Farm raised seafood has been under attack among food activists recently but I learned last month that not all farm raised seafood is created equal. I see it at Whole Foods all the time, and if it was really that bad, would they sell it there?
I know I’m being naive to think that Whole Foods has my well-being as their number one priority instead of their wallet but there must be standards they really do uphold. All oysters are farm raised and people think nothing of eating those, right? Similarly, I discovered that Scotland has been farming salmon with guidelines that actually make their salmon almost healthier than wild!
In February, I signed on with RPR, a local PR company helping me manage my business. They brought me this opportunity to work with the Scottish Salmon Producers Organization and I was intrigued.
I went and met up with the SSPO at the huge seafood expo in Boston last month. I was so shocked to learn about how the salmon in Scotland is farmed. It’s nothing like the alarming stories you see with other types seafood in Thailand and much more humane and eco-friendly than animal farms here in the US.
They place importance on the animal welfare, their impact on the environment and local community to ensure sustainability and not negatively affect the wild seafood near by, as well as the salmon’s health and quality ensuring they are fed a diet that allows them to be higher in Omega-3’s than their wild counterparts.
Someone asked me about the diet in the salmon, specifically if they are given antibiotics and while the SSPO represents many different fish farming companies, Wester Ross, the company featured in this video does not. They state that their salmon are “hand reared and sustainably fed, hormone & antibiotic free.” More information can be found here.
One 4.5 ounce serving of Wester Ross Atlantic salmon has your weeks worth of Omega-3 fatty acids. That is almost double what most wild salmon have naturally. In addition, our oceans are so polluted with plastics and trash right now. There is no way knowing what your wild salmon are eating. With sustainably farmed salmon, at least you know what you are getting.
Another question came about adding color to the salmon which you might notice on packages you find at the grocery store of farmed salmon. I couldn’t find an answer online regarding color on Scottish Salmon in particular however if your farmed salmon is purchased at Whole Foods, the colorants are from “non synthetic sources.”
Open Oceans With Plenty of Room to Swim
The Scottish Salmon are raised in these pristine waters. It’s the job of the SSPO to make sure that the way that they are farmed are consistent with their guidelines. Those guidelines can be found here if you are interested in the specifics but it’s a lot of information to summarize here.
Whole Food’s Take on Farmed Seafood
There is a wonderful blog post written by Whole Foods here regarding some of the myths behind farmed seafood. You can read it here.
In conclusion, not all farmed seafood is bad! I found this all fascinating and wanted to share it with all of you since so much health and nutrition advice can feel overwhelming.
Where can you find Scottish Salmon? To be honest, we had a little bit of trouble locating it ourselves in the Boston market but keep your eye out at restaurants for Scottish Salmon on the menu and when you are shopping at the grocery store, don’t pass over the farmed salmon section but look for country of origin listed as Scotland.
This post is written in partnership with the SSPO. All thoughts and opinions are my own.