Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
11 May

Farmed Seafood: What’s Safe and Nutritious

oysterLearning about the various types of aquaculture setups is interesting and useful, but we’re ultimately interested in whether they can produce safe, nutritious, affordable seafood. Wild seafood can be pricey, unavailable, and of questionable merit or sustainability. Certain wild species are definitely worth pursuing – Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, to name a few – but there are environmental (overfishing, collateral damage to other important species, structural damage to the marine environment) and health (accumulation of heavy metals like lead and mercury, polychlorinated biphenyl/PCB, dioxin) issues that the conscious fish eater must stay abreast of. Healthy and safe farmed seafood, then, would be a welcome alternative, if it’s out there.

Okay. Let’s get down to it.

Which farmed seafood is safe to eat? Is there anything like grass-fed beef or pastured chicken available in scales or shells?

Shellfish

As a whole, farmed shellfish, when compared to wild shellfish, are very good bets for the simple fact that both lead very similar lives. Every marine shellfish, whether farmed or wild, spends its life in the ocean attached to something – rocks, a rope, a pillar, coral, the ocean floor. The only difference is that farmed shellfish are deliberately placed there by farmers, while wild shellfish are distributed by the hand of Poseidon (actually, the Nereids do all the work while he gets the credit, but such is the life of a sea nymph). Most importantly, they all use the same sea water. They all obtain their food by sifting through that same sea water. Farmers don’t have to provide food. They’re not scattering corn and soy across the water, because it would be a waste. Shellfish, you see, are filter feeders.

That brings me to the primary concern people have with shellfish, or mollusks. “Filter feeder” just sounds bad. When we hear the phrase, we think of physical filters, the type we use in everyday life, like an air filter in a car engine or a coffee filter. Physical filters accumulate the undesirable stuff and are either cleaned, tossed, or recycled. They certainly aren’t eaten. Well, shellfish aren’t physical filters. They process toxins. They render harmful compounds inert and expel them. It’s true that if they reside in waters rich in heavy metals and industrial contaminants (like PCB or dioxins), some of those metals and contaminants will show up in the meat, but that’s true for any sea creature. In fact, shellfish are some of the safest, least contaminated farmed seafood whenever they’re tested.

They’re also extremely nutritious. Shellfish are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. Three measly ounces of raw Pacific oyster (the bulk of which are farmed) gets you over 100% of the RDA for zinc, copper, selenium, B12, and half of the RDA for iron. For every 1.5 g of omega-3 they provide, just 0.1 g of omega-6 comes along for the ride. Bay scallops are high in magnesium and selenium, clams are good for iron, copper, and selenium, abalone for selenium and magnesium, while the lowly sea snail gives massive amounts of magnesium (200 g of snail gives over 500 mg of magnesium; maybe they’re counting the shell?) and good amounts of selenium.

Lately, a favorite of mine has been the green-lipped mussel, shipped frozen from New Zealand. I initially got interested in this particular variety because of the research into green-lipped mussel extract as a canine arthritis treatment. Buddha isn’t arthritic, but I find this stuff fascinating. I’ve had some arthritis in the past, and it never hurts to cover all your bases ahead of time. Besides, mussels are delicious and nutritious. The NZ green-lipped mussel gets good marks from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, owing to its farmers’ sustainable practices: attach young mussels to ropes, lower the ropes into the ocean, and let nature take its course. I was also surprised to see the amount of omega-3s in these things. According to one study, 100 g of them (flesh only, no shells, frozen) comes with 1.5 g of DHA, 1.26 g of EPA, and not even half a gram of omega-6 fats.

Farmed shellfish are safe and just as nutritious as wild. If you’re worried about contamination, check the source and do some research. Always buy still living shellfish (dedicated seafood markets or Asian grocers are great places to buy live shellfish) where you can. If frozen is available, check the label and avoid imports from China, where waters are more likely to be heavily polluted.

American Catfish

The channel catfish is a bottom feeder, which sounds bad but doesn’t have to be. They’re just rapacious eaters, or foodies, even – a bit like hogs. If you feed them garbage and raise them in polluted waters (like occurs in Chinese catfish farms – check your labels!), you can’t really blame the species.

Farmed catfish is far fattier than wild catfish while being lower in omega-3s, but catfish has never been prized for its omega-3 content. While farmed catfish does have more omega-6 than wild – about 1.5g for every 100 g fillet, compared to around 0.22 g – most of the “added” fat in farmed is monounsaturated (5.7 g/100 g) and saturated (2.5 g/100 g) (PDF). Not too bad, especially if you compare it to something like conventional skin-on chicken thigh, which gives you 4 g saturated fat, 6 g monounsaturated fat, and 3 g omega-6s for a 100 g serving. US catfish farmers may not be feeding their fish pristine, natural diets of bottom-dwelling crustaceans, insects, and small fish, instead opting for combinations of meat and bonemeal, bloodmeal, fishmeal, various seedmeals, corn, soy, wheat byproducts, and vitamin/mineral supplements, but catfish seem to turn out decent fatty-acid profiles despite the departure from ancestral tradition (PDF).

Toxin-wise, catfish farmed in the US are subject to strict standards and, according to a 2008 study, has very low levels of methyl-mercury and industrial contaminants like PCBs and dioxins. You may want to avoid the abdominal fat deposits on farmed catfish, however, as they contained somewhat elevated levels of dioxins. (PDF) Other studies have shown conflicting results when comparing toxins levels in wild-caught and farm-raised US catfish, with some showing similar toxin levels (PDF) and others showing big disparities in favor of farm-raised. Either way, the toxins involved are at low enough concentrations not to cause worry, and they “appear to be dropping” in recent years.

If you like catfish, eat American farm-raised. It’s known for being a pretty bland fish (well known for deep frying in cornmeal batter and as a vehicle for sauces), but if it’s on the menu and you feel like fish… why not?

Tank-Farmed Freshwater Coho Salmon

Yes, that’s right. There is a decent farmed salmon: coho salmon raised in freshwater tanks. It’s not as magnificent as ruby-red firm-fleshed wild Alaskan sockeye, but it is low in omega-6s, fairly high in omega-3s, gets a “Best Choice” rating and makes “The Super Green List” (good for the environment, low in PCB and mercury, high in omega-3s) from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, and spends its life in carefully monitored freshwater tanks (as opposed to tightly packed coastal nets where metals and contaminants like dioxins and PCBs accumulate). The biggest health problems with farmed (Atlantic) salmon are the increased levels of omega-6 and the high levels of environmental and industrial contaminants. Freshwater farmed coho salmon avoids both. According to several sources, farmed coho salmon (and this is the regular, coastal farmed stuff, not the quality freshwater tank coho) sports a high omega-3:omega-6 ratio. A recent study (PDF) found that a 100 g portion of raw farmed coho contained 1.42 g omega-3 and just 0.46 g omega-6 (ratio of 3.1:1), compared to wild coho’s 0.9 g omega-3 and 0.06 g omega-6 (ratio of 14:1). The ratio is way different, sure, but does it really matter, given the paltry absolute amount of omega-6? If you look at the USDA database, 100 g of raw farmed coho has 1.3 g of omega-3 and 0.3 g omega-6. Any way you cut it, farmed coho is a good source of essential fatty acids, and I’d guess that freshwater tank-farmed coho salmon is just as good as conventionally farmed coho in that regard, if not better.

As of now, there are only a few freshwater, landlocked coho salmon farms in operation: Domsea Farms, out of Washington state, which sells coho to Whole Foods and other retailers under the SweetSpring label; and Swift Aquaculture, in British Columbia, which supplies upscale restaurants. More are surely coming, though, so be on the lookout for tank-raised (not coastal) coho in your area. You’ll still want to avoid other farmed salmon, of course.

US Rainbow Trout

Most rainbow trout eaten in the United States is also farmed there, and it’s one of the better choices. It may not be a sexy, exotic fish with intense flavors and high levels of omega-3s, but it’s a solid choice with a low environmental impact, minimal levels of contaminants, and a reasonable price. You can get it fresh pretty much anywhere and know, just by the “Farmed, USA” label, that it’s safe to eat.

More so than any other farmed fish I’ve come across, the fatty acid profile of farmed trout closely resembles that of wild trout. For example, a single 100 gram fillet of farmed rainbow trout has a gram of omega-3, 0.7 g of omega-6, 150% of the B12 RDA, and a decent amount of selenium. The same amount of wild trout is extremely similar nutritionally, with the main changes being 200 mg fewer omega-3s and 500 mg fewer omega-6s.

Farmed trout is very low in environmental contaminants. Methyl-mercury levels are well within the acceptable range (PDF). The same seems to hold true for Canadian trout, too.

US Barramundi

A tropical white fish, the barramundi is the “it” fish of the moment. It’s low in overall fat, offers about 840 mg of omega-3 per 5 ounce serving, requires less wild fishmeal than other carnivorous fish, is relatively free of contaminants, lives in freshwater tanks (at least in the United States) where it can’t affect wild ocean stocks, and Dr. Oz sings its praises (which almost makes me want to delete this section). Barramundi is okay, I guess, but it sounds rather uninteresting and bland. It’s also expensive, fetching over ten dollars a pound for frozen fillets at some markets.

Still skeptical? Listen to the barramundi evangelist talk about the fish on NPR for an unbiased perspective. No, but seriously – by all accounts, it’s a safe farmed seafood choice with nice levels of omega-3s, so give it a shot. Or, at least, don’t fear the barramundi.

American Crayfish

These are freshwater crustaceans and thus not seafood, but I spent many a summer catching them in New England, so I’m going to include them anyway. Crayfish are great, like tiny lobsters. Crayfish farming gets a clean bill from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and I like that crayfish farming often means setting the little mudbugs loose in a rice paddy or pond to feed on the local flora and fauna, enrich the local habitat, and breed like mad. Farmers will sometimes supplement with feed pellets, but not always. Not a lot of meat on them, but if fully cooked they can be entirely consumed, shell and all. If you’re too squeamish to do that, you should definitely suck out the sweet contents of the head and eat the tail.

Look – if Trapper Arne’s awesome 1990s-era website says that “crayfish is good eating,” I’m not going to argue. Stay away from imported crayfish from Asia, though; stick to farmed crayfish from the United States.

What say you? Have I gone mad? Is all farmed seafood poisonous and toxic? Have I left out your favorites? Let me hear about it.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Awesome. Very helpful.

    shz wrote on May 11th, 2011
  2. Would love to hear about tilapia. It is popular but i am curious about how it’s raised in farms?

    chuck wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • Nick H wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • I agree! I’d like to hear about tilapia.

      Ben wrote on May 11th, 2011
      • Me three! My fiance is from the Phillipines and loves it, so we eat a lot. It’s on the Primal approaved list but how good is it really?

        fritzy wrote on May 11th, 2011
        • Tilapia is relatively benign in terms of enviro impact and farmed is ok in terms of eating. It’s got low levels of Omega 6, but it’s got low levels of Omega 3 (among the lowest among fish), but that’s because it’s very, very low in fat total. I eat it, but it’s kind of a blah fish with little flavor and little going for it nutritionally.

          jeff wrote on May 12th, 2011
    • I’d like to hear this as well. What I’ve been told is that it’s not healthy due to polluted water… grains as food supply… that it’s to be avoided. However, I’m curious to see what he thinks of it as Tilapia farms are springing up everywhere.

      Publishing Gal wrote on May 13th, 2011
    • We tried it once. Tasted like mud.

      Michael wrote on May 16th, 2011
      • Tilapia does not taste like mud if the fish were properly purged in fresh water ith no added feed immediately prior to harvest.

        AdrianaG wrote on June 3rd, 2011
  3. For anybody thinking about going entirely primal, wild crayfish should never be eaten raw or undercooked. You can get a particularly nasty parasitic worm (that causes paragonimiasis) if you do anything so silly!

    Tim wrote on May 11th, 2011
  4. I love me some rainbow trout. They are also commonly seeded into many lakes around the country, so you can go out and catch your own, too!

    Hal wrote on May 11th, 2011
  5. A part 2 would be highly appreciated listing more feasible choices.

    Is there even an acceptable shrimp choice available?

    College Caveman (Musician) wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • Yes, I was wondering about shrimp too…

      Crunchy Pickle wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • I am also VERY curious about shrimp. I want shrimp. And more shrimp. But, I am unable to locate wild shrimp. So, what about farm raised shrimp?

      Vital Choice is a decent source of wild shrimp but its TERRIBLY expensive.

      Mark please take notice. We want to know about farmed raised shrimp. Or could you point us to how any of us can buy wild shrimp for a decent price?

      Primal Toad wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • I’m also wondering about shrimp. Tell us something good, Mark!

      Jules wrote on May 11th, 2011
      • I wonder if this community could support its own shrimp farm? I for one can put shrimp away like most people do chips.

        Sara wrote on May 11th, 2011
        • I always get organic, WWF certified prawns from my supermarket. Quite expensive but worth it :)

          Oliver wrote on May 12th, 2011
    • I think we need a post on shrimp!

      Primal K@ wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • In New England (Maine especially) and Maritime Canada we have a wonderful native shrimp available in December through ?…the season depends on the natural cycle, abundance and over fishing. This year the season was cut short by half…bummer. The shrimp are small but quite tasty, sweet.
      And they are fresh, caught in the morning and for sale off a truck on the side of the road by evening. Some catch their own in traps..I don’t as I have no boat in the water during the season.

      couseret wrote on May 11th, 2011
  6. Thanks! That is really useful. I was surprised by both the catfish and the Barramundi. One question, though–is all farmed shrimp equally terrible? I usually avoid it, but if crayfish can be done sustainably, you’d expect there to be a clean shrimp farm out there somewhere.

    Weatherwax wrote on May 11th, 2011
  7. Crayfish are apparently also very sensitive to contaminants in the water. Apparently the simple presence of crayfish is an indication of a healthy body of water.

    Plus, they’re fun to catch. :) You do need a lot, though.

    Tuck wrote on May 11th, 2011
  8. Glad to see crayfish on this list. I grew up in the south, so crawfish, as we called them, were a fun treat.

    Katie @ Wellness Mama wrote on May 11th, 2011
  9. I’m always very wary of farmed fish in general, but you’ve given them a good case! Thanks Mark!

    Primal K@ wrote on May 11th, 2011
  10. Awe this article comes five days too late!

    I was walking home from a bar Saturday night and some people at a totally random house party invited me to come in and eat crayfish. It was the weirdest thing ever! They had pounds of it just flown in that day so they wanted to share (plus they were drunk).

    I was thinking as I walked up to the massive pot, I wonder if Mark’s upcoming seafood post will have anything to say about crayfish…

    I had never eaten crayfish before. I wish I would have known to suck out the insides. What a terrible waste!

    For anybody wondering, those little things ARE a delicacy!

    Peggy the Primal Parent wrote on May 11th, 2011
  11. Swai, yummy, farm raised. Good or bad?

    JKMichelson wrote on May 11th, 2011
  12. Just realize that most, if not all, of the fish food is full of ingredients imported from China. A lot of the food itself is produced there, too. So, the fish who are given pellets might not have high levels of testable toxins, but may very well have tons of contamination. I used to work at a small aquaculture operation and I avoid farm raised fish for that reason. It pains me to do this because the fish are raised with great care and with concern for the environment, but until someone can offer proof that the food given to the fish is made in the USA, I will continue to avoid it. Someone else asked about Tilapia and farm raised Tilapia has incredibly high levels of arachadonic acid. A scientist could not even use the fish in a trial he was trying organize because it was deemed that the levels of aa were unsafe for consumption. Go figure!

    Laura wrote on May 11th, 2011
  13. Thanks for this, very helpful. We’ve been swearing off all fish for a while now, and most recently since the radiation leaking from Japan. This was a great breakdown tho. Appreciate it!

    Elise (Healing Cuisine) wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • You really don’t have to do that. Unless you eat fish caught within a few miles of the reactors, there is no possible risk from eating seafood.

      The amount of radiation released is relatively small and the pacific is a very big. This was literally a drop in the ocean!

      Tim wrote on May 11th, 2011
  14. I love this post Mark. Thanks a bunch. I have been very curious about some farmed raised seafood. You have said in general terms to always go with wild but I began to understand that this may not be true for all seafood.

    I love scallops and now know I am safe to buying the farmed raised type at Costco – sweet! I will be trying more shellfish in the future and am thrilled that I don’t have to worry about where it came from.

    As long as I am not eating at Taco Bell I know I will be safe.

    Primal Toad wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • Haha were it only that easy…

      Hal wrote on May 11th, 2011
  15. Great information! I haven’t been sad about having a death-inducing allergy to shellfish in awhile. The downside of this article is that I’m thinking: “Mmm… sounds tasty…” :D

    I would be interested in hearing how Tilapia rates.

    Jennifer wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • I have had swai recently which I understand tastes kind of like tilapia but milder. I got it at a Walmart Supercenter. Not expensive.

      JKMichelson wrote on May 11th, 2011
  16. Great info! Now I’ll have less “green guilt” over buying farmed seafood :)

    Jules wrote on May 11th, 2011
  17. Great article, as always. Thanks Mark. Chuck, Talapia is heavily farmed and can only be raised in warmer climates. The fry (baby fish) are usually subjected to hormone treatment that will result in a sex change – make them all male, which grow faster and larger. This is a fish that is truly massed produced at a scale and conditions rivalling commercially raised chickens.

    On another side note – the US government recently approved the farming of genetically modified salmon! Salmon farms operate in areas that are subject to severe weather conditions and there is no guarantee that escapes can be 100% avoided. This could be devastating to wild stock. So far no mention that GM salmon would have to be labelled as such.

    This on the other hand is a fish farm story like no other: http://j.mp/cMZe4f

    Daniela Huppe wrote on May 11th, 2011
  18. What about antibiotics in shrimp? I’ve heard that shrimp from Thailand (farmed) can be particularly scary.

    ashley wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • Never buy shrimp from Asia! Farm raised in vats of antibiotics…

      Gulf shrimp for life!

      Dood wrote on May 11th, 2011
  19. Here’s to trout! Definately not “exciting” but, like you said, good fatty acid profile, and fun to catch for dinner.

    Mark Anderson wrote on May 11th, 2011
  20. Hey everyone, for those of you that have questions about specific species, follow the link Mark has in the article – Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. It’s good stuff…take a look. For example, many asked about shrimp. According to the website, farmed and wild-caught get best or good alternative votes, unless they come from Mexico or a couple of other places.

    Brian wrote on May 11th, 2011
  21. An excellent post. It is always great to hear which foods may be worth avoiding.

    However, I work with the Bering Sea crab fisheries and would like to point out that they are also “shellfish.”

    While the species I work with live far to deep to be effectively farmed, there are shallow water crab species.

    I have no idea if anyone farms crab. However,since crab are certainly not sessile filter feeders, but carnivorous scavengers, without more information, I would be wary if I saw any farmed crab for sale.

    Stormpaw wrote on May 11th, 2011
  22. I am SOOOO glad Rainbow Trout was on the list! There is a local farm that raises grass fed cows, pigs, and lamb that also offers Rainbow Trout. We were trying to figure out if it was good since it’s “farmed” but I think this gives us the green light to go ahead and buy. =)

    Jessica wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • I think that ultimately you have to make your own decision. If it’s local, and you see the conditions and can talk to the farmers about what they’re using for feed, etc. and are good with it, you get to make the decision. That’s the great thing about using local farms.

      Hal wrote on May 11th, 2011
  23. Yes I too am interested in other shellfish since your “shellfish” section really focused on mollusks. And I too love me some “mudbugs” or as Katie pointed out “crawfish” to us from the South: Pinch me, peel me. eat me – Louisiana Crawfish!

    Be wrote on May 11th, 2011
  24. I love seafood!!!

    Been munching bass for the last 2 weeks in an attempt to empty my freezer for the upcoming farmer’s market meats…gah, I need a bigger freezer.

    Got another 50lbs or so of rainbow and golden trout, salmon and catfish in my freezer, someone come help!

    Primal Palate wrote on May 11th, 2011
  25. Southern girl here, as welll! Crawfish is the bomb! :) I’ve always wondered how healthy the actual boil is…I have no idea what’s actually in it. Just know it’s spicy and tasty!

    Chrissy wrote on May 11th, 2011
  26. What about the other types of Salmon? I saw an article.about an Isreali and New York companies counter suing eachother over technology for farming salt water Salmon in todays’s Albany Times Union. Is all salt water farmed Salmon bad?

    Jamin Veggy wrote on May 11th, 2011
  27. Green lipped mussels are delicious, they are cheap and fresh at our supermarket every day.

    You might be interested in this post I have just done – charts of omega 3 and 6 in oils, fats, meat and seafood.

    http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/

    julianne wrote on May 11th, 2011
  28. Also interested in farmed shrimp as I use it primarily as my lunch protein :) I’m not sure if the salmon I eat is farmed, now I’m a little worried that I’ve been accumulating a lot of heavy metals in my system.

    Really tough to get good clean food these days and I don’t trust even half of the packaged food out there (smoked salmon)

    Cubicle Warrior wrote on May 11th, 2011
  29. We grow lovely farmed salmon in NZ, both in the sea and in the canals connecting the hydro lakes. Farmed mussels are also a huge industry here… we had a feed of live ones last night.

    Remember, though, that salmon are carnivores and their food source in captivity draws heavily from rather inexpensive ($) krill caught in the Southern Pacific, in direct (and indirect) competion with fish, aquatic mammals and ocean going birds.

    It would be devilishly hard to calculate, but every farmed salmon or trout you eat, will diminish the health of Southern Oceans. Our choice.

    kem wrote on May 11th, 2011
  30. Unfortunately I am allergic to some such chemical used in farm-raising some fish and shrimp. Nastiness ensues. I stick to wild everything just to be safe. When I was a kid, I remember real catfish my dad caught as being the best fish ever. I bought some farm-raised a long time ago and it was really disappointing. And one more opinion: my husbands’ best friend has an issue with his neck (cartilage gone from between one vertabrae) and he swears his daily green lipped mussel supplement is what has helped the most for healing and pain relief.

    Shelli wrote on May 11th, 2011
  31. From the OP:

    “As a whole, farmed shellfish, when compared to wild shellfish, are very good bets for the simple fact that both lead very similar lives.”

    “Farmed shellfish are safe and just as nutritious as wild. If you’re worried about contamination, check the source and do some research.”

    I take this to mean that he’s including all shellfish in this blanket approval statement. Including shrimp.

    Come on folks, pay attention.

    bokbadok wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • He’s talking about mollusks like oysters, clams and mussels. He was not talking about crustaceans like shrimp and lobster. Crayfish are crustaceans but notice how careful he is about American farm raised and says stay away from Asian ones. Maybe we all need to pay more attention.

      John wrote on June 19th, 2011
  32. What about cod?

    Alex Good wrote on May 11th, 2011
  33. Hi Mark. When it comes to farmed fish…I say no go. I live on the West Coast of British Columbia. Some of the finest fresh fish you will ever have. I have tried farmed fish…awe-full. It does not even have the same texture…soft, mushy, so not the way fish should taste. Now I have another query…back in the day when we could buy fresh, naturally harvested mussels I was in heaven. Since they have been farming them in BC and PEI…I swell up like a balloon if I eat them….this tells me stay away from farmed seafood of any kind. My body speaks, and I do listen! I invite you to the BC coast to taste wild Coho Salmon, and Wild Mussels…sorry to disagree, but there is absolutely no comparison in taste, flavor and texture…and for me, obviously side affects! Until you try the real, fresh stuff, you have not tried the real stuff!

    Ina Gawne wrote on May 11th, 2011
  34. I’m not sold on this ‘farmed catfish’ thing. Many American catfish farmers (on the east/gulf coast) feed them dumptrucks of dog food from purina. I’m not really sure that is the best feed but will admit it’s better than china. does that mean I should eat them? In NC it’s too easy to get wild caught fish – no thanks.

    Mikewootini wrote on May 11th, 2011
  35. I wonder if any of this farming “business” has to do with the fish *allergy* I developed in my 20’s….I am of Portuguese descent and had fresh(and dried/salted) fish all through my childhood. In my mid 20’s I began reacting to fish, mild swelling of the tongue, lips, mouth and face..gradually worsening each time I indulged in fish. After one particularly bad reaction, I swigged some Benadryl, and asked my Dr why? why now? He said don’t eat fish, your body chemistry changes, here is an Epi pen script. I am now 38 and miss fish. :(

    I can eat shellfish til I think I will pop. No finfish. Tricky, because fake crab and lobster are made from Pollock (fish)so if I ask in a restaurant if the crab salad is real crab, I need a real answer…not a best guess.
    My point is (finally!) that there must be SOMETHING in the fish NOW that wasn’t there before. It’s not in my head..topical application will result in brutal hives, esp Salmon.

    While eating Paleoish has basically cured my lifetime of disfiguring eczema, I am always trying to incorporate more Omega 3’s..(no fish oil for me, although it is supposed to be ok) Lucky for me, I live in Southeastern New England.(think clamboils! Yum!).and can get lots of shellfish..My question is, can farmed shellfish from farther away be potentially better than what I can get fresh off the boats here? There are some contamination issues close to shore..but further out is “supposed” to be just fine.
    Hmmm..thoughts are appreciated…Thanks for the post Mark!

    juliemama wrote on May 11th, 2011
  36. Case in point 2 fish markets, 2 miles from each other. One sells Sea scallops at $12/lb..sweet and scrumptious. The other sells sea scallops at 8.99/lb. gross and indelibly salty, clearly treated with some preservative. Thanks anyway, I will take my delicious “dry” untreated scallops straight home and cook em up right away..sht..they are best barely cooked anyway!

    juliemama wrote on May 11th, 2011
  37. I have this article on meat glue and how it is also used on fish.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/04/has-your-meat-been-glued-together–why-you-need-to-know-and-avoid-this-dangerous-process.aspx

    How do we avoid this? Do organic products ban this?

    Vince wrote on May 11th, 2011
    • You’d be wise to treat anything on mercola.com with great suspicion. It is a mixture of fact and fantasy.

      “Restrutured steak” products must be labelled as such in the USA (see http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/FRPubs/01-016DF.htm).

      That article makes also several impossible claims (virus-sized fungi that infect plants and animals, ha!) and overall looks like pseudoscience and tabloid journalism.

      Tim wrote on May 12th, 2011
  38. As mentioned, the Monterey Bay Aquarium website has a great resource in deciding what seafood is environmentally healthy. It is not as simple as “this fish is good for the environment, this one is not” as generally it is the method of raising or catching the fish and the country of origin that makes the difference. My only complaint is sometimes it is impossible to find any info about where the seafood came from and how it is raised on the packaging…but I always check the Monterey Bay Aquarium listing before purchasing fish or other seafood now.

    Beth wrote on May 12th, 2011
  39. Walmart sells bags of frozen Tilapia fillets from Hawaii that include Carbon Monoxide(yikes!) as an ingedient, so I don’t touch those. What the freak? Am not a big fish fan yet but am trying to learn to like it more. Gonna try buffalo sauce on sardines!

    Keet wrote on May 12th, 2011
  40. Walmart sells bags of frozen Tilapia fillets from Hawaii that include Carbon Monoxide(yikes!) as an ingedient, so I don’t touch those. What the freak? Am not a big fish fan yet but am trying to learn to like it more. Gonna try sardines in buffalo sauce! I do love raw oysters so was happy to get the go ahead on those, thanks.

    Keet wrote on May 12th, 2011

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