People love eating shrimps because they are efficient health food because they are low in fat and incredibly high in protein. For every gram of fat they have 75 grams of proteins. Moreover, they are abundant in vitamin D, B12 and Omega 3 fatty-acids, which provide the body with numerous health benefits.
Natural and untainted shrimp is an amazing health food, but on the other hand the shrimp sold in the United States are far from being healthy. The reason is the way in which they are harvested and the foods they are raised on.
Asian Seafood Farming
One of the largest importers of shrimp to the United States is Vietnam. Every year, around 100 million pounds of shrimp are shipped to America, making up almost 7 % of all shrimp consumed by Americans.
In the last few decades, the demand for shrimp in the United States has increased immensely. This has led to an increased competition in the shrimp and seafood market, and ultimately led to many shrimp farmers having to cut corners in the health and safety department to keep up with competitors.
The results from one ingestigation showed that some Vietnamese shrimp farmers freeze their shrimp in water that it is not even considered safe for drinking.
Mansour Samadpour, microbiologist who specilizes in testing water used for shellfish farming, states that the use of this water contributes to the spread of harmful baceria and diseases.
“Those conditions — ice made from dirty water, animals near the farms, pigs — are unacceptable,” Samadpour says.
The bad news is that not only shrimps are farmed in this kind of water. One Tilapia farm in Yangjiang, China supplements its fish-feed with feces from pigs and geese. The director of the of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety,Michael Doyle, explains that this results directly in the growth of many well-known bacterial disease.
“The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,” Doyle says.
How To Avoid Harmful Seafood
We are all well aware of the fact that wild-caught seafood is much more healthy than farmed sea food. Farmers pump fish and shellfish with harmful antibiotics which we enter in our organism by consuming the fish. Another reason why we should avoid consuming farmed seafood is the discovery of one study released by Consumer Report which claims that farmed shrimp contains higher levls of harmful bacteria along with antibiotics.
It is ironic that the two main reasons why seafood is bad for us is because they contain high levels of both antibiotics and bacteria. However, it’s not surprising when you consider the conditions that these animals are raised in.
Beside being fed with animal feces, they are also crammed into tight spaces which contributes to the spread of diseases throughout the population.
The study revealed that even 60% of 342 samples of frozen shrimp contained either salmonella, vibrio, E.coli and listeria. Along with testing positive for these diseases, they also had traces of oxytetracycline, enrofloxacin, and sulfa antibiotics.
Even 94% of all shrimp imported to America comes from Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. What leads to the spread of disease and overuse of antibiotics to try to combat this disease is the crowded and polluted conditions in which the shrimp is farmed.
Consumer Report conducted a study which showed that raw, wild-caught shrimp from Argentina and the United States had the had the lowest bacteria levels of all samples they tested.
In order to avoid some kind of disease, try to consume seafood bought from local farmer, or wild-caught fish and shellfish. It can be more expensive, but at least it is much more healthier because it contains less bacteria, antibiotic residue and will will have a better impact on the environment in general.