Your Body

Nutrition Alert: I Cringe Whenever People Order Tilapia

By October 19, 2015 0

You guys all know that tilapia is a form of mutant, man-made fish, right?

Let me back up…

I was raised by extremely food-conscious people. I have never in my life shaken a salt shaker over my meal because we didn’t keep salt on the table. We didn’t have Gushers, Fruit Roll Ups, or any sugar-laden cereal as a kid in my house. If we wanted something sweet we made cookies from scratch. We had our individual vices though, as I barely touched anything but vegetables or carbs on my plate and my father ate exorbitant amounts of red meat and acidic foods. When I say exorbitant, I mean he would polish off an 18+ ounce steak, no problem, any given night of the week (side note – this past year he lost over 75 pounds and adopted a super healthy lifestyle – proud daughter. You go Dad, I love you).

OK. So one thing my parents instilled into my sister and I is to only eat seafood if you can smell the body of water that it came from. We are  fortunate in the fact that we have a beach house on the North Fork of Long Island – so my entire life, I’ve only eaten seafood that had been caught earlier that day either by my family or the local fishermen.

ONCE I ignored my parents insight; I ordered a piece of Halibut in Vegas at this super fancy restaurant thinking it’d be okay because, well,  it’s a super fancy restaurant and I got SO sick. I will forever regret that a filet of fish had me hugging the bowl in Vegas in lieu of partying.

WE NEVER EVER EVER ORDERED TILAPIA. Why? Because the Tilapia that Americans consume is not even a fish found in the wild! I’m not even sure if I should capitalize the T because I personally do not count it as a real species. It is a genetically engineered blend of several different fish found in Africa and the Middle East.

In essence, they are the result of what is known as “fish-farming.”

These farms don’t feed them what normal fish would eat in the wild either; they are fed a diet of corn, grains and poop. Literally. Foremost, fish don’t eat corn. Corn fields are inland. Real fish eat algae and plankton and nutrient-rich fruits of the sea that lead to us eating a healthy, nutrient-dense dish. Just as we are what we eat, so are the fish. A fish fed a diet of corn (also GMOs), grains, and poop leads to inflammation in the fish and in turn leads to inflammation of the fascia in humans when consumed (fascia is a pretty word for the network of connective tissues in our bodies that play an important role in function and health).

I am all about finding sustainable food sources, and many pro-farming companies have very good facts and information about how their aqua farms will help to alleviate the stress we are putting on the oceans of the world. However, I am apprehensive in letting any big company with dollar signs on their brains be in charge of mass food production (a key source of our health), all the while trying to convince us that what they’re doing is what is best for us.

And let’s talk about this poop situation because to me, it’s honestly the worst part (OK so I’m being dramatic because inflammation is the literal worst part, but this is really gross too). These mutant, man-made fish swim in a big tank, if they’re lucky. Fish farms in Asia are often muddy trenches like the one pictured in this post. So they feed the fish, and the fish obviously need to excrete the waste from the digestive process and they all keep swimming in that same circle filled with poop. I cannot definitively purport that as a fact, as I have never witnessed this process in person, but I have heard as much and would assume it to be true and personally, I do not want to eat a genetically-engineered, fish-fed crap diet.

So I beg of you, PLEASE Be conscious about where your food is coming from and how it was raised, treated, and handled before it is placed on your plate. Energy passes through all living things. And so do chemicals and poop.

Please do yourself a favor and read more about this here.