Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Quality of our Wild Alaska Salmon

No doubt about it: wild Alaska salmon is delicious! You'll find it fresh for a few short months each summer and we are busily stocking our seafood departments with the tastiest varieties found throughout Alaska. But with so many seafood concerns these days - from overfishing to poorly-managed fish farms - how do you know that the salmon you are eating is good for you, good for the planet and will still taste good? Well, here at Whole Foods Market we've made it our business to sell the highest quality foods we can find at the most competitive prices possible. We evaluate quality in terms of nutrition, freshness, appearance and taste, and this is true for our wild Alaska salmon as well! Here's a snapshot on how the wild Alaska salmon we carry in our stores fits into our overall Whole Foods Market quality standards:

  • We carefully evaluate each and every product we sell. Our dedicated port buyer is on the ground in Alaska selectively purchasing from fisheries with best practices. Through his close relationships with Alaska salmon processors, he ensures we receive high quality product.
  • We feature foods that are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats. Simply fresh, delicious wild Alaska salmon - nothing more is needed!
  • We are passionate about great tasting food and the pleasure of sharing it with others. Our port buyer is in constant pursuit of the highest quality salmon and selects fish with bright skin, firm texture, minimal bruising, good color and the best taste. He ensures that these quality standards are maintained in every shipment to our stores.

  • We are committed to foods that are fresh, wholesome and safe to eat. The wild Alaska salmon we select are allowed to mature at their own pace by feeding on their natural diet in the icy cold waters of Alaska. These mature fish have an extra layer of fat that contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We process and ship our seafood under strict temperature and food safety guidelines. The salmon is shipped to stores directly from Alaska or through our own seafood distribution facilities in the U.S., creating a kind of "seafood super highway" with supply lines unrivaled by other grocers.
  • We seek out and promote organically grown foods. The organic label doesn't apply to seafood in the United States. For wild-caught fish, we turn to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as the leading authority for certifying sustainable fisheries. Wild Alaska salmon from MSC-certified fisheries will carry the blue and white MSC seal of approval.
  • We provide food and nutritional products that support health and well-being. Flavorful and moist, versatile and healthy, our wild Alaska salmon is the fresh taste of summer. You'll find superb quality at the best possible price. No other grocer can rival our commitment to these quality standards.
  • Check out Not Just Another Fish Story for even more about the wild Alaska salmon we carry, how we source it and delicious ideas for preparing it this summer. Enjoy!

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49 comments

Comments

Pamela Newberry says …

This is absolutely the best salmon ever! http://lastwyf.blogspot.com/2008/06/best-salmon-ever.html

speed2fast says …

I have had these wood sheets in my pantry forever. I guess you can wrap seafood, poultry, anything else in them and grill them for an oak flavor. Normally I love to wrap salom in foil with dashes of S&P TT, a thin shaving of butter, sprinkles of finely diced scallon, occasionally a thin peice of tomato and freshly squeezed lemon juice - in that order. Then grill or bake; it always comes out great. I think I will try the same thing, only wrapped in the wood sheets, this time.

Trudy says …

First we had the sockeye salmon, then today the coho. I have never had fresher, more delicious fish in my life. I love wild caught salmon. Whole Foods has absolutely the best salmon ever. It doesn't hurt that my husband (the chef in our family) has stepped up his game to produce some amazing takes on making the most of the flavors. Thanks for making every week special, Whole Foods. We enjoy shopping with you every single week and finding wonderful ingredients for healthy dining.

Sally says …

Hello. I have known of Whole Foods since the late 70's and "Saferway". Over the years I have shopped with Whole Foods and then "not so much" with gossip of the company selling out the the corporate ways. In recent months I have returned to the store to learn more about better and more readily available organic foods. Well, I JUST got back from seeing "Food, Inc." WOW!! How powerful! I'm appalled, not surprised by anything really new, but can't believe the exptent to which these corporations have power over our food and lives!! Please, please, please...don't sell out to money!!! We ABSOLUTELY NEED companies like Whole Foods to continue to be a leader and TEACHER to the general public. Movies like this (as awesome as they are) only tend to "preach to the choir". Thank you for what you do and for volunteering to stay authentic in providing us with valuable information in your mission and what's happening in the world of food.

says …

@Raj You can find some information on storing seafood safely in our online guide here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/nutrition/handling-seafood.php. You can store it in the freezer, well wrapped for up to three months. It does not need to be cooked beforehand.

Raj says …

I got some wild caught Sockeye Salmon? How do i store it? How long can i store it? Should i cook it before storing

Jill says …

The blog says sockeye salmon is only available a few short summer months. Can it be gotten frozen or otherwise. I am looking for good sources of vitamin D

Bepkom says …

@PhillyBuyer: Unfortunately I don't have that information. I suggesting contacting the store from which you bought the fish. They have records of all the products they sell.

PhillyBuyer says …

Hi I just bought some Wild Alaskan Salmon at the Whole Foods in Philadelphia (South St) yesterday - 4/4/11. I am hoping to salt/sugar cure it but I've read that to be safe, fish used for this should be frozen for at least a week at around -25C. Any idea how cold or how long the Wild Alaskan previously frozen salmon purchased in April in Philadelphia is? Thanks!

Helen says …

I frequently buy the Whole Foods brand frozen wild Alaskan salmon. I take it out of the wrapper and let it defrost in a bowl. I took a look at the empty wrapper recently and noticed that there were orange drops of liquid clinging to the plastic. It looked like dye. Are you sure the salmon isn't dyed at any point in the process?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@HELEN - Thanks for your question. The wild salmon pieces are not dyed. The farm-raised salmon gets the orange color from the feed they consume which contains yeast and microalgae. Keep in mind that we do not use any artificial dyes throughout our entire store. Hope this helps!

Marcia says …

Whole Foods is coming to our area soon and we are thrilled to have a place to buy Wild Alaskan Salmon locally. I'm confused about the response to the question about the fish being dyed: "The salmon gets the orange color from the feed they consume which contains yeast and microalgae" What do you mean "the feed they consume?" I thought they were wild....

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARCIA- Sorry for the confusion. You are completely right. I was speaking about the farm-raised salmon that we sell in our stores as I did not see that Helen was referring to wild salmon. I have updated my my reply to her to clear up the confusion. Thanks for catching that!

Kelsey says …

Whole foods has the best salmon I have ever bought. In addition, I trust everything I am buying there and the research about the product is always readily available!

SUZANNETRIMBLE says …

i'M CONFUSED. IF THE "WILD ALASKAN SALMON" IS "WILD", WHY DO YOU TALK ABOUT THE "FISHERIES" THAT YOU BUY IT FROM? AM JUST TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE WHO SELLS REAL WILD CAUGHT SALMON. PLS. HELP ME OUT HERE. THANK YOU

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SUZANNE - The term "fishery" does not necessarily mean that the fish are farm raised. "Fisheries" can be saltwater or freshwater, wild or farmed. Wikipedia defines "fishery" as "an entity engaged in raising or harvesting fish which is determined by some authority to be a fishery." I would suggest looking for any wild fish with an MSC seal on the product as the MSC "assessment program is used to certify wild capture freshwater and marine species. Our program does not assess fish farming (aquaculture), although some forms of enhanced fishery may be eligible for assessment." You can read more about the stance of MSC on aquaculture (farmed fish) at http://www.msc.org/newsroom/news/msc-board-statement-on-aquaculture. Hope this helps!

William Croft says …

re: the frozen "Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets". the package mentions "quick frozen" which I assume is the same as flash frozen. Would this would be safe for use in raw sushi? FDA guidelines call for -35C: http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/haccp/compendium/chapt16.htm#FDA (From HACCP Compendium.) How about the wild salmon shown in the 'fresh' case? It must have been flash frozen as well? Thanks.

William Croft says …

One of your links above is broken (Not Just Another Fish Story). Here is the working link: http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/video-library/videos/seafood-videos/not-just-another-fish-story-wild-alaska-salmon

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@WILLIAM - I have not heard that we recommend any of our salmon as sushi grade in our stores. I would recommend reaching out to a specialty store that sells sushi grade fish. Also, much appreciation for the broken link...we will get that fixed!

Fiorella T says …

what about the other salmon quality you sell?, the iceland with color aditive?

Elena says …

Does your company ship wild Alaskan Salmon or deliver to areas where stores are unavailable?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FIORELLA - We have strict Quality Standards that every product we sell in our store must meet, which includes no artificial colors. You can find a detailed list of unacceptable ingredients for food at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/unacceptable-ingredients-food.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ELENA - At this time, we do not ship perishable products.

Linda Chua says …

Which salmon is better for my family the FARM-RAISED or wild Alaska. How do I know the salmon are free fom contaminants and TOXINS if thery are raised in FARM. Which is higher in MERCURY, farm-raised or wild?? Pleas share your honest opinion. HOW long can I keep in freezer if I decide to buy? i also want to ask you is it better to buy those frozen SALMON that you sell at your store, or is it better to buy the FRESH salmon, and if they are fresh, how FRESH are they

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LINDA - You can find tons of info on our website about farmed raised fish at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/seafood-sustainability/aquaculture. Since each vendor differs between stores, ask your local seafood department about freezing particular types of fish and they will let you now what types of fish are fresh or previously frozen.

Rod Cummings says …

Is the frozen packaged Whole Foods Wild Caught Salmon, farm raised or...is it truly caught in the wild? It seems the article written here possibly skirts around the farm raised vs truly caught in wild by fishing vessels in the fishes' natural habitat and not from large Alaskan fishery pens (farms).

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ROD - As the article states we have extremely high standards and process that guarantee our products. The frozen wild salmon is definitely wild caught.

anita says …

good afternoon, how can i get wild alaskan salmon shipped to mexico ?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANITA - At this time, we do not ship perishable products internationally.

G.Boudreaux says …

I would like specific information on your Atlantic salmon I've bought in the seafood section at Whole Foods here in New Orleans. I've been told by the employees there that it is farm raised, As I read advice against eating ANY farm raised salmon due to being fed genetically engineered variety of grains, antibiotics, chemicals, synthetic petrochemicals or other agents to adjust coloring of the fish, etc, etc. This information needs to be readily available to customers. I'm quite surprised it is not. In reading your information on your standards of your salmon, it makes no mention of these important factors at all. Many of us today have health concerns and this is a major issue. We need specifics. Thank you for providing any and all details on how these fish are raised.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@G.BOUDREAUX - We have tons of info online for our aquaculture ("Farmed Fish") standards at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/seafood-sustainability/aquaculture. Due to the pervasiveness of GMOs in the US food supply, it is possible that farmed fish food contains GMOs. We have announced GMO labeling for our stores so soon you will be able to check a label to know if the feed contained GMOs.

Marissa Goldberg says …

Do you sell any wild Alaskan salmon sushi rolls at your stores? Or would I be able to buy sushi-grade wild Alaskan salmon raw to prepare sushi on my own? Thanks for any help you can offer!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARISSA - The items in our stores differ. Check with your local store to see what types of salmon they have in stock!

jim McC says …

when will HF have wild Alaskan slmon for sale? Also, do you now have frozen , wild Sockeye for sale? please email.thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JIM - Our sales typically differ between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have any upcoming sales!

Patricia says …

I took the Whole catch/Salmon from the freezer on April 19 to thaw overnight in the refridgerator & only opened one of the packets for Easter Sun. dinner for my brother -He thoroughly enjoyed it ! Now I still have the other packet in my refridgerator, unopened-will it still be good for dinner tomorrow? (April 29) How long can it remain in refrigerator,sealed in original clear pkg. before spoilage?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PATRICIA - I believe fresh fish in the fridge will only last around 3 days once thawed. You can always check with your local store for their recommendation based on the exact fish you purchased. They will be happy to help!

infowarrior91 says …

I'm curious to to know why the frozen wild caught Alaskan salmon that i bought from WFM says its a product of Canada? I'm also curious to know what steps are being taken to insure the Pacific wild caught fish aren't contaminated with high levels of radiation from Fukashima fallout. I would greatly appreciate a response to these questions as I'm a frequent customer at WFM in the S. Florida area

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@INFOWARRIOR91 - The country of origin on the package is where the product is substantially transfored. So the wild Alaskan salmon is caught in Alaskan waters but taken to Canada. If you're concerned about radiation in seafood, we recommend choosing farm-raised seafood or wild-caught seafood from the Atlantic Ocean, such as flounder, cod, halibut, or monkfish. Experts we consulted with are not aware of any risk of radionuclides from Fukushima in seafood from these sources. All seafood in our cases is labeled with the Country of Origin as well as whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught.

Pat Duncan says …

Regarding your frozen wild caught salmon , how soon after it is killed and gutted is it frozen? My concern is histamine.

JOHN FEJERANG says …

Do you sell fresh salmon collars and cheeks?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOHN - Our options will differ between stores so check with your local store to see what options they have in stock!

Natalia says …

What are the ingredients? I am allergic to any variation of corn and soy. Are these 100% just salmon or are their additives such as corn starch, etc.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@NATALIA - Most of the salmon in the case at our seafood department will be raw salmon. Some counters will offer pre-marinated or breaded options so we cannot guarantee that all items prepared/cut at their counter will be allergen free due to cross contamination. I would suggest checking with your local store to see if they have any packaged options that are produced in a dedicated allergen free facility.

thomas steiskal says …

Like to know about getting salmon for smokeing to sell and i amin n ft myers fl and if so the price. Tom

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@THOMAS - You can search for a store in your area at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list. Once you find your local store, give them a call as they will be happy to let you know what they have in stock and the price.

T jernigan says …

Are the canned products 365 Alaskan Wild Salmon and American tuna pole caught gluten free?

Edna Black says …

Hello, Do you carry a wild caught salmon for sushi at whole foods store?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@T - There are no gluten ingredients in the facility where this is made.