Wild caught fish or farmed fish – which one is better for your health?
Presently, an alarming rate of health conscious consumers are opting to eat fish owing to the health benefits it gives. But many people often get confused as to which kind of fish- whether wild caught or farmed is good for their family. The differences between these two popular varieties of fish have been a matter of hot debate since a long time especially among fish lovers who are concerned for their health as well. However, there are many things that you need to consider before picking a fish from the market to feed yourself and your family. Here we give you some useful information on both so that you can decide for yourself, which fish you should be serving your family- wild caught fish or farmed fish.
1 Factors to consider
There are many factors that you need to consider before choosing any kind of fish. Firstly, you need to make out which species you want to opt for, say for example, salmon, halibut, etc and the source from where the fish is caught. These are not as simple decisions as they may seem, as the nutritional value of fishes vary from species to species. Moreover, each source possesses a different potential for nutrition, contamination and environmental impact. You need to consider the fatty acid profile of fishes before buying and keep in mind that fishes that live in cold and dark waters are rich in Omega 3. The fishes rich in Omega 3 are tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout and salmon. Now taking note of the source of fishes, as discussed earlier, there are 2 kinds of fishes- wild caught and farmed. Now let us look at the pros and cons of these two varieties and see which one you should choose- wild caught fish or farmed fish:
2 Farmed fish
Fish farming is also known as aquaculture. In this industry, fish are raised in floating net pens close to the shore of the ocean.
3 Pros of farmed fish
Price – Farmed fish are generally cheaper and easily available than wild fish.
Controlled diet – Some kinds of farmed fish are known to have higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. This is mainly because farmers keep a check on what the fishes eat making sure that they are fed with more food that can be converted into Omega 3. However, there is no way by which a buyer can make out the amount of Omega 3 present in a fish.
Ecology – Farmed fishes help maintain an ecological balance as there is less risk of overfishing resulting in depletion of the wild fish population.
4 Cons of farmed fish
Contamination – Farmed fishes are more contaminated than wild fish as they are fed processed pellets containing industrial chemicals that may cause cancer and neurological disorders.
Antibiotics – Farmed fishes are often given antibiotics as they are highly prone to diseases that can spread among the entire pen.
5 Wild Caught Fish
Contrary to farm raised fishes, wild caught fishes thrive in open waters and eat a natural diet. These are caught by fishermen in their natural habitat – the open waters.
6 Pros of wild caught fish
Flavor – Wild fish is most preferred by many fish lovers because of its great flavor. This is mainly because unlike farmed fishes, these develop a good amount of muscle as they have great room for movement in the open waters. After all, it is the muscles that affect the taste and texture of the fish.
Appearance – Wild salmon is brightly colored owing to its natural food source while farmed salmon comes in a grayish hue and they are then treated with dyes in order to bring appealing shade to the fish.
Nutrition – Wild fish is healthier and richer storehouses of Omega 3 than their farmed friends. Wild fish is also less contaminated.
7 Cons of wild caught fish
Over fishing – Marine biologists are of the view that overfishing of wild fish can result in depletion of certain fishes as the quantity of fish is not enough to feed the masses. This can affect the ecosystem at large.
Price – Fresh wild fish is sometimes difficult to find as it is readily not available. Plus they are overpriced than farmed fishes.
Distance traveled – Sadly, not every fish lover lives near the coastal regions. For instance, an Alaskan salmon requires to be shipped thousands of miles in order to reach a grocery store near you. Shipping of wild fishes results in usage of fossil fuels and environmental pollution.
Now, you can weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself which fish is more beneficial for you and your family – Wild Caught fish or Farmed fish!