line-caught, wild-caught, or grown on a farm? Are you confused by all those labels and terms? You’re not required to be perplexed any more. This salmon buying guide will enable you to decide quickly which fish to purchase at the grocery store.
Flaky or meaty, glazed or rubbed, grilled or roasted, rich or light. A delicious piece of salmon can be prepared in countless ways. Salmon has every reason to become a regular supper staple when you consider the excellent health benefits it offers.
But there is usually some hesitancy when buying salmon at the neighborhood supermarket. Can you afford it? Will it be brand-new? Will it be palatable? Everything you need to know about purchasing salmon at the grocery store is provided here, so you may avoid ambiguity and move right through to cooking and enjoying.
Salmon that is environmentally responsible
In indoor recirculating tanks with wastewater treatment, farmed salmon can be raised sustainably, or unsustainably in indoor recirculating tanks without wastewater treatment. Salmon can also be raised in the ocean, although open-ocean farms pose a threat to wild salmon populations and have a more significant negative impact on the ecosystem.
There are numerous ways to catch wild salmon, but only understanding the fishing technique is frequently insufficient to determine whether a particular salmon is a sustainable option. For instance, some varieties of troll-caught salmon, which is caught in the ocean using a hook and line one at a time, are sustainable, while others are not. Sustainable wild salmon is always sourced from fish populations that are not in danger of extinction.
When deciding between Atlantic and Pacific salmon, the distinction between wild and farmed salmon crucial. It should be farmed if you buy Atlantic salmon. Overfishing of wild Atlantic salmon has led to the extinction of at least one species.
Salmon from the Pacific? The Endangered Species Act protects a variety of species because habitat loss and hydropower dams have reduced their populations. However, Pacific salmon can be either wild or farmed, and to maintain population levels, wild stocks may be augmented with young fish from hatcheries.
To save time while shopping, search for salmon that has received certification from the Marine Stewardship Council. You can tell the salmon was raised sustainably if it has an MSC certification. The Seafood Watch Guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium should also be checked. To assist customers in making sustainable decisions, it rates salmon as best, certified, good, and avoid.
Salmon from Costco and Trader Joe’s outperformed upscale, pricey fish in a taste test.
A renowned chef was recently given a selection of wild and farmed salmon, priced from $6/lb. to $20/lb., by The Washington Post, and asked to create dishes for a panel of snobby judges. In the end, farmed salmon easily defeated wild salmon, leading the Post to draw the conclusion that sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. Six salmon from farmed sources and four fish from wild sources, coming from waters in Norway, Scotland, Chile, Alaska, Washington, and other places, were served to the Post panel.
There were two Costco products on the list: a frozen farmed fish from Norway and a wild coho from Alaska, both priced at $10.99/lb. This second fish was added to the test at the last minute with the assumption that the testers would definitely notice the difference because it was the only frozen item on the list and cost only $6/lb.
On a scale of 1 to 10, each salmon was rated, with this cheap Costco catch receiving a 7.6. Costco also featured the test’s lowest-scoring fish, a wild coho that came in last with just 3.9 out of 10.
The salmon from Norway that can be purchased for $10.99/lb at Trader Joe’s received the second-highest rating with a score of 6.4. In actuality, the top five competitors were all farmed, costing, on average, between $12 and $13 per pound. Wild salmon made up the bottom three on the list, all of which had average prices between $14 and $17 per pound.
The Post hypothesizes that the fish is packed in a 4% salt solution, which adds a little flavor and possibly make the fish harder, as the reason tasters may have been so taken with the Costco frozen product.
Any of us would place the Costco/Kirkland label product on the table since it was a fine piece of fish, according to the Post. But it wasn’t exactly equivalent to the others, she continued.
The tasters claim that while “we could not consistently determine one was which,” there were instances when they could instantly distinguish farmed salmon due to its larger flake and higher fat content, or alternatively that some were able to recognize the finer grain of a wild salmon.
We often make jokes about how “I make/cook/bake/sew/build my own [blank] at home,” but this is the kind of test that many individuals might attempt with friends at home in a setting that wouldn’t require lab coats and may actually be fun… especially if you’re also tasting wine and/or beer.
Where Can You Find the Best and Worst Farmed Fish?
The levels of PCB, heavy metals, and dioxin in farmed salmon were compared to those in salmon that was collected from the wild more than ten years ago in a number of investigations. The findings confirmed expectations: Salmon from farmed fish included higher levels of PCBs and other pollutants than salmon from wild-caught sources.
The worst offender at the time was Norwegian Atlantic Salmon, which fed its young with wild-caught fish from the Baltic Sea that was heavily contaminated with PCBs and dioxins. Salmon from Canada and Scotland was also examined.
Americans stopped buying Norwegian salmon right away, which prompted the Norwegian fishing sector to adjust its methods and stop using dirty feedstock in favor of feeding the fish more plant-based protein and lipids. Norwegian Atlantic salmon now has one of the lowest PCB contamination levels.
Since Norway has resolved its PCB issue, a new problem has emerged as a result of no longer using wild fish for feed. scientists at Nofima The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research discovered that the plant-based oils they were employing had the power to alter how the fat absorbed by Atlantic salmon and reduced the amount of Omega 3s that reached your plate. In other words, less omega 3 fatty acids are present in Atlantic salmon when low-quality oils are used in fish meal. Additionally, they discovered that a unique blend of land and fish oil might be the future answer to improving the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in farmed fish last year.
A alarming number of antibiotics were found in the majority of Chilean Atlantic Salmon, possibly due to conditions that caused the salmon to get ill, in addition to PCBs and lower omega 3 levels. Scotland has come under fire for its terrible animal conditions and drug abuse.
Both farmed fish and wild fish had similar mercury concentrations. It’s small.
However, not much has been done in the last ten years to examine toxins as a follow-up; the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch monitors and rates fishing methods.
Find colorful fish at the store.
First of all, you shouldn’t smell much at all, and you most definitely shouldn’t smell fish, if you’re close enough to the salmon to smell it. You’re searching for the inviting nudge of an ocean breeze with salt.
But when it comes to determining how fresh a fish is, your eyes are just as crucial as your nose. Since moisture level is a wonderful indicator of freshness and how properly the fish was handled, look for salmon that seems moist rather than dried out. Avoid salmon that has any browned areas on the belly, around the fillet’s edges, or when the skin has begun to brown and curl up. The same is true for skin that has been wounded or a condition called “gaping,” in which fish flake edges that have been sliced start to separate from one another.
Then, keep an eye out for flesh that is “vibrantly colored,” as Harris puts it, ranging from dark red to brilliant coral to bright pink. Fish with dull colors is bad; fish with vibrant colors is fresh.
Salmon-friendly: Lummi Island Wild
Lummi Island Wild operates out of the Salish Sea, to the northwest of Seattle, and specializes in a wide variety of salmon (including king, sockeye, coho, pink, and keta). The fishery is steadfastly committed to sustainability; as a result, it has received the highest grade from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for its ethically sound fishing methods and dedication to causing no harm to the ecology. The Lummi Island reefnet fleet’s ability to transport freshly captured salmon into a live well, making it simpler to identify and release non-targeted species, is perhaps its most outstanding feature. The reefnet fleet was upgraded in 2007 to use solar power.
Which salmon is the finest to purchase?
The best salmon to eat is typically thought to be wild salmon. Since wild Atlantic salmon isn’t sold, wild Pacific salmon is the healthiest option.
What region produces the best salmon?
It’s true that choosing fresh food over frozen whenever you can will ensure that your diet has the widest range of beneficial elements. And to a certain extent, that piece of advice is still applicable to salmon.
For instance, if you are in Alaska, Oregon, or Maine and have access to freshly caught, never-frozen salmon, it is unquestionably your finest option. You most likely have a good piece of salmon if you can touch it, smell it, and the flesh bounces back without smelling fishy.
Frozen is a better choice in all other cases. The explanation: It’s possible that the “fresh” salmon that’s being sold in seafood cases across the nation was first frozen by the fisherman, transported to the retailer, and then thawed before being put in the case. However, frozen salmon was instantly frozen after it was caught, especially if it is branded as “once-frozen” or “flash-frozen,” preserving the flavor, texture, and nutrients of a fresh piece of fish until you are ready to defrost it and enjoy it.
How do you choose a quality salmon?
Examine the eyes carefully; they should be bright and clear, not sunken or hazy. The skin should be smooth and slick to the touch, and the gills should be a deep red color. The fish should feel substantial, not floppy, when you lift it up.
What salmon has the best quality?
King salmon and Chinook salmon Many people believe that Chinook salmon, also known as King salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), has the finest flavor of all the salmon varieties. They feature rich flesh that ranges in hue from white to deep crimson and a high fat content.
The source of Costco’s salmon?
untamed salmon The Alaska State Constitution protects sustainable salmon management in Alaska and uses it as a paradigm for ongoing advancements in sustainable seafood production. Trident Seafoods, a Costco supplier, has complete ownership and management of the Alaskan salmon it sells to Costco.
Salmon from the supermarket is it healthy?
There are times when selecting healthy foods is simple: You already know that leafy greens are healthful, seasonal vegetables are wholesome, and sugar is better left on the shelf.
However, things might become challenging when it comes to fish. Although eating salmon is frequently advised as part of a balanced diet, there is continuous discussion concerning which type—wild or farmed—is healthier to consume and whether one kind in particular might even be harmful.
Salmon is a low-calorie protein source that is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fat. The American Heart Association advises consuming two portions of fatty fish, such as salmon, that are 3.5 ounces each, at least twice per week. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are even urging breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women to consume at least two servings of seafood each week, despite formerly being advised against doing so.
Here’s a look at the debate about the advantages and disadvantages of farmed versus wild fish.
Which salmon brand is the healthiest?
According to Mary Mosquera-Cochran, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, commercially available wild-caught chinook salmon, also known as “king salmon,” has the greatest omega-3 fat content of any species.
The fish’s fattiness gives it a juicy, buttery taste and heart-healthy benefits. But in comparison to other wild species, you can also anticipate a greater price tag.
Additionally, it contains more than half of the recommended daily amount of selenium, a trace element crucial for sustaining thyroid and reproductive health.