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The Dangers of Farm Raised Fish

Updated: Jun 30, 2019

Do you know the difference between farm raised and wild caught fish? Other than one is evidently wild caught and the other is farm raised, there are so many other differences that exist among the two. In actuality, the differences are far more complex than most people think and these differences should not be ignored.

 

All Fish is Healthy, Right?

As many of you know, eating fish is a great addition to any healthy lifestyle regimen. If you consume fish that is organic and free of toxins, you will most likely notice benefits ranging from a healthier metabolism to improved brain and nerve function. However, not all fish serve these benefits. In fact, many of them may have unforeseen harms. When purchasing any fish (or seafood in general), it is important to pay close attention to the labels.


Farmed VS Wild Fish

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Most salmon are either farm raised or wild caught. As shown in the images, there is an obvious difference between the two. The farm raised salmon appears to be light pink color and the individual pieces are usually a lot larger. On the other hand, the wild caught salmon appears to be a brighter pink or orange. Although, the serving size is appropriate for the average individual, it is usually smaller in size in comparison to the farm raised.


The most important differences are presented in the nutritional facts . Some say that it is wiser to purchase farm raised salmon over wild caught salmon because farm raised is "safer, cleaner, and easier to access", however this may not be true. Farm raised may be a more convenient and less costly, but the detrimental health effects may not be worth it.


On That Farm He Had Some.....Salmon ?

Often enough, farm raised salmon has been found to contain antibiotics, pesticides, and other synthetic chemicals. Additionally, there are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) found at a much higher rate in farm raised salmon than in wild caught salmon. This is the same chemical that was once used to create electrical insulator and plastic, but was proven to be making way into human and animal food products and creating adverse effects. This chemical has since been banned in the United States since 1977 [3].  Not to mention, farm raised salmon are fed meals of other cheaper ground up fish that have absorbed even more PCB's from the environment . These fish feeds are often found in sewer outlets, man made lakes, and commercialized canals. Human exposure to these chemical may lead to the development of cancer and it may cause impairment of fetal brain development, if consumed by a pregnant woman.


The Dangers of PCB

PCB's, in conjunction with other toxins, may increase the risk of diabetes. According to some studies there is an association between, organochlorine exposures, such as PCB's, and sperm abnormalities. This issue has the opportunity to increase the risk of miscarriage and fetal genetic disorders . There is also a link to after birth PCB exposure and hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors such as ADHD. Additional findings support the idea that PCB exposure may have adverse effect on cognition and memory, and affects those mainly of advanced age, possibly leading to disorders such as early onset dementia and Alzheimer's. 


Choose Wisely

So when it comes to choosing, make sure that you are choosing carefully and weighing all the possible risk. If you decide to not go vegan and you feel as if pescetarianism works better for you, then make organic wild caught salmon your choice! By doing so you will be less likely exposed to toxins (such as PCB's) and other chemicals that are presented in farm raised fish. 



References

[1] Aminov, Z., Haase, R., Rej, R., Schymura, M. J., Santiago-Rivera, A., Morse, G., Carpenter, D. O. (2016). Diabetes Prevalence in Relation to Serum Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Congener Groups and Three Chlorinated Pesticides in a Native American Population. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(9), 1376-1383. doi:10.1289/ehp.1509902

[2] Kinsley, C. (2017). Why Choose WILD Salmon? - Total Health Magazine. Total Health Magazine. Retrieved 30 January 2017, from http://www.totalhealthmagazine.com/Diet-and-Nutrition/Why-Choose-WILD-Salmon.html

[3] Hayward, D., Wong, J., & Krynitsky, A. (2007). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls in commercially wild caught and farm-raised fish fillets in the United States. Environmental Research, 103(1), 46-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2006.05.002

[4] Perry, M. J., Young, H. A., Grandjean, P., Halling, J., Petersen, M. S., Martenies, S. E., & ... Weihe, P. (2016). Sperm Aneuploidy in Faroese Men with Lifetime Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollutants. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(7), 951-956. doi:10.1289/ehp.1509779

[5] Verner, M., Hart, J. E., Sagiv, S. K., Bellinger, D. C., Altshul, L. M., & Korrick, S. A. (2015). Measured Prenatal and Estimated Postnatal Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and ADHD-Related Behaviors in 8-Year-Old Children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123(9), 888-894. doi:10.1289/ehp.1408084

[6] Bouchard, M. F., Oulhote, Y., Sagiv, S. K., Saint-Amour, D., & Weuve, J. (2014). Polychlorinated Biphenyl Exposures and Cognition in Older U.S. Adults: NHANES (1999-2002). Environmental Health Perspectives, 122(1), 73-78. doi:10.1289/ehp.1306532

[7] Macha, K. & McDonough, J. (2012). Epidemiology for advanced nursing practice (1st ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

[8] Health Benefits of Salmon | Organic Facts. (2017). Organic Facts. Retrieved 30 January 2017, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/animal-product/health-benefits-of-salmon.html

About Me

Hi I am Dr. MIG, the family nurse practitioner, health coach student, fitness enthusiast, herbal counselor and wellness motivator and I am happy you landed here !

 

Check out the rest of Rooted Vigor's content as I encourage a whole mind, body, and soul approach to disease prevention and lifestyle modification.

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