Top 6 Salmon Myths Busted!

18 Jun 2020
Caroline Attwood Kc9kutsiflw Unsplash

Here at Regal New Zealand King Salmon, we think salmon is one of the greatest sources of protein on the market. Packed full of omega 3’s, versatile to cook with and one of the lowest carbon footprint’s; salmon is pretty special. However, we get asked the same questions that often turn out to be myths. See below for the top 6 salmon myths… busted!

1. “Salmon is expensive”

This is by far the most common thing we hear from consumers, and we agree, sort of. Per pound price comparatively to say chicken or lamb, salmon is definitely up there. However, we need to take into account the amount of edible protein once you remove the bones and fat. If you do, salmon comes in the lower to mid range.

Also, you don’t need much – Regal King Salmon is very filling and affordable. Your healthy meal of 4.4oz will cost you around $3 to $5. You can also add smoked or fresh salmon to pasta and pizzas to make your salmon go further.

2. “Salmon is hard to cook with”

King salmon stores higher levels of natural oils and is therefore extremely forgiving and versatile. Fresh salmon is ready to serve when the flesh turns opaque and can be served rare or eaten raw. It can be cooked virtually any way you like, whether you are oven baking/roasting, barbecuing, grilling/pan-frying, steaming, poaching or even cooking it in your microwave. Our smoked salmon can be eaten right out of the pack or in a range of recipes to make it go further. For detailed instructions visit our cooking section and for recipe inspiration visit our recipe section.

3. “You dye your salmon pink”

Our salmon feed contains Astaxanthin which is naturally found in algae and krill and is an essential micronutrient for salmon. It is so important to the salmon that they have evolved the capacity to store it in their muscle tissue and that’s what makes salmon pink. If you feed white fish Astaxanthin they don't turn pink - it's unique to salmon. Salmon use it to protect their precious omega-3 oils and ultimately it protects their eggs. Because it is such a powerful antioxidant, Astaxanthin is also used in other foods for human consumption, including dietary supplements.

4. “Your feed is unnatural”

No one wants our salmon to be healthier than us. King salmon are renowned for being extremely fussy and we invest a huge amount of time and resource into ensuring they receive a diet that is optimum for their health. Our feed contains ingredients based on the nutritional requirements of wild salmon.

The feed carries Certificates of Analysis from registered laboratories, is certified GMO and BSE-free, and all ingredients are fully traceable. The feed consists of fish meal (sourced from sustainable fisheries), fish oil, animal protein and oil, vegetable protein meals, wheat/starch and vitamins and minerals including the antioxidant Astaxanthin. All protein sources we use in our feed are from those also used for human consumption.

5. “All salmon is the same”

Many tend to think of all salmon, simply as salmon. However, that is not the case. With other salmon available in supermarkets, anyone concerned with food provenance and taste needs to know the difference between the rare King salmon species produced in New Zealand and Atlantic salmon, the most common salmon in the world. 

King salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), are the largest of the Pacific salmon and are also referred to as ‘Quinnat’ or ‘Chinook’ salmon. Our Regal King Salmon are grown and nurtured in the cool, deep waters of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds. King salmon are a rare species of salmon, and New Zealand King Salmon only makes up about 0.7% of the world’s farmed salmon population. Our parent company, New Zealand King Salmon, has over 30 years experience and we produce over 50% of the worlds King salmon, which is known for its exceptional quality and taste.

King salmon is the only salmon species farmed in New Zealand, whilst the rest of the world farms the more common Atlantic salmon species (Salmo salar). By comparison, Atlantic salmon is from places such as Norway or Australia. This, combined with a difference in oil content, means the eating characteristics of the product differ compared to King salmon. King salmon is often referred to internationally by top chefs as offering a superior eating experience.

6. “Wild salmon is better than farmed salmon”

As there is no commercially wild salmon available in New Zealand, aquaculture (farmed salmon) is the only New Zealand Salmon product on the supermarket shelves. This is not a bad thing at all, aquaculture is one of the most sustainable ways to address the growing demand for protein, reproducing what we use whilst ensuring the lowest possible impact to the environment. As the world’s population is set to increase to over 9 billion by 2050 there is/will be a huge demand for sustainable protein such as farmed salmon.

We set high standards here at Regal and follow stringent guidelines to achieve best practice in the industry. Regal (NZ King Salmon) has achieved the world-leading Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification from The Global Aquaculture Alliance, we are the first in the Southern Hemisphere to gain this certification for our entire operation. In addition, the New Zealand King salmon industry received the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Green/Best Choice rating in 2015, the first marine-farmed salmon to achieve this rating.

Nurtured from birth in clean and cold waters flowing from Te Waikoropupū Springs near Takaka, our salmon begin life in a remote part of New Zealand. When they are ready, they are transferred to sea farms in the Marlborough Sounds. The cool, deep, clear waters of the Sounds are ideal for salmon production. Our salmon have plenty of room with stocking rates resulting in only 2% of the sea farm volume being occupied by salmon and the remaining 98% being water.

Grown in New Zealand, Regal (NZKS) leads the way in terms of farming and sustainability. We have truly passionate people throughout the company working to develop the finest salmon nature has to offer. To learn more, click here.