When you’re shopping around the seafood section of your grocery store, tilapia is probably one of the more common items on the menu. Being one of the most readily available fish in America, it’s becoming a standard component of American diets.
But is it good for you?
The main problem with tilapia is that it’s damn near impossible to find unfarmed meat in any store – none of it comes from the wild. The issue with farmed fish is that it’s significantly unhealthier than the wild counterpart. This is mostly because of the heavy industrial processes behind farming the fish.
The foods that these fish are given are generally full of GMO corn and soy pellets – both of which have unnatural effects on the fish themselves, that carry over into the meat and into your stores. Then ultimately into you. Compare this to the natural diet of lake plants and healthy algae that wild tilapia eat. Do you see the difference?
Farmed tilapia (and farmed fish in general) can introduce your body to an assortment of health problems that you didn’t order. Research is showing that it may be introducing your body to all of these health risks:
1. Increased Risk of Cancer
Between wild and farmed tilapia, the latter can carry about ten times as many carcinogenic pollutants as the other. This all comes back to the industrial diets of farmed fish, where toxic GMOs and soy substitutes are used in place of real food. As it turns out, chicken feces may even be a primary ingredient in fish feed – along with duck and pig waste as well. Remember, “you are what ‘what you eat’ eats.”
2. Increased Risk of Inflammation
Eating farmed tilapia can lead to a range of inflammation related illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, arthritis, and more. While some people eat tilapia to get a source of omega-3s in their diets, they may want to hold off even more if their heart health is poor. While scientists are warning people about the inflammation risks associated with hamburgers and bacon, some are letting tilapia slip by. Did you know that this fish has even more inflammatory potential than what you pull out of a burger joint?
3. Increased Exposure to Antibiotics and Pesticides
Not surprisingly, the meat from farmed fish also tends to be treated with more pesticides and antibiotics than natural sources. Remember that this is pretty much the case for a number of meats on today’s market. Because of the terrible diets and harsh living conditions that farmed fish have, many of them are at risk of developing serious illnesses that could spread to others. To combat this, farmers flood the fish with antibiotics to fatten them up and keep them alive so that they can make it onto your dinner plate. The biggest problem about this is that the antibiotics then end up inside of you.
This issue pertains to farmed fish in general, but because of how cheap and available tilapia is in the seafood market – it’s a prime cause of all these health risks. Do your best to find wild fish options that don’t pack along chemicals and carcinogenic properties. They’re the last things you and your family need on their dinner plates.