Did yo know that farmed salmon is actually grey in color?
Yep. That’s right.
Wild salmon gets its red/orange color from the shrimp and krill it eats (shrimp and krill contain a compound called astataxathin which give it the red/orange color).
Farmed salmon, however, does not eat shrimp and krill – their diet usually consist of pellets made from animal, plant and fish proteins (think scraps of unwanted, left over chicken, soy, corn, wheat, smaller fish etc). So their flesh is grey – but who would buy grey salmon!!
So farmers give their farmed salmon pigment to ‘color’ their flesh. The pigments can be derived naturally from shrimp and krill (the best case scenario and more ‘natural’) or they can be made artificially from chemicals and fed to the animals. Effectively, the flesh is ‘dyed’ to improve marketability.
If you thought you were getting a healthy dose of omega 3 oils from farmed fish, think again. Omega 3 contained within fish is from the algae and small fish (which feed on algae) they eat. So if farmed salmon is fed these pellets which do not contain any omega 3 (well, maybe a little bit from soy and the small fish sometimes used in the pellets) what oil are we consuming when we eat it?
Fish is a difficult area for me – I don’t believe in farmed fish – it is not normal for fish to be fed these pellets made from scraps of things they would never eat in the wild, and don’t get me started on the heavy doses of antibiotics farmed fish consume which is inevitably entering our food chain and destroying our gut microbiome.
However, wild fish is heavily contaminated by polluted sea water! So it’s up for debate which is better for you. This is why I limit our family intake of fish to 1-2 a week even though we are fish lovers. Omega 3 can be obtained from other sources that are far safer than fish.