We all know how popular Tilapia is in the United States. It is without doubt the most popular among all farmed fish. But it has also undergone lots of scrutiny over some time because of various studies. These studies have been conducted for assessing the impact of tilapia farming in china on consumer health and environment.
The root cause of the problem associated with tilapia is in its method of cultivation. Most of it which his consumed is farm-bred and not wild. If you want to find wild tilapia on the market, it will be almost impossible to come across it. In fact, most of the restaurants are serving only farm-bred tilapia.
The good thing about wild tilapia is that they feed on algae and plants, natural ingredients which are not fed to farm-bred tilapia. This is why the farm-bred variety lacks the healthy fish oil found in the wild one. If you are consuming farm-bred tilapia, you are actually not getting any health benefits.
Negative Impact of Farm-Bred Tilapia on Health
There are so many negative effects of farm-bred tilapia on your health. The most important ones are as following:
There are multiple studies confirming inflammation caused by the consumption of farm-bred tilapia. Consuming it can worsen any of your current inflammation. You may already have inflammation due to any health problems like heart disease, asthma, or arthritis.
You may think that fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and can help in minimizing your risks of heart attacks. However, that is not the case with tilapia. It will increase your risk of developing heart disease, higher than in the case of hamburgers and bacon.
Farm-bred tilapia exposes you to cancer-causing pollutants. You should avoid most of the farm raised fish because they get exposed to cancerous pollutants and chemicals by a much higher degree compared to wild fish. Traces of dyes like malachite green and drugs like nitrofuran have been found many times in farm fish. These are known carcinogens.
Studies have also shown that farm-bred fish clearly have mc higher levels of antibiotics and pesticides in them. Farm fish get bred in small packed areas and there is very high risk of diseases. They have to be given different antibiotics to protect against diseases from other fish. Pesticides are also used for killing sea lice. Pesticides are not only harmful for your health, they are dangerous for the environment too. They can enter the sea and be poisonous to other marine life.
Another difference between farm-raised and wild tilapia is that the former doesn’t have same percentage of healthy nutrients as in the latter. The omega fatty acids present in the farm-bred variety is nowhere near as beneficial as in the wild variety. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are present in 11:1 ratio in farm-bred tilapia.
Omega-6 fatty acid is something that you shouldn’t be over-consuming. It will increase the risk of inflammation. Due to this imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid ratios, this food causes negative effects on your body.
5. High Levels of Dioxin
Most farm-bred fish have been found to have high dioxin levels. Dioxin can be so much harmful that even if you get exposed to it for short-term, it can have negative effects on your liver’s functioning and cause skin lesions.
You can only imagine what long-term exposure can do. Studies have found problems like impaired immune system, endocrine system, nervous system, and even reproductive functions. And then there are various types of cancers which have been caused by chronic exposure to dioxins.
In simple terms, you must know that farm-bred tilapia doesn’t have any healthy nutrients which can be beneficial to your body. You should switch to wild tilapia or eat fish which are healthier.
Other included sources linked in Family Life Goals’s article:
Tilapia popularity: www.nytimes.com
Tilapia farming studies: www.sustainablefish.org
Carcinogenic pollutants: www.npr.org/
Pesticides and antibiotics: www.farmedanddangerous.org
Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio: www.wakehealth.edu
Dioxin levels in farm bred fish: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Exposure to dioxins: www.who.int