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Which salmon should I buy?

adapted from an article by Lisa Gosselin for Eating Well

  1. five-salmon-species-jq-licensingWild or farmed?
    Opt for wild salmon. Environmental groups such as Seafood Watch have put nearly all farmed salmon on their “avoid” list. The reason: many farms use crowded pens where salmon are easily infected with lice, may be treated with antibiotics and can spread disease to wild fish (one reason Alaska has banned salmon farms).
  2. Should I buy organic salmon?
    There is no USDA organic standard for salmon and no guarantee an “organic” label means anything except the salmon was farmed.
  3. Is fresh salmon better than frozen?
    Most wild salmon is flash-frozen when caught to preserve its freshness and allow for shipping. Frozen salmon is good for up to four months, when properly thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Does salmon carry PCBs or other toxins?
    Wild Alaskan salmon, which spend most of their lives in open oceans, have very low levels of toxins.
  5. Do different types of salmon taste different?
    The largest, the king or chinook, is prized for its high fat content and buttery texture and is rich in omega-3s.  Sockeye, an oilier fish with deep red flesh, is also high in heart-healthy omega-3s, has richer flavor and stands up well to grilling. Coho is milder and often lighter in color.
  6. Why is some salmon more orange than others?
    Carotenoids. These magical antioxidants combat the damaging effects of free radicals. The carotenoid in salmon is a particularly potent antioxidant which has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation, eye diseases, general aging and many other conditions.
  7. Are fattier fish healthier?
    In the case of salmon, the answer is yes! Salmon is a fantastic source of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development. DHA is stored in salmon’s fat, most often in the belly, and one 4-ounce serving of salmon can dish up 2,400 mg of omega-3s.

To read the full article on the Eating Well website, click here.