If you're someone who likes to get seafood fairly regularly like I do, then you may have noticed that tilapia seems to be popping up just about everywhere, from grocery counters to restaurant menus. It's a widely available fish in America, which has led to it becoming a fairly standard part of most people's diets.
Unfortunately, tilapia is not exactly the best fish for us to be eating. The biggest issue is that just about all tilapia is farmed - it's virtually impossible to find any that is wild. Farmed fish tends to be significantly less nutritious than wild fish, mostly due to the industrial processes used to raise them.
Farm-raised fish are usually fed a steady diet of GMO corn and soy pellets, both of which are detrimental to the health of the fish themselves. These foods are not natural to their diet and cause unnatural effects and disease. These GMO products are then passed on to you through the fish. Here are just a few of the risks farmed tilapia poses:
1. Increased Cancer Risk
Farmed tilapia carries up to ten times as many carcinogens and pollutants as its wild counterpart. As previously mentioned, this is caused by their industrial diet of toxic, GMO soy and corn products as opposed to their natural diets. It's also been found that chicken, duck, and pig feces are all major ingredients in commercial fish feed. Yuck.
2. Increased Inflammation
Farm-raised tilapia also increases inflammation in the body, which leads to a variety of illnesses like asthma, arthritis, heart disease, and more. That's kind of ironic considering that a lot of people turn to tilapia as an affordable way to get some heart-healthy omega-3s in their diet. Sadly, you're probably better off avoiding tilapia, even if your heart health is a little poor. Surprisingly, farm-raised tilapia can potentially cause a greater inflammatory response than a greasy burger!
3. Increased Exposure To Pesticides And Antibiotics
Farm-raised fish are also treated with a variety of pesticides and antibiotics - much like just about any other industrially-raised meat on the market these days. Due to the aforementioned poor diet, along with horrible, cramped living conditions, farmed fish are in constant danger of developing a number of diseases. Farmers have to use antibiotics to keep the fish alive long enough to reach your plate. Now, those antibiotics are being passed on into your body.
These issues are prevalent in all farmed fish, but tilapia is especially popular because of its affordability. When it comes to buying fish, wait a little while if you have to and get a nice, wild-caught fish from a reliable source (preferably local). It's not just better for your health, either - the taste and quality of that wild fish will blow you away compared to the Budget-Mart stuff.
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