Recipe: Baked Salmon & Why Farmed Salmon is a Bad Choice

For hundreds of years wild fish have been well known as “brain food.” Wild salmon in particular packs a nutrient punch of omega-3’s, high quality protein, essential amino acids, vitamins A, D, B, & E and contains good amounts of minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and calcium. And it just tastes SO good!

All of those goodies in salmon help you maintain an over-all healthy well being which is all the more reason to include it in your diet.

However, I recommend only buying wild salmon from your local, trusted fishery or buying it from a reputable source like Vital Choice. This way you can ensure what you are purchasing is wild and not farmed or genetically modified. The verdict has not come out yet whether or not the Frankenfish will be approved but it is something to be aware of as this particular salmon will not be labeled.

What’s Wrong With Farming Salmon?

The most common breed of salmon to be farmed is the Atlantic salmon which is primarily raised in Chile or Canada. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch has declared a warning against consuming farmed atlantic salmon because of the high amounts of PCB’s. Only a small amount of Pacific salmon – Chinook and coho – is also farmed. (source).

The idea of farming fish was originally brought up to fix the problem of over-fishing. Unfortunately, it has caused another problem. Farming predatory fish like salmon is probably one of the most un-eco-friendly things you could do! Why? Because it generally takes three pounds of wild fish to feed one pound of wild salmon. (source) And salmon aren’t the only fish in the sea that depend on the wild fish. Definitely not sustainable in my eyes if we are over-fishing mass amounts of other wild fish to feed the salmon.

And you see, farmed salmon are a lot like CAFO animals. They live in cramped and dirty pools, fed whatever is needed to gain weight, and given antibiotics because they’re sick and get diseases (because of the cramped and dirty living conditions). They may even be fed synthetic pigments to make up for the lack of color in their flesh due to their unnatural diet. (source). Farmed salmon are raised in open pens on the shorelines so all the toxic waste that’s created is released directly into the ocean. Pretty similar to how the waste from CAFO’s are released into our water supply!

All of those reasons are why I urge everyone to purchase wild salmon! It’s also important to make sure when you eat out at a restaurant to ask if the salmon is wild or not. If it’s not, don’t order it. Remember, every day you vote with your fork and what you decide to spend your money helps shape the future of things.

That Being Said…

The Master Salmon Cooker

We love wild salmon and other fish from our local farmer’s market so when I create my meal plans (I meal plan for 2 weeks at a time) I make it a point to add fish into the mix at least twice a week. I understand cooking fish in general can be a little daunting because it may not be the “norm” in your kitchen but don’t let it scare you off to the point you won’t at least attempt to cook it. 

My hubby is the salmon cooker in the household. He’s so much of the salmon cooker that he actually wrote the directions for me the way he cooks it. I think it’s about the only thing he cooks for dinner (I love you!) but I’m grateful because he makes it oh so good!

Next time you are feeling a little brave and ready to take on the cooking-fish-at-home world, try this recipe. I promise it won’t disappoint and it’ll be so simple you won’t believe you waited this long!

Baked Salmon
Recipe adapted from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions


  • 1 1/2 pounds wild salmon (fillet is easier but if you can get it in a steak, it’s cheaper)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2-4 tbl butter, melted
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp paprika (find quality paprika here
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (find real salt here
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely or minced
De-boning a big salmon steak


  1. De-bone salmon steak if needed
  2. Set the salmon skin down on a buttered glass baking dish
  3. Melt the butter in a ramekin dish on your stove top then pour evenly over salmon and a little under the fillets
  4. Squeeze half a lemon over all the fillets (watch for seeds)
  5. Mince the garlic and rub evenly over the salmon
  6. Apply 1/2 tsp of sea salt evenly over the salmon
  7. Apply 1/4 tsp of paprika over entire salmon
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness
  9. At 12 minutes I take the salmon out to check the thickest portions- you do not want to over cook!! If it is not to your liking then cook a little longer.  Note, that the fillets will cook very fast past 12 minutes and can over cook very easy….so keep an eye on them… Good Luck!!!

Do you have a favorite way of cooking salmon? Let us know in a comment below!

Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul 

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  1. Thanks for the info. We had salmon tonight and I put basil pesto on it. We also had fresh spinach with garlic and quinoa cooked in vegetable broth. It was delish!!


  2. Grilled or baked whole salmon-

    1 or 2 lemons, sliced
    1 large onion sliced
    1 stick of butter sliced
    chopped garlic to taste

    Stuff it all layered in the fish, tie in two places with string. Bake at 350 for about 20 min. check for doneness, then 5 min more, etc until completely cooked through. Same thing on the barbie. Just don’t overcook.
    It’s simple,fast and delicious and beautiful
    on the table.

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