Go Fish – Farm Raised vs Wild Caught

When it comes to eating healthy it’s important to choose the right foods, such as lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

 Among the list of lean proteins, fish is ranked one of the highest because of its benefits. Fish is high in protein and provides an excellent source of omega 3′s. Omega 3′s can lower elevated triglyceride levels, help with stiffness and joint pain, aid in lowering depression and is important for pregnant woman to consume for fetal development. Omega 3′s also help with weight loss and improve brain function. Due to the high demand of fish, this has led to fish farming all over the world. Unfortunately, buying a high quality protein with many benefits can now be harming to your health.

What is Fish Farming?

 Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food.Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_farming

Fish FarmingTop /Bottom Photo Source: Google images /saawinternational.org
Fish Farming

 Farm raised fish has a higher content of omega 6’s which cause inflammation in the body. To protect the fish from disease due to crowded framing conditions, fish farmers give fish a very high dosage of antibiotics and pesticides to treat sea lice and other illnesses. Food given to farm raised fish generally includes pellets of chicken feces, corn meal, soy, genetically modified canola oil, and other fish containing concentrations of toxins. It is also not unusual that pig and duck waste are provided to fish farms for extra nutrition! Farm raised salmon are also fed chemicals to give them color and other chemicals which cause various cancers. It is important to note these practices are not only used to farm fish, they are also used when farming shrimp, muscles, crabs, clams and any other farm raised seafood.

Farm Raised FishPhoto Source: Google images 

Farmed raised seafood also has a higher content of PCB; PCB also known as Polychlorinated Biphenyl and is not only damaging to the environment, but also to your health.

PCBsCautionPhoto Source: Google images / safetysign.com



What Exactly is PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl)?

 PCB was created in the 1920’s and was used for coolants in electrical equipment, metal-cutting oils, microscope lens oils, and used in inks, dyes, and carbonless copy paper.

 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBCAS number1336-36-3 ) is a synthetic organic chemical compound of chlorine attached to biphenyl, which is a molecule composed of two benzene rings. There are 209 configurations of organochlorides with 1 to 10 chlorine atoms. The chemical formula for a PCB is C12H10-xClx. 130 of the different PCB arrangements and orientations are used commercially.[1][2] Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlorinated_biphenyl

Partly the reason fish farmers are allowed to get away with producing such a toxic source of protein is due to regulations. The FDA inspects less than 2% of ALL imported seafood before being sold. Domestic seafood on the other hand does not fall within this inspection statistic. Which is why it is important to choose domestic seafood over imported.


Choosing The Right Catch – Literally!

 When buying seafood it is important to know if it is domestic or imported and if it is farm raised or wild caught. Check the packages, if it says “Farm Raised”, it is very lucky you will be having fish with a side of PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl), antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals used to clean pens and debris like mouse hair, rat hair, insects and possible E. Coli for dinner. When buying fresh fish at the seafood counter, many times the labels will state whether it is farm raised or wild caught, if not ASK! You have a right to know what you are eating.

Farm Raised FishPhoto Source: Google images / Flickr. Natalie Maynor / huffingtonpost.com  

When dining out, ask the server is the fish is farm raised or wild caught. For salmon the menu will be a dead giveaway. If the menu reads Pacific or Alaskan, chances are it is wild caught; if it says “Fresh Atlantic Salmon”, this fish product was farm-raised. Choosing wild caught fish is the best option, however keep in mind the mercury content of the fish. Some fish have higher mercury content than others and should be limited in your diet.

For additional information on mercury content, endangered fish species and choosing the right fish, check out the link below.  http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/conservation/research/seafood-watch


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