Friday, March 1, 2013

Is farmed salmon 'better' than wild?

The man on the right was hawking smoked farmed salmon from Maine at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack today, and insisted it is "better" than smoked wild salmon.
Four 4-ounce packages of the farmed Atlantic salmon cost $14.89, only 50 cents less than 1 pound of Costco's Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon.

I know Costco Wholesale sells oceans of farmed and wild-caught fish at its warehouse stores in the United States.

And that most of the smoked salmon in its refrigerated cases is artificially colored farmed fish, which eat a far different diet than their wild cousins, which are born in rivers and mature in oceans.

Costco also sells Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon for $15.39 a pound, and the slices are perfect for adding to salads and frittatas, and for eating out of hand, rolled up with a slice of reduced-fat cheese, organic spring mix and Dijon mustard.

Today at the Hackensack Costco, a man selling smoked farmed salmon from True North Salmon Co. in Maine insisted the coloring agents used aren't artificial, and that his farmed product is "better" than wild salmon.

"We know what they eat," he said of the farmed fish.

Then, he told me to get lost, and not speak to other customers about the smoked wild-caught salmon available in another part of the store.

Compare the deep orange-red color of the Kirkland Signature wild-caught salmon, above, to the pale color of the farmed product from True North Salmon Co., below.

When I got home, I opened a package of the smoked wild sockeye salmon, and enjoyed a couple of slices.


  1. Well the man does have a point. It's good that he knows what the farmed salmon eat. Those caught wild salmon can be pretty wild. Who knows if they don't go to McDonald's whenever they have a few extra bucks. You know a salmon isn't going to ask if its hamburger is from an antibiotic free cow. Those wild salmon may even be eating horsemeat without knowing it. Whereas down on the farm they're raised on a steady diet of GMO corn and organic guppies. So there. I'd hate to think of what you said to the shmo who told you to get lost.

  2. Nothing. I just took his picture, then tracked down the wild stuff for a couple who wanted it instead of the farmed fish.


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