The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, at least twice a week to ensure you get plenty of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Fresh or farmed: Dr. Jampolis revisits her answer.
To get a few more answers for you, I consulted Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that has examined this subject in detail. She told me the following:
“Nearly all salmon Americans eat are farm-raised — grown in dense-packed pens near ocean shores, fed fish meal that can be polluted with toxic PCB chemicals, awash in excrement flushed out to sea and infused with antibiotics to combat unsanitary conditions. Some salmon are raised on farms that use more sustainable methods, but you can’t tell from the packaging.
Eating farmed salmon occasionally is not a great health concern, but risks can add up if you eat salmon often. But the long-term environmental damage caused by the industry is substantial. We recommend wild salmon over farmed whenever possible.”
A 2003 report by the EWG showed that farmed salmon in the U.S. has the highest levels of PCBs, toxic man-made chemicals, so Canadian salmon may be slightly better. I suggest that you limit farmed salmon consumption to once a week at most if you are unable to find fresh, wild salmon. In addition, trim the skin and fat as much as possible and use cooking methods such as grilling and boiling to reduce fat, as this is where the toxics are stored.
You also may want to try canned salmon, which is much easier to find in the wild form and is much less expensive. And finally, try to eat a variety of fish to minimize your risk. Other good fish sources of omega 3 fatty acids include mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines and albacore tuna.
A simple and healthy dish that’s big on flavor.
SERVINGS – 8
8-4 ounce wild salmon filets
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 bunches bok choy
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 cups whole wheat couscous
2 cups grated carrot
For the Salmon:
- Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and top with the sesame seeds. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 8-10 minutes.
For the Bok Choy:
- Steam the bok choy and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
For the Couscous:
- In a sauce pot, boil the carrot juice, water and ginger.
- Put couscous in a bowl. Add the boiling liquid to the couscous and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and add the grated carrots.