We checked out the rumors and unfortunately many of them appear to be true. As the most widely served flakey white fish consumed in the United States, this fish makes its way into countless stores, restaurants and products we love. If it weren’t bad enough that many of the factory farms in China are raising this fish in heavily industrialized areas with chemical run off and poor environmental controls, they are also being fed manure as a common practice.
We’re talking about Tilapia which is one of the most consumed fish in the world with most farms and processing happening in Ecuador, China and Taiwan. The quality controls just aren’t there to confidently purchase, serve or eat this extremely common fish–unless you know exactly where it came from.
This poses numerous problems as the inexpensive fish coming out of these areas are reaching the US and in some cases turned back by USDA inspectors. That’s fine for smelly batches with active bacteria that can be spotted, but our sources suggest it’s common practice after being rejected once, that ships simply try again at other ports and often find a way to US markets with products unfit for consumption.
Tilapia is most commonly found in frozen, breaded and fried fish products as well as used for fish sticks, fish tacos, fish burritos, fish and chips and other popular fish dishes.
Is all Tilapia raised in poor conditions? Certainly not. There are very well-run Tilapia farms that raise their fish in pens located in deep water lakes with great circulation. While this is the case, their diet may consist of soybeans, grains and other feed that some experts still believe carries risks of pesticide concentrations.
Still there are popular influencers suggesting people avoid farm raised Tilapia altogether. In this extremely popular article, one doctor claims that farm raised Tilapia is worse than eating Bacon. He’s presented 6 reasons the fish is dangerous to our health. Will you still eat it?