Most people believe that: Eating fish is extremely healthy. This statement is sometimes true but not always, let me explain. Finding quality fish is getting more and more difficult. When the BP oil spill occurred, people immediately became concerned about our beautiful beaches and lands becoming contaminated and polluted with oil. Many were also concerned with our marine life and if the fish they ate from the areas damaged by the spill would be harmful to consume. It is always positive when people begin to question their food sources. It is very important to be aware about where you foods are grown, caught, raised ect. Unfortunately, most people are only concerned when something as devastating as an oil spill occurs.
Most Americans do not know where the fish they consume is from and if it is even safe to eat. Every time I walk past the seafood section of my local grocery store I see the large case of fish, shrimp, lobster and crab, I usually stop to check out the prices (not because I am interested in buying the seafood but because I like to know the current pricing) and I always look to see where most of the seafood is coming from. Over 75% of the seafood sold in most standard grocery stores, is from forgien, developing nations. Surprised, probably not if you have every decided to read the small print at the bottom of the tag displaying the price and type of seafood behind the glass case, under the price it generally reads : from Thailand. Now, I have nothing against Thailand, in fact I would like to visit Thailand someday, however a lot of the fish we receive from Thailand and other countries is grown in ways that many of us would not consider healthy. A great deal of the fish from developing countries is farmed in sewage, yes, you read that correctly… SEWAGE! Some of the fish from developing countries is from some of the filthiest and dirtiest rivers in the world. Please see this short video clip for some more info, the speaker is a bit boring but he gets the point across without being dramatic, many videos of forgein farm raised fish are very sensationalized or too gross to watch without vomiting in your mouth:
Not only is the fish from unhealthy rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes but the fish often contain many toxic and often banned chemicals and substances like fungicides, antibiotics and veterinarian medicines. Less then 1% of all the fish we receive from overseas is tested and of that 1%, 50 – 60% is rejected because it contains banned chemicals and substances. This is not only illegal, it is scary! Basically, when you eat fish from some developing forgien countries, you might be getting a good bit of antibiotics and other toxic substances with your meal. So why do we buy fish from these countries, why not buy fish from good ole America, well that would cost you more money and most people are more worried about the price then the content. For instance, the cost of catfish from a developing country is about $2 a lb (for the store), the cost of catfish from Southeast America is $3. Americans want excess and cheap so in turn they often get crap. Sorry if I am being to harsh, I am just keeping it real.
So my advice, go deep sea fishing. OK that might not be practical for everyone, so I suggest you only buy and eat seafood that is wild caught in America. When you eat out at restaurants, make sure you ask your server or chef where the fish is from. This does not mean that you will be eating chemical free fish, but your chances of eating heavily chemical or antibiotic laden fish is lessened.
I wish the fishiness stopped there but it does not. Just last year (2012) researchers from a conservation group called Oceana tested fish from over 81 different stores and restaurants in New York. 39% of the samples collected showed that the fish advertised was not the actual fish sold. Oceans DNA tested the fish and found that often times the fish you think you are buying or consuming is actually a cheaper, less favorable fish. In fact , 94% of the white tuna tested, was actually not white tuna but instead was actually snake mackerel, an inexpensive fish that often causes GI upset if more then a few ounces is eaten.
I advise ALL my clients to never consume raw fish. Unless you personally catch the fish yourself and consume immediately (again I suggest you go deep sea fishing, it is good for the mind, body and soul), raw fish is too risky!
OK one last fishy note on the fish industry. In the last quarter of 2012, the FDA approved AquAdvantage Salmon. This is genetically modified salmon grows year round and much faster then “natural” God made Salmon. In fact, this “man made” salmon grows to the market size in double the time. It has not been proven that consuming this fish is safe for long term human consumption. Sadly, because the FDA and the government has not made law that all genetically modified foods must be labeled as GMO’s, you will often not know if the salmon you are purchasing is genetically modified super salmon from AquAdvantage or wild caught. It is speculated that this super fish would over power and burden the natural salmon if ever released into the natural environment. Although the FDA and AquAdvantage claim that this fish is only to be grown in contained environments and never to be released into the wild, can we be sure that if it ever does get released and contaminate our natural environments, that it will not hinder or harm our God made salmon?
If you think something smells, it is probably the thought of all this tainted fish. So again, I urge you all to learn about the sources of the food you purchase and consume! Just because it is fish does not mean it is healthy…