Learn Something Food Everday: Eat More Fish?

carrots

LSFE: One of the biggest problems we face in our lives, is the day to day confusion and anxiety surrounding our food decisions. Grass Fed, Organic, Local, Conventional, Gluten-Free, Whole Wheat, Trans Fats, Vegan, Free Roaming, Omega-3’s, are just a few of the labels we’re being bombarded with constantly. Some would rather ignore it all in hopes that their faith will be repaid with quality product, while others believe no one can be trusted. But neither thought process is all that beneficial, to the individual or to the environment. Well, how can we possible know what is healthy for us and whether or not our ecological impact was high or low when so much we hear is contradictory. Well, I believe that the only way to eat well is to eat smart. And the more we know, the more confident we’ll feel navigating these tough decisions.

Once a week, I’ll be posting a “You Learn Something FOOD Everyday” discussion about some pertinent food topics. I’m not an expert, but I am an enthusiast. So join in on the conversation by leaving your comments and feel free to suggest issues that you find in your everyday food lives:

All Fish Are Not Created Equal:

tilapia

I hate to start off with a negative one, but this story was really the impetus for these postings. (Remember I promised this discussion a few posts back.) We’ve all been hearing the suggestions to eat more fish, and most of us have listened. Stories of Omega-3’s saving us from our health problems, and fish being the best source have been pushing Americans toward their local seafood monger more than ever. But in a theme that becomes all so clear (and even more obvious) not all fish are created equal. In this following study done at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, the benefits of our fish heavy diets have been called into question:

The Tilapia Study

Maybe more recently the skeptics of farm raised fish have become extremely vocal. But would you agree that the reasons for their skepticism seem to never be discussed? At least not in detail. So do you know what is so different about farm raised fish? Well I didn’t truly understand it until a few months ago and it’s a bit disturbing. If not all, most of our farm raised fish are now being fed CORN. Yes that’s right, corn. And just like our beef, which are not fit to digest the kernels (although we feed them corn anyway), the diet is conducive to fast and efficient growth. Except, with this efficiency comes the major problem. As this study suggests, the diet may be leading to a high percentage of Omega-6’s instead of the healthy and beneficial Omega-3’s. Just like in beef production.

Now is the problem as big as the researchers have suggested? There is probably no definitive answer to that question. Comparing a tilapia filet to a 80/20 hamburger patty may end up being fair after more research has been done, but does that mean tilapia will kill you? And is that really a responsible comparison? It’s not to say you should never have a tilapia filet (I have never seen wild tilapia) but next time you go to your fish monger, maybe pick something else. That is until we stop feeding our farm raised fish corn.

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2 Responses to Learn Something Food Everday: Eat More Fish?

  1. It’s not just corn nowadays, I recently discovered that some fish farms are now feeding their fish chicken meal (ground chicken bones, meat, and offals), strangely enough, this is why “it tastes like chicken”. I like what your doing keep it up!

    Robbie
    http://www.provocativeedibles.wordpress.com

  2. Farm raised fish has been in question since the early 80’s and especially since all of the popularity to the endangered species act. They have been trying to get salmon and steelhead on the list for years. In my opinion when this happens the fish farming industry will get more dangerous to the public with cheaper unhealthier fish food. Comparison might even be made to the significant amount of hormones that are added to milk everyday.

    Brian
    ChiropracrtorKent, WA

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