For a long time, fish has been touted as super food from doctors, as well as nutritionists and specialists from around the world. A lot of people choose not to eat meat or some other animal product but show pride in their presumed health-conscious decision to consume fish. But, as with almost every other thing that is promoted heavily in the media, there is something fishy about this.
There is no doubt that it contains a lot of essential omega 3’s which are better known to be good for our brain, many consider fish ‘brain food’ as of how essential these nutrients are for the health of our brain. Unluckily, farmed fish, especially salmon and tilapia are doing more harm than good, and as awareness grows, a lot of experts are now claiming for farmed fish to be one of the most toxic foods in the world.
A documentary from Nicolas Daniel named “Fillet-Oh-Fish” takes a critical look at the fish industry, featuring exclusive footage from fish farms and factories all over the world. A lot of people still have a rather romanticized view of fishing, but when it comes to large-scale food production, the picture is rather grim.
That is where the problem starts, as the Baltic is highly polluted. Some of the fish that is used have toxic levels of pollutants, which then simply get incorporated into the feed pellets.
In Sweden, fishmongers are now required in order to warn patrons about the potential toxicity of Baltic fish. According to the recommendations of the government, you are not supposed to eat fatty fish like herring more than once in a week, and if you are pregnant, fish from Baltic should also be avoided.
The Swedish Greenpeace activist named Jan Isakson reveals some of the sources of all this pollution. He stated that just outside of Stockholm, there is a massive paper mill on the bank of the Baltic which generates toxic dioxins.
Additional nine industrialized countries surrounding the Baltic Sea also dump their toxic waste into this closed body of water. Dioxins bind to fat, which is the reason why herring, eel, as well as salmon are particularly vulnerable, and why they end up accumulating higher amounts than some other fish.
As a result of being deemed unfit for human consumption, some of these fatty fish are not primarily used as fish food. In that way, toxicity in the farmed salmon is permitted to build up even higher than in the wild.
Environmental pollution also poses some risks.
A lot of panga farms are plagued with disease, courtesy of the polluted waters in which they are raised. Mekong River, where many panga farms are placed, is one of the most massively polluted rivers on the globe. In 2009, the World Wide Fund for Nature put panga on their “red” list of products which pose a danger to environmental, as well as human health.
Every day, millions of Vietnamese households dump their waste directly into the Mekong River. The pesticides which are used in rice cultivation also migrate into this waterway. Green algae, as well as bacteria, release toxins into the water and reduce oxygen levels in the water, which also adds further stress on the immunity of the fish, making them more prone to diseases.
It is quite obvious that fish farms are not a viable solution to overfishing. If anything, they are making matters worse, in that way destroying the marine ecosystem at a far more rapid clip to boot. Unluckily, the vast majority of fish, even the wild caught, is too contaminated to eat on a daily basis. But, there are some exceptions – the best options for you would be to eat the ones that are not contaminated: wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
It is not allowed to farm Alaskan salmon, so it is therefore always wild-caught. The second and the third – sardines and anchovies – are smaller fish that have short life cycles, which also seem to be better alternatives regarding fat content.
So, what we are supposed to do?
We should stop eating farmed fish at all costs. This is the only most effective thing which we can do to save our health and stop this industry from polluting the oceans and our environment. If we are decided to stop consuming the animal product and still resonate with eating fish, we should stick to Alaskan salmon, sardines, and anchovies, which we already mentioned.
Wild caught salmon can cost a lot, so sardines and anchovies can be a good enough alternative because of their nutritional value and level of sustainability. But, there are also some plant-based alternatives which can give our brain what it needs to function properly, without the risk of toxic contamination, and they include: walnuts, chia, hemp and flax seeds, brussels sprouts – just be sure to that they are organic.
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