Wild Salmon Boston MA

Buying seafood these days is no easy feat. With wild fish stocks disappearing fast and concerns about the safety of farmed fish rising (not to mention the negative impact it’s having on the ocean environment) health-conscious consumers want to know which is better: wild or farmed?

McCormick & Schmick's
(617) 482-3999
34 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA

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Yankee Lobster
(617) 542-1922
300 Northern Ave
Boston, MA

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Summer Shack
(617) 867-9955
50 Dalton St
Boston, MA

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Court House Fish Market
(617) 876-6716
484 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA

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South Ocean
(617) 268-2998
710 E Broadway
South Boston, MA

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Fisherman Net
(617) 742-2872
1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl
Boston, MA

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Four Winds Seafood Grille
(617) 742-3922
266 Commercial Street
Boston, MA

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Seaport Bar & Grille--CLOSED
(617) 357-8121
150 Northern Ave
Boston, MA

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Village Grill & Seafood
(617) 876-0406
114 Magazine St
Cambridge, MA

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World Seafood Restaurant
(617) 307-6062
400 Dorchester Ave Ste A
South Boston, MA

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Turning the Tides

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By Alison Anton

Buying seafood these days is no easy feat. With wild fish stocks disappearing fast and concerns about the safety of farmed fish rising (not to mention the negative impact it’s having on the ocean environment) health-conscious consumers want to know which is better: wild or farmed?

Unfortunately, no one has a clear-cut answer. With contaminant exposure on one hand and unethical fishing practices on the other, both farmed and wild fish come with their catch of concerns.

What’s healthier?
One thing is certain: Health and nutrition experts agree that eating more of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is a good thing. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, higher consumption of omega-3s significantly lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. Eating omega-3-rich fish has also been linked with improved brain function, and another recent JAMA study found that when kids with an increased risk for type-1 diabetes ate a diet containing omega-3-fatty acids, they were less likely to develop a precursor to the disease.

While omega-3s are found in both wild and farmed fish, particularly salmon, mackerel, and sardines, US Department of Agriculture reports suggest that some species of farmed salmon actually contain higher amounts of omega-3s than the average salmon in the wild. Tim Fitzgerald, an ocean scientist with the Environmental Defense Network’s Oceans Alive Program, says that’s because farmed salmon has been bred over the last 20 to 30 years to grow very quickly and be very fatty. “Since they have a high fish oil component in their feed to help them grow fast, they have more omega-3s in their meat,” he says.

However, feeding a high-fat diet to farmed fish has its share of unintended consequences. Independent laboratory reports show that the fat from farmed salmon contains high levels of contaminants like PCBs and dioxins, both known carcinogens. “PCBs accumulate in fat,” says Fitzgerald. “Since the fat given to farmed salmon is reduced down to dense concentrations, the pollutants are also highly concentrated.”

According to tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy group based in Washington, DC, seven out of 10 farmed salmon purchased at grocery stores in DC, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, contained unsafe levels of contaminants.

Although the FDA recommends eating two servings of fish each week, it doesn’t specify whether the fish should be farmed or wild. Most nutritionists agree that having some fish—regardless of its source—is better than getting none. But most also warn consumers to consider the dietary downside of fish, particularly its mercury content and chemical contamination. An easy tip to remember the next time you’re at the fish market: Choose the smallest fish, says Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, RD, a nutritionist in Sacramento, California. “Whether it’s wild or farmed, the small ones have had the least amount ...

Author: Alison Anton

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