Domestic, imported, wild-caught, farmed, fresh, frozen, canned —navigating the supermarket fish counter sure comes with a lot of labels! We know you’re just looking for the healthiest options, so we’ve broken down the facts for the two most popular fish on the market—salmon and tuna.
• Wild vs. Farmed: Truth be told, there isn’t always a clear healthy choice between these two. For example, some wild fish populations are contaminated and over fished, while some fish farming operations use unsustainable methods and don’t keep a clean facility. Before buying a specific type of fish—especially salmon and tuna—always check the rating on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector.
• Salmon Stats: Clocking in at third for the most consumed fish in the United States (placing just after shrimp and tuna), salmon has a long history of contamination and mercury poisoning fears in farmed varieties (though farmed still outsells wild, likely because it’s cheaper and more widely available). While mercury levels are usually low, there are other contaminants that can be especially high in farmed salmon. If you have the option, always try to stick to wild salmon or canned salmon, since most canned varieties are wild Pacific salmon.
• Totally Tuna: Did you know that the amount of tuna you’re supposed to eat varies based on your weight? Check out the National Resources Defense Council’s tuna safety page to find out how much you should stick to. The NRDC also recommends chunk light tuna over white albacore, and suggests staying away from toro, bluefin, imported bigeye, or yellowfin tuna sushi, as they all have higher concentrations of mercury and other contaminants.