Wild salmon is often more expensive and in shorter supply than farm-raised salmon (often called Atlantic). Here’s why we choose to avoid the tame kind anyway.
Salmon is one of the most popular seafoods in the United States, and it’s no surprise why — it’s delicious and versatile. At Bon Appétit we serve only wild-caught Pacific salmon in our cafés. Wild salmon is often more expensive and in shorter supply than farm-raised salmon (often called Atlantic), which makes up nearly two-thirds of the salmon consumed in the U.S.
So why go wild?
Flavor — Our chefs agree that wild-caught salmon tastes better. Wild salmon eat a diverse diet, including the krill that gives them their signature coral color, and that makes them more flavorful.
Environmental impact — Although practices are changing, most farmed salmon is produced in an unsustainable manner. Issues include: concentrated waste that overloads the environment, diseases and parasites like sea lice that infect wild fish, escaped fish that can overwhelm native habitats, and an inefficient diet of pellets made from wild fish that contributes to overfishing.
Human health — Farmed salmon has been shown to contain PCBs, dioxins, and other contaminants. In addition, many farmed salmon are fed red dye so their flesh will mimic the pink color of wild salmon. While there aren’t known human health concerns about this, many of our guests don’t like the idea of artificially colored fish!