Is wild shrimp better than farmed raised shrimp?

Jun 23, 2020Shrimp

Difference between wild shrimp and farmed shrimp

As shrimp specialists we have insider knowledge to share with you about why wild shrimp are better than farm raised shrimp.

In this blog post we will tell you everything about wild and farmed shrimp so you can make the right choice for your kitchen. While it makes sense that wild shrimp would be better, safer, healthier, probably tastier, many people couldn’t tell you exactly why.

We also want to protect you from buying poor quality wild shrimp that is worse than farmed shrimp. Read on to find out all about the differences and signs of quality for these two types of shrimp.

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Definitions

Farm raised shrimp : are cultivated in tanks or ponds as part of the aquaculture industry. Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments. The tanks are a human-made habitat for the shrimp where they are bred and fed outside of their natural environment.  Shrimp farms are found mostly in Asia, the Americas, and Morocco.

Wild Shrimp : Usually these shrimp live in open water, seas, or oceans, and are caught by fishermen in boats. Wild shrimp is usually more expensive due to the increased need for labor.

Some companies that fish wild shrimp are overfishing, causing a dangerous reduction in the species. Knowing the fishing policies of the company providing the shrimp is an important aspect of buying wild shrimp.

Why is it better to buy wild shrimp?

Wild shrimp live freely in the ocean or sea, getting natural nutrients from their natural environment. This gives wild shrimp a natural flavor, taste, and texture.. 

The nutritional quality of the shrimp you buy depends a lot on the quality of the food they eat. Thus, eating shrimp from the area where they naturally live will have a better taste than a farm raised shrimp.

Mediterranean Fishermen working on Gamba de Palamós wild shrimp
Choosing wild shrimp will guarantee that you are not eating a product cultivated with veterinary drugs, antibiotics, injected hormones, or other chemicals necessary in aquaculture in order to keep the shrimp alive and edible.

Thus, for all these reasons, it is usually better to buy wild shrimp over farmed raised shrimp.

How do I know what I’m buying?

To make sure you know what type of shrimp you are buying you have to check a few things.

First of all, you should always check the packaging to see if the product is wild or farmed-raised. This information alone will say a lot about the quality of the product. In groceries stores, fish markets or even online, make sure to check this information.

To know how to buy your wild shrimp, check the price tag of the product

Once you know where it comes from you should know a few basics about the shrimp. If it is farmed-raised, it is not necessarily bad. For example there are farms in Morocco that get a high quality rating. Some aquaculture farms raise the shrimp very close to its natural environment, using no additives or hormones and providing as natural of an environment as possible..

When you buy wild shrimp you usually will have a better tasting product, but that doesn’t mean the fisherman respected the seaworld life and species when they caught the shrimp. When you check the product packaging you can look for the MSC Label, which means that the product is fished sustainably and that the company and the whole chain of delivery respect the environment, the seaworld, and obviously the species.

Partnership, customers and certifications can indicate shrimp quality

Another way to determine if the shrimp you are buying are good quality. You can research the company who is selling it to you, and you can see who its customers are. If they sell to chefs and restaurants you can be sure that the shrimp is good quality since most chefs work with high quality shrimp only.

At mmmediterranean we work with star chefs and restaurants. We have many certifications on the quality of our food products that you can check here. We want the highest quality of food possible for our customers and products that are sustainably fished and natural as much as possible.

MSC partnership is a good int to know about wild shrimp and farm raised shrimp

A great example of natural wild shrimp, fished as carefully as possible, is the famous gamba de palamos. Read our blog post about it. You can also check information about the product. It is one of the finest shrimp on the market.

If you can find out who the company partners with, who their customers are, and what certifications they have, then you are good to go. You will end up with the best product you can find.

Conclusion

To sum up, wild shrimp are usually a better choice than farm raised shrimp for many reasons, most especially the superior taste. Unless you want your shrimp for a very cheap price, it is most of the time a better choice.

Check the product, see if the shrimp are wild, note where they come from, and look for certifications and labels that assure you of its quality.

Look at the customers and partners of the company if you can, so you know where they stand about the quality of their products.

We hope this has helped you choose your shrimp. Don’t hesitate to send us an email or leave a comment if you have any questions.

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