Why to Buy Wild Caught Salmon Instead of Farmed

Easter, In Season, Ingredient, Summer
on March 14, 2013

Salmon, rich in omega-3s and amino acids, is arguably one of the most nutrient rich fish.  The omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce cholestorol and strengthen cardiac muscle.  Lucky for us, salmon is available in virtually every supermarket and can be prepared in a variety of different and easy ways.

Recently, where your fish comes from is something that more consumers are interested in. Farmed salmon has been reported to be contaminated with PCBs and other toxins in addition to its questionable environmental implications of waste. While not all farms carry these risks, there is no way to know what you’re getting at the fish counter if it is labeled “farmed.”

Because of this, more people are buying wild-caught salmon, more than 50 percent of which is coming from Alaska’s 34,000-mile coastline. Alaska is the only state in the nation that has conservation laws in its constitution to protect the environment and sustainability of their resources. This ensures that safe fishing practices are being followed, such as the regulated numbers of wild salmon that are allowed to be fished.

There are 5 different types of Alaskan salmon varying in size, color, and flavor.

The least abundant and largest, Alaska King or Chinook Salmon, has a red flesh and rich flavor. Alaska Pink Salmon, the smallest and most abundant, has a light, rose-colored flesh and delicate flavor. Alaska Keta Salmon, with a firm pink flesh and delicate flavor, is the type most commonly found in the foodservice industry.

This chart from The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute shows when each type of salmon is harvested, so you can enjoy the freshest and best priced salmon.


So, swing by your local seafood counter, pick up some wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and try one of these delicious recipes.

—Alexandra Rose