Nothing says health like fresh grilled salmon on a bed of succulent asparagus after a workout. However, nothing says fish issues like salmon from the wrong part of town. A fish's roots truly matter when it comes to your health.
Mercury, antibiotics, and other harmful chemicals are often hiding out in your poisson du jour, waiting for their chance to ruin the good name of fish - as far the digestive system is concerned. Luckily, we're here to help you navigate all your future omega- 3 endeavors in the realm of wild vs. farmed salmon.
Farmed salmon is a tricky topic. When comparing wild vs. farmed salmon, the important thing is to ask questions. Many of these fish have been "farmed" in tightly packed net-pens that are often infested with parasites and other nasty diseases. The real tipping point is that these poor fish-souls (do fish have souls?) are on FISHMEAL DIETS [screams are heard in the distance]. Breathe everyone! This is why we are empowering you with knowledge! Fishmeal is a product made of ground up/processed fish parts and is wrought with nasty PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls). Ever heard of them?
What Are PCBs?
These toxic chemicals have been banned by the federal government since 1979 but still make their way into the ocean thanks to hazardous waste spills. The story goes like this: once upon a time, the U.S. used PCBs to make things like plastic, cable insulations, floor finishes, and other boring but useful things that nobody really thinks about. Then we realized that this chemical was majorly destructive to our environment. Unfortunately, some of those boring things that were made with this chemical are still around and get irresponsibly dumped into the ocean. Small sea creatures ingest the PCBs and then get eaten by larger sea creatures, which then get eaten by us. Once PCBs get into our bodies, they can cause all kinds of nasty health issues including cancer, liver problems, and skin lesions.
Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon & Wild Sockeye Salmon
You have made it through the muck and into fresh glacial waters that are home to the largest wild salmon population in the country. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, also packed with those omega-3s, are your friends. This environmentally friendly meal-prep delight is also super healthy for you!
Get this: biologists track the contamination levels of the water in which these fish are caught, so if the conditions get destitute, the fishing stops. Let's just say, if your fish has recently paid the Godfather a visit or gotten his car washed with Heisenberg, fish farmers will make sure that drama stays off your plate. (Because let's face it, the "Godfather" and "Breaking Bad" are actually about sustainable seafood, right?)
Furthermore, scientists can conclude a lot about the general health of any given environment based on whether salmon choose to populate there. Salmon do not want to swim in dirty water and many predators who enjoy salmon as a meal prep delight (bears want gains too) will also congregate in the healthy environments their omega-3 sources enjoy. In the wild vs. farmed salmon debate, wild salmon scores the final winning point.
We hope our friendly intro-to-fish guide has served you well. You work hard to keep your body in optimal shape and deserve to know what's what when it comes to these fishy affairs. Always know where your fish comes from and always keep one extra gym towel in your trunk for emergencies. (Unrelated, yes, but relevant!) Now get to prepping and don't forget that the American Heart Association recommends eating one to two servings of fish a week to reduce your risk of heart disease! (Just make sure to choose well between wild vs. farmed salmon!)
This post was brought to us by 6 Pack's resident blog badass, Jade. Check out her other posts on working out with your swolemate and the best proteins to get you the most gains possible. Don't forget to come back for our Meal Prep Sunday recipes, and browse all the 6 Pack gear here!