If you’re a fan of fish, you’ve probably been told to stay away from certain species. We often hear of high mercury levels and sustainability issues, but how do you know which fish to eat? You would think fish that is readily available would be fish that’s good to eat. This logic makes sense, yet for some reason, tilapia is one of the most commonly sold fish, as it’s quite affordable. Before you pick up that next piece of tilapia, remember the following nine things.
1. The majority of tilapia is farm-raised in China.
2. May increase risk of cancer. Farmed tilapia contains high levels of pesticides and even flame retardants, as well as high concentrations of carcinogens.
3. Promotes inflammation. Farmed tilapia has low levels of omega-3 fatty acids yet very high levels of omega-6.
4. Concerns surrounding antibiotic resistance. Researchers found that 75 percent of tilapia tested had antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their gut.
5. Farmed fish conditions are inhumane.
6. Spread disease to wild fish.
7. Fed an unnatural diet. These fish are fed corn, soy and even chicken manure instead of a natural plant-based diet.
8. Pumped with hormones. These fish are fed methyltestosterone — a growth hormone.
9. There are much healthier options. Don’t shy away from fish, just know what you’re buying. Obviously, stay away from farmed-fish — the price difference to buy wild, sustainably caught options are well worth the price tag. Focus on consuming more Atlantic mackerel, Pacific sardines, wild-caught Alaskan salmon and freshwater Coho salmon. We need to move away from the concept that our food is being raised and produced “out of sight and out of mind.” Don’t let the popularity of tilapia fool you — you can make healthier, more sustainable choices