The growing demand for seafood has made farmed salmon one of the popular choices on people’s plates over the years. Farmed salmon implies cost-effective production, while the same practice can be seen as a global market presence. Various countries across the world have adopted salmon farming as major producers, including the United States, Canada, Scotland, Chile, and Norway.
Although farmed salmon can generally represent a healthy and nutritious choice, there are some important considerations related to its potential impacts on the environment and the production itself.
You need to keep in mind some important factors when it comes to the consumption of farmed salmon, so let’s cut to the chase!
The nutritional content of farmed salmon
Farmed salmon represents a good source of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Important vitamins and minerals are present in this food, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, phosphorus, and selenium.
We all know that proteins are very important for our body’s functions, and farmed salmon might have them in the right amounts. As for omega-3 fatty acids, farmed salmon also has them in enough amounts, particularly when it comes to DHA and EPA.
Considerations about health and environment
It’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to some salmon farms, antibiotics might be used in an attempt to control diseases. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose salmon from farms that adhere to sustainable and responsible practices in order to minimize the use of antibiotics.
There are also some concerns regarding contaminant levels in farmed salmon, such as dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). However, the levels are usually considered to be within acceptable limits set by health organizations.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio could vary when it comes to farmed salmon compared to salmon caught in the wild. In the case of the former salmon, the tendency is for a more favorable ratio, while farmed salmon can still represent a good source of omega-3s.
You need to watch out for certifications such as the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), which will indicate that the salmon was produced in a socially conscious manner and in an environmentally responsible way.
As for the potential impact on the environment, we can’t deny that this is one of the main concerns when it comes to salmon farming. Issues include potential escapes of farmed fish into the wild, the release of waste, as well as the use of wild fish for feed. However, there are sustainable aquaculture practices that have the goal of minimizing these impacts.
One of the interesting facts about farmed salmon is that it was possible to develop strains of salmon with specific traits due to selective breeding. For instance, some farmed salmon have been selectively bred to grow faster or to prove themselves more resistant in the face of certain diseases.
You got the idea: farmed salmon can represent a healthy option, although it’s important to consider the production practices and the source.
Feel free to share your own opinion with us in the comments, as there are plenty of folks out there who love to have farmed salmon on their plates.