Farmed Fish Fats
Q. Are the fish oils in farmed fish as good as the oils in wild fish?
A. Hey! This goes right to the heart of a very important point. The oil profile of fish does change dramatically according to what it is fed on. Give a carp sunflower oil feed and it has only 4% Omega 3 oils. Feed it on fish meal and it has 21% Omega 3 oils! Give a rainbow trout soybean oil feed and it has 14% Omega 3 oils. Feed it on flaxseed oil and the rate goes out to 30%.
So what happens in practice? As the rapidly-evolving fish farming industry stands today, the fish feed is still largely ground-up other fish. However, the farmers, always in search of cost reductions and rapid fish growth, are busy experimenting with all kinds of alternative feeds. Only occasionally do they concern themselves about the omega 3 content. So yes, we should be worried. Today, farmed fish is probably OK. But we are not to know! In the future, without any requirements for proper labeling we’ll never know.
Make representations about food labeling to the USDA (www.usda.gov). Ask your fish supplier about the omega 3 content (really!). It is only through creating a fuss that the suppliers will react to the needs of the market.
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