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.
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.