These days the choices that confront us when we walk into the grocery store seem endless. Organic? Non-GMO? Grass-fed?Pasture-raised? Free range? Wild-caught? Not to mention all the ‘free-from’s which, of course, we at The Tasteful Pantry are intimately familiar with. As many options as there are, there seem to be a whole cult of proponents for each who treat each decision as black and white. But many of these choices can’t be solved with a blanket statement, and there are many factors at play in addition to impact on your health – things like impact on the environment, and of course, cost!
The debate between whether wild-caught fish are categorically better than farm-raised fish is one of those. About a month ago, I was a staunch believer in wild-caught, not because I had done much research on it myself, but because I had heard and read on the internet little soundbites of information about farm-raised fish that scared me off. My curiosity was aroused when I went to dinner at a sushi restaurant here in LA and had a conversation with the sushi chef at the sushi bar. He said that the vilification of farm-raised fish is propaganda, and actually, farm-raised fish is cleaner and safer than wild-caught fish because you can control their environment and what they eat. In addition, given the world’s dwindling food resources, eventually all of our fish will have to be farmed.
I’m not sure I buy into the idea that all farm-raised fish is safer, but that conversation prompted me and Lea to start digging a little more. What we found was surprising. This piece that Lea wrote for Livestrong.com lays it all out. The 2 second summary? It depends on the fish. Scroll down to the Recommendations part of the article to see which fish are best to buy from wild-caught sources vs farm-raised sources.