Farm Raised Tilapia and Other Fish


While the various topics we discussed during class Monday were all intriguing in their own right, I found the discussion about farm-raised fish to be the most interesting above all else. As I brought up in class, I had read an article a few months ago that discussed how eating farm-raised Tilapia can be worse than bacon and hamburgers. To clarify, when I say “worse than bacon and hamburgers” I mean that farm raised tilapia poses a higher potential for inflammation that can cause heart disease, arthritis, and asthma among various people. Much of this seems to be a result of the diet these fish are fed, which is far different than that of their wild diet.

The article I found posed many other interesting points to consider in regards to this issue. Some include:

-“Farmed salmon may have at least 10 times the amount of cancer causing organic pollutants compared to the wild variety

-“Dioxin levels are 11 times higher in farm-bred salmon compared to wild salmon

-“Dibutylin levels, a chemical used in PVC plastics is said to be 6 times higher in farm-raised mussels compared to wild ones

From all of these facts, I would say it is a safe bet to assume that purchasing any fish that isn’t caught in the wild is a poor decision for one’s body. With the presentation of all of these points, I am lead to wonder what exactly causes these health risks to be so much more prominent within farm-rasied fish. In my opinion, diet seems to be one of the main culprits. By being fed corn based products, chicken, and plenty of other unhealthy foods, these fish are consuming foods outside of their normal diet which may be spurring on these adverse side effects in humans. Not only that, but I can’t imagine that having large hoards of fish corralled within rather small, plastic tanks to be that good for the fish. For animals that absorb so much from their surroundings, it seems to make sense to me that this may be the reason why PVC is so concentrated within farm raised shellfish.

However, I am still wholly unsure as to what causes the toxicity of these fish. Do you guys have any ideas?


One thought on “Farm Raised Tilapia and Other Fish

  1. Farm raised fish are usually fed a combination of fish meal and other products that are not their normal food source. They also are in very confined areas (sometimes in heavy concentrations of their own wastes) and are usually given antibiotics. For enclosed ponds, there could be the potential for contaminants from nearby areas to wash in–including fertilizers, heavy metals and other toxins. Just like always…it is better to go for the wild food. Anytime we get involved, it seems to mess things up.

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