Salmon - Farmed v. Wild


Hi Chris,

I’m living in Kuwait right now and in my ongoing battle against the blubber I’m eating as healthy as I can. This isn’t easy, as Kuwait:
a.) has virtually no laws governing food labelling / contents / nutritional info
b.) has no healthier foods available (i.e. reduced fat, sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.)
c.) is now officially #2, just behind the USA, as most obese countries in the world (depending on which study you read)

I’ve been buying the only labelled salmon on sale here from the local supermarket, it’s from Norway and I think we can safely assume it’s farmed.

I’ve been looking into the whole farmed versus wild ongoing debate, with most journalistic websites claiming the evils of farmed salmon, versus the salmon farmers [unsurprisingly] claiming it’s fine. A more recent study (Friesen et al. 2008) seems to indicate that farmed salmon, though still inferior, isn’t as bad as it used to be (2001 study) with regards to contaminants. I just don’t know what to believe!

As you’re obviously a lot more in touch with these kind of issues, I’d value your opinion. It would also help me to decide whether to limit my salmon intake and go with some of the locally caught white fish (hammour is a popular one and reasonably cheap).

Thanks for your time!


While I think that it’s generally better to buy wild caught when you can, wild vs. farmed will make no difference in your physique. They’re both far superior to a Big Mac. Even Whole Foods sells “responsibly farmed” fish and they’re about as crunchy-granola-organic-hippie as you can get.

So I wouldn’t worry about it. Choosing fish over junk food is 99% of the battle. I wouldn’t sweat whether it was wild or farmed, at least right now.

So I’d put this in the same category as organic fruits and veggies: better to go organic, but best to choose veggies, ANY veggies, over obvious junk food. Here’s what Dr. Berardi has written about the same topic:

“Experts often spend too much time arguing about organic vs. regular fruits and veggies. I agree that raw, organic fruits and vegetables are best since they have a higher micronutrient count, but any fruits and veggies are better than none! Get sufficient fruits and vegetables in your diet before worrying about whether they’re organic or not. Once you’ve done that, worry on.”


I’m with Chris, considering where you are and you can’t guarantee where it came from or how, go with the stuff from Norway. But if you see a guy fishing and selling as he catches, then obviously buy from him :slight_smile:


Thanks guys, I just didn’t know whether to buy into the scare-mongering that farmed salmon is a cancer disaster waiting to happen! On a happier not, I picked up fresh-caught red snapper and sardines yesterday :slight_smile: