Packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a popular addition to the weekly dinner rotation. The cardiac benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include lowered cholesterol, decreased inflammation, and reduced risk of stroke and cardiac arrest. Both farmed and wild-caught salmon are available on the market, and occasionally, stories will break of farmed salmon being passed off as their more expensive wild counterparts. When purchasing salmon for your family, keep these tips in mind to tell whether your fish is wild or farmed.
8. Check the Color
Wild salmon can range from a light pinkish-white to a deeper pinkish-red color. A steady diet of shellfish including crab, shrimp, and krill gives the salmon their pinkish hue. These crustaceans contain carotenoids called astaxanthins, which give them their pink color. The white king salmon is white, due to a genetic difference in its ability to break down the astaxanthins in the crustaceans it eats. Since the white king salmon does not metabolize the astaxanthins, it does not obtain the pinkish color. Salmon that is farmed has a characteristic bright orange-pink color. If your fish is more of a neon pink, it may be farmed.
7. Note the Fat Striations
Wild salmon spend their days fighting currents as they swim upstream. This causes them to be lean. If your salmon has wavy lines of fat striations, you probably have a farmed fish that hasn’t been getting a workout in the wild.