Farmed salmon often absorb high levels of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) through the food and water around them, which we in turn ingest when we eat farmed salmon. PCBs are not natural, and they are oily solids or liquids that have been used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment because they don’t burn easily. As a result, farmed salmon tends to be more fattening than wild salmon but contain less heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Environmental and health factors aside, foodies prefer wild salmon is that they tend to have a fuller, more robust flavor than farmed salmon.
Additionally, there are huge problems with sea lice on farmed salmon, since the high-density fish farms are the perfect environment for infestations. The lice can be fatal and when wild salmon swim nearby or farmed salmon escape, the lice has spread to wild salmon as well. It is usually only fatal to juvenile salmon and this is clearly an important demographic whose death negatively impacts the whole population.
The Salmon are contaminated with the PCBs through the feed they are fed. Farmed Salmon do not get the benefit of a wild diet, so as a result, they are fed artificial colorant to give the appearance of the pink color that is present in wild Salmon.
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