Salmon Shopology: Know What You Are Buying
Posted: May 22 2017
Did you know that salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet? This delicious and popular fish is loaded with nutrients that could reduce risk factors for a host of common health issues.
It may or may not surprise you that a majority of consumers who purchase salmon don’t know what they’re buying. For instance, a survey by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute found that 90 percent of respondents (800 people, ages 35 to 54) were unaware that Atlantic salmon is farmed-raised, and one-third believe that Atlantic salmon is wild.
Here are some important salmon facts you should know when shopping for salmon to ensure you’re getting what the seller says you’re getting.
First off, most farm-raised salmon is Atlantic salmon, the only species of salmon existing in the Atlantic ocean. Since Atlantic salmon in the wild it is an endangered species, fishing for it is prohibited in the U.S. and almost everywhere else. Almost all Atlantic salmon you’ll find in stores is farm-raised, meaning there is no virtually no wild Atlantic salmon for sale. When produced under responsible circumstances, farmed salmon can be a low-cost, sustainably sourced alternative to wild-caught salmon
There are five species of wild Pacific salmon (very little of which is farm-raised). Most salmon lovers favor king salmon (also called Chinook salmon) and sockeye salmon, both of which are delicious when not overcooked. But purchasing Pacific salmon is a challenge, especially for salmon lovers living outside the Pacific Northwest. Merchants who claim that their farm-raised salmon is “Atlantic,” “Norwegian,” or even “wild” may falsely claim that their Alaskan salmon is “king” or “sockeye”—and without a basic understanding of salmon species, it’s easy to buy something that is not what you think it is.
King salmon accounts for a minuscule one percent of the total Alaskan catch. A true king, which can travel more than 2,000 miles before spawning, is a genuine trophy, one that few people outside of the Pacific Northwest will ever see. Pacific sockeye is hugely popular among seafood consumers, in the U.S. and Japan.
Fattier fish are healthier and tastier. Salmon is a great source of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain development. DHA is naturally stored in salmon’s fat, most often in the belly. One 4-ounce serving of salmon can provide 2,400 mg of omega-3s. Larger species, such as king, tend to store more fat and have more omega-3s.
Eating salmon on a regular basis may help protect against heart disease, due, in large part, to salmon’s ability to boost omega-3s in the blood.
Salmon is also high in natural protein, B Vitamins, potassium, antioxidants, and selenium, a mineral that the body only needs to help protect bone health and decrease thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease. Selenium may also reduce the risk of cancer
Here’s the takeaway: Atlantic salmon is sustainably farmed, not wild. Pacific salmon is wild. When purchasing either Atlantic or Pacific salmon, it’s important to know the provider adheres to best practice regulatory guidelines. Salmon is one of the few types of fish that is required to be marketed under a species name, like sockeye or king. Online salmon markets like FishforSushi.com are the most reliable sources for guaranteeing the salmon’s origin, freshness, and that it was sustainably caught.
FishforSushi’s SQF Level 3 Certification provides customers with the peace of mind of knowing the product they are eating comes from the source labeled and utilizes consistently safe and high-quality sources all the way through the food supply chain.
FishforSushi appreciates and believes in educating parents and children about wild life nature cycle. The National Wildlife Federation offers opportunities for observing salmon life cycles in nature and in the classroom. Online resources offer additional educational opportunities, such as the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Atlantic Salmon Trust.
FishforSushi.com offers sustainably farmed, all-natural, premium sushi grade salmon sashimi with no antibiotics, and wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, both flash-frozen and vacuum-sealed at catch to ensure you get the freshest fish possible.