Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What You Should Know About Shrimp - Healthy or Toxic?

Why is farmed shrimp unhealthy and toxic to everyone? It’s been proven to be even more toxic than farmed tilapia and catfish which rank as the 2nd and 3rd most polluted foods from the sea.

Shrimp Nutrition Facts

25% of the seafood consumption in the United States is shrimp and the average American consumes four pounds of shrimp every year.

When you look at the nutrition facts of farmed shrimp they don’t appear all that bad.  They contain a good amount of protein and are high in certain vitamins and minerals like niacin and selenium.

Also, another aspect to note is that shrimp are one of the most cholesterol-rich foods in the world. Four to five shrimp contains more than 150 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 50% of your daily-recommended allowance. But if the shrimp is wild, it contains the other nutrients that should keep cholesterol from rising.

Farmed shrimp, which is the type that's available in almost all restaurants and grocery stores today. Wild shrimp is a better option, but still not as good as other sources of protein.

 Reasons to never eat shrimp

There are reasons to stay away from shrimp at all costs:

1. 90% of Shrimp are Farm-Raised

According to a report from Food and Water Watch:

90 percent of the shrimp we eat has been imported, but less than two percent of that gets inspected by US regulatory agencies.

Imported shrimp, more than any other seafood, has been found to be contaminated with banned chemicals, pesticides… it evades food-safety authorities only to wind up on your plate. The number one reason for all that is the dirty conditions in which farmed shrimp are raised.

In China where the majority of shrimp come from, there are millions of shrimp packed together in ponds and diseases can run rampant.

In addition to antibiotics, shrimp farmers use large quantities of chemicals like pesticides and herbicides in their ponds which are cancer causing substances. The most common chemicals found in fish and shrimp farms include:

Organophosphates – contain carbaryl and have been linked to memory loss, headaches and are toxic to the nervous system.

Malachite Green – is an antifungal used on shrimp eggs that has been linked to cancerous tumors in studies on mice.

This is a key point because farm-raised seafood has been shown as containing significantly elevated rates of chemicals and contaminants detrimental to human health.

2. Shrimp Farms and Packaging are Disgusting 

A report published in November 2012 revealed some truly disgusting facts about the conditions in which shrimp are packaged and shipped.

At one particular facility in Vietnam, processing-plant floors were littered with garbage, flies buzzing around, and shrimp that wasn't being stored at proper temperatures.

The shrimp itself was packed in ice made from local tap water, which public health authorities warned should be boiled before using due to microbial contamination, potentially exposing the shrimp (and eaters) to more bacterial contamination.  

FDA inspectors have rejected 1,380 loads of seafood from Vietnam since 2007 for filth and salmonella, including 81 from the plant the reporters visited.

3. Imported Shrimp Contain Antibiotic Drugs!

Most of the shrimp that Americans eat originate from places without restrictions on illegal contaminants such as dioxins, PCBs, and other banned chemicals.

In an effort to destroy the pathogenic bacteria that plague shrimp farms, they are given daily doses of antibiotics.  The most common antibiotics given include oxytetracycline and ciprofloxacin, both of which are used to treat human infections and can increase the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

In a 2003 study in Thailand, they found 74% of shrimp to contain antibiotic residue. And in 2007, the FDA found that 25% of shrimp samples to contain other illegal medications in shrimp.

Ready-to-eat shrimp actually contains up to 162 separate varieties of antibiotic-resistant bacteria!

4. Shrimp Farming is Destroying the Earth 

First of all, shrimp farming has proven to be fatal to fish. It routinely takes up to three pounds of wild-caught fish to feed and produce a single pound of farmed shrimp, which has caused fish populations to plunge.

Shrimp farmers are destroying the world’s mangroves at an unprecedented rate.  Current reports claim that almost 40% of mangroves have been devastated to make room for shrimp ponds, and this damage is permanent.

The introduction of brackish-water shrimp has caused massive depopulation and ecological crisis throughout the region of Bangladesh. Essentially, shrimp farming is making certain parts of the world completely uninhabitable!

I feel that "healthy” shrimp  doesn't exist. Even if you can somehow harvest them naturally in a wild-caught environment free of toxins, I have stopped consuming them because they are naturally bottom feeders.  I used to be an avid shrimp eater...I loved shrimp!  But since I discovered it was so toxic, I have stopped eating it, as well as lobster and other shellfish.

What to Eat Instead of Shrimp

Just because shrimp isn’t a healthy food option, doesn’t mean you should give up on all seafood.  Wild caught fish, like salmon, is a much healthier choice.

How about you? What is YOUR opinion of eating shrimp?

Intuitively Yours,
Laurel xoxo

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