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How to Buy The Healthiest Salmon (Page 3)

Milk and Cheese

2. Farmed or wild?

If possible, choose wild salmon over farmed. Groups like Seafood Watch and the Environmental Defense Fund have put nearly all farmed salmon on their “red” or “avoid” list for multiple reasons. Many farms use crowded pens where salmon are easily infected with parasites, may be treated with antibiotics and can spread disease to wild fish (one reason Alaska has banned salmon farms). Also, it can take as much as three pounds of wild fish to raise one pound of salmon. However, salmon producers are in talks with environmental groups about improving practices and a proposal is before Congress to set standards for aquaculture. Already some farms, such as Sweet Spring in British Columbia, are raising coho in closed pens, which reduce the impacts. Others, such as Verlasso in Patagonia, are using omega-3 feed additives produced from yeast rather than smaller fish, which helps cut back the ratio of pounds of fish needed to feed the salmon to 1-to-1.

Next: 3. Should I buy organic salmon? »


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