Tilapia is one of the most popular fish species in the world. It is very economical and easy to cook. Only downside is that this is a farmed fish that can cause several health problems. Here are some insights into the dangers associated with the consumption of tilapia.
Tilapia fish with delicious taste but with technical breeding problem
Tilapia is a delicious fish, appreciated by most consumers, and can be consumed fresh or frozen. The advantage with this fish is that it supports all methods of cooking (on the stove, in the oven) because its flesh is very strong.
But the problem with tilapia is linked to its origin and cultivation method. Indeed, it is a farmed fish, resulting from intensive farming methods: thousands of tilapia are caught each day.
What is the difference between wild and farmed tilapia?
The difference between farmed tilapia and wild tilapia is very simple: essentially wild fish consume algae and aquatic plants while farmed tilapia is fed with soybean pellets and genetically modified corn. In addition, wild tilapia is rich in omega-3, very beneficial for cardiovascular health, essential minerals (such as selenium, phosphorus) and also vitamins.
Unfortunately, farmed tilapia is the most commonly consumed species and it is not very beneficial to health because of the following reasons.
Here’s why farmed tilapia is hazardous to the health:
- It can cause inflammation
Indeed, this type of fish can cause inflammation. Studies have shown that tilapia could even aggravate existing health problems such as arthritic diseases, asthma or cardiovascular disease.
The mistake that many people make is to think that this fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known for their virtues on the cardiovascular health. In addition, a team of scientists at Wake Forest University found that tilapia would have a much greater inflammatory potential than a hamburger.
- It contains feces
Did you know that farmed tilapia are fed with chicken droppings? Disgusting! Even waste of ducks and pigs are used to serve as food to the fish. Therefore, this fish has a low nutrient values such as protein, vitamins, fatty acids, etc.
- It contains very high levels of pesticide and antibiotics
Like other farmed fish, tilapia is ten times more exposed to cancer-causing toxins than wild tilapia. A large amount of pesticides are used in these breeding conditions, so that this fish is more susceptible to diseases. As a consequence fish breeders still use more antibiotics to keep the fish healthy and help them survive the pesticides influence.
Pesticides are used to kill lice that are also present in the aquatic environment and are called sea lice. Moreover, pesticides are so toxic and dangerous that they can even kill wild salmon when it is accidentally exposed to these substances that destroy the flora and fauna.
- It is low in omega-3
Farmed tilapia contains much less nutrients than the wild tilapia. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids in farmed fish are not as beneficial as the omega-3 found in wild fish. In addition, the farmed tilapia contains much less protein. Indeed, as they are raised in large ponds, and are fed on processed foods, they are fatter and have a high concentration of omega-6. When these omega-6 and the omega-3 are consumed in excess, it can cause inflammation.
- It contains a high level of dioxin
In addition, the farmed tilapia contains a dioxin level 11 times higher than the wild tilapia. According to WHO, dioxins are dangerous and persistent organic pollutants into the environment. They accumulate in the food chain, specifically in abdominal fat. They exhibit a strong toxicity levels and may even be related to the development of diseases such as cancer. You should know that when the dioxins enter the body, they can take between 7 and 11 years to be eliminated! Hence the need not to expose your health to these very harmful substances and to avoid eating farmed tilapia.
Now you know that farmed tilapia is a serious threat to your health. You should substitute it with the wild tilapia or at least by other fish from a organic breeding farms (healthily fed).