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Fish Consumption – Good or Bad for You?

We always have been told that eating fish is good for our system, especially due to the Omega-3-Fatty-Acids it contains.

Actually, there is a lot of truth to that, since fish is a low-fat, high protein food.

However, we have to be well-informed shoppers, in order to actually select the fish which is healthy for our consumption.

While shopping for fish, or enjoying it in a restaurant, we should not only pay attention to the type of fish we are selecting, and the price range, but also its origin:

  • Wild caught, or Farm-Raised/Farm-Bred
  • Imported, or from USA

The information I am sharing with you today was compiled by Dr. Josh Axe, who is an author of “The Real Food Diet Cookbook”, a popular radio show host, physician to professional athletes, as well as a certified nutritionist.

His article titled “Eating Tilapia is Worse Than Eating Bacon”, really caught my attention, and it sounded controversial to me at first, but once I read it, I just had to share it with you all.

The most common farm-raised fish are:  s

Salmon, Tilapia, Sea Bass, Catfish, and Cod.

I know lots of people love tilapia, but this fish is farm-raised only, which makes it pretty unhealthy, as per Dr. Axe’s article.

” 1.  Recent Studies have found that farm-raised Tilapia may cause more inflammation, which leads to  heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and other serious health problems.  In fact scientist have found that the inflammatory potential of Tilapia is far greater than of a hamburger, or pork bacon.

2.  Farm-raised Salmon may have at least 10 times the amount of cancer causing organic pollutants compared to the wild variety.  This can be attributed to the feed used in farm-raised fish, in which chicken feces is one of the main ingredients, as well as pig and duck waste.

3.  Farm-bred fish have been found to have high concentrations of antibiotics and pesticides, due to the crowded conditions of fish farms, creating higher susceptibility for diseases.

4.  Farm-raised fish also have lower levels of healthy nutrients, lower protein content, and higher omega-6-fatty acids, rather than omega-3-fatty acids.

5.  Dibutylin levels, a chemical used in PVC plastics is said to be 6 times higher in farm-raised mussels compared to wild ones.  Dibutylin is a toxic chemical which can impair immune system functions and contributing to inflammation.

6.  Dioxin levels are 11 times higher in the farm-bred salmon compared to wild salmon.  Dioxin is also a very toxic chemical which contributes to cancer and other complications.  Once dioxin enters your body, it takes a very long time until it lets out.  Half life of dioxin is 7 – 11 years.”

“Shrimp actually holds the designation of being the dirtiest of all seafood, says Marianne Cufone, director of  Food and Water Watch”. It does not help matters that 90% of the shrimp on the U.S. market is actually imported.  “Imported farmed shrimp comes from a whole  bevy of contaminants: antibiotics, residues from chemicals used to clean pens, filth like mouse hair, rat hair, and pieces of insects”…Cufone says.  “And it didn’t even mention things like E.coli that have been detected in imported shrimp”.

In addition to the above, “less than 2% of ALL imported seafood (shrimp, crab, catfish, or others), get inspected before its sold, which is why it’s that much more important to purchase domestic seafood.

“The most desirable fish to use is wild caught Sockeye Salmon, if it is from Pacific or Alaska, but if the Salmon comes from Atlantic, it will most likely be farm-raised.”

“Salmon contains astaxanthin, which has been proven to be more powerful than almost any other antioxidant at absorbing free radicals.”

I hope you read this post in its entirety and had an eye-opening experience, as I did.

At least now I know why I am not a big fan of seafood….natural instinct…:-)

This post is only about seafood, since during this time of the year (Great Lent for many), fish is being consumed more often than any other time of the year.

However, even if you are not a big fan of seafood, don’t rest on your laurels, thinking you are safe from contaminated food.

Please read all food labels, to learn the origin of the food you are about purchase for your family.  Learn a little about the country this food is imported from, and make a decision if your standards meet theirs, before you put it in your shopping basket.

Same is true with locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Know about the area these farms are located at, take into consideration water and land pollution, then decide if you are still interested in this farm grown fruit or vegetable.  Here in the US we also have many areas which are pretty polluted, yet farms are thriving there, not to mention conditions of some other farms for dairy, poultry, pork and beef.

Of course, the US standards are totally exceeding the standards of many other countries, but the more you know the better for you.

Be an informed consumer, and do the right thing.

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Fish Consumption – Good or Bad for You?”

  1. Larissa says:

    Interesting, thank you for sharing!

  2. suburbangrandma says:

    I received couple of emails regarding this post, so I will share the information here. This reader suggested to check out other food source websites before drawing a final conclusion on pros and cons regarding food consumption, nutrition, selection and safety. He feels , and I agree, that some articles are written in a way to exaggerate the facts, making everything sound worse that it really is. However, knowledge is power, and if you read something that does not sit well with you, you should look into it further and draw your own conclusion. Maybe Dr. Axe is one of those “creative” writers, I don’t know, but I am sure he would have not published totally false information and signed his name to it.

    Here are the sites he suggested to review:

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/
    http://seafood.edf.org/benefits-eating-fish
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614

  3. suburbangrandma says:

    Another reader also shared her view on my post and wrote:
    “Good morning , I must say I had a hard time reading your posting! I love fish! I grew up on fish as we had a river come through our farm. The fish was fresh. I find that it is harder and harder to get fresh fish. I have no idea why it sits fresh at our markets, given that it is so easy and quick to thaw out. I only buy wild fish. But even our Canadian fish packers source fish from China which they mark fresh under their label. We are so dependent on our food source from supermarkets that it scares me”.

    I totally agree. My dad also was fishing for fresh fish for our family, but somehow I never developed the taste for fish. I think back then we did not have so much pollution all over the place, and did not use so many chemicals, pesticides and preservatives, as we do today.
    I am also told that it is better to purchase wild caught frozen fish, rather than thawed, because the fish gets cleaned, and frozen soon after it was caught.
    Also, my dad would always say…”Fresh fish does not smell”….if it is smells like fish…it is NOT fresh.

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