption of wild-caught fish and farm-raised fish. It all boils down to personal preference in the end. But one thing that you must take into consideration before deciding is to know where your fish was caught. For example, if it is farm-raised, make sure it is from a sustainable fish farm that has the proper quality control procedures in place.
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