When fish farmers feed their salmon, they add a chemical that changes the colour of their flesh to a reddish hue. Question is, what is the real colour of salmon before it’s enhanced? Believe it or not, farmed salmon is naturally white because of what they eat. Wild salmon naturally get their bright hue from eating shrimp and krill, so most fish farmers supplement their fish food with colorant to mimic the wild diet.
“If we didn’t do it, customers wouldn’t buy it,” says Don Read of West Creek Aquaculture, a British Columbia-based fish farm. “Consumers buy what they are comfortable with. They won’t go into the store to buy white salmon.” The statistics prove Read’s comments to be very true. According to DSM, a supplier of pigment compounds in the salmon industry, customers will pay a dollar more per pound for more vibrantly coloured salmon. Likewise, wild salmon, can be 3x the price of farmed salmon because of its rich colour.