Tilapia, Worse For You Than Ever Before?

We really need to be cognizant of what we purchase as food these days.  We’ve all heard that eating fish is touted as being one of the best foods for our health, because fish provide the needed Omega 3 fatty acids required by humans for optimum health.  But, what cost do we pay attempting to absorb healthy Omega 3 fatty acids by eating fish?  Taking supplements of vitamins and minerals by mouth have proven to be effective to a certain level however, the body assimilates vitamins and minerals best by eating.  Because, people tend to shop for food by price more than the benefit the food may offer, and tilapia fish don’t smell fishy or have a fishy taste it has been a big seller even to the tune of almost 500 million pounds consumed each year in the United States by people attempting to get the desired Omega 3 fatty acids the fish may offer.

Tilapia has also proven to be one of the cheapest fish to purchase in the super market, but there is a reason the fish is so cheap.  One reason its cheap is that it lacks the proper amounts of Omega 3s believed by the population to be present because it is fish.  And,  according to Michael Doyle Director of the Center for Food Safety  “While there are some really good aquaculture ponds in Asia, in many of these ponds — or really in most of these ponds — it’s typical to use untreated chicken manure as the primary nutrition,” he told MSN News. “In some places, like Thailand for example, they will just put the chickens over the pond and they just poop right in the pond.”  

Due to these living conditions the fish are treated with large amounts of antibiotics as a prophylactic against salmonella and E Coli.  In turn, when people eat the fish  and these same antibiotics are absorbed into their bodies, and linked to the ever growing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria among us.  Yet, there is a much more sinister aspect to the eating of this fish and others.   AquaBounty has petitioned the Food And Drug Administration to introduce “designer” genetically engineered AquAdvantage® salmon into the food chain.  These GE salmon will be the first (known) genetically engineered  fish to be sold onto the U.S. market.  Their genetically engineered salmon grow faster and bigger than the natural fish  in a shorter amount of time. 

AquaBounty, which designs the genetically engineered salmon eggs on Prince Edward Island, Canada and sends the eggs to Panama where they raise and farm these animals.   AquAdvantage® “lost” several of its GE salmon during a storm in Panama in 2008.   According to Outsideonline.com “an unusually severe storm” in Panama, as AquaBounty revealed in an August 15, 2008, memo to their investors…”  These “lost” AquAdvantage® salmon are now free to mate have been mating with natural salmon (and create a new species?)  So, what has all this salmon talk have to do with tilapia?

AquaBounty is now designing genetically engineered tilapia fish.  Tilapia fish are a vegetarian fish that will grow (even in a garbage can) and consume almost anything (including chicken manure) other than flesh, which makes them one of the easiist  fish to farm on the commercial side.  AquaBounty has designed the tilapia to grow faster than “traditional” tilapia (notice the word natural cannot be used here.)  And yet, they will not go into detail concerning how they cause this super growth.  At any rate, tilapia will be managed genetically and sold over into the U.S. population and an unwitting public may become more manipulated since people give no thought about what or how animals are prepared for their consumption.  AquaBounty has plans to design trout along with their AquAdvantage® salmon and tilapia.  Like the TV commercial that says whats in your wallet?  Ask yourself whats in you stomach?

Tilapia…A Mystery Fish That’s Worse For You Than Bacon!

Tilapia has, over the last decade, become a popular meal time food source.  It’s everywhere.  On the menu of most local dives, and you make a healthy choice by selecting the grilled Tilapia instead of having the burger.  Or, so you think.  Tilapia is a very old fish.  Mentioned in Ancient Egyptian texts more than forty-five hundred years ago, cultured in ancient China as far back as three thousand years ago, and also known as St. Peter’s Fish based on the story of St. Peter catching a fish with a gold coin in its mouth.  Tilapia are indigenous to Africa and the (so-called) Middle East.  The Nile Tilapia and the Mozambique Tilapia are the original indigenous fish.  However, Tilapia raised and sold in the U.S. are classified as Nile Tilapia, but in fact are not Nile Tilapia, but something else.

Blue Tilapia

Between 1973 and 1986 the “Nile” Tilapia was being “reared” in fish hatcheries in Arizona and by 1986 a single Tilapia fish was found in the Saugahatchee Creek portion of the Yates Reservoir, in the Tallapoosa drainage of Mobile Basin in Lee County, Alabama turns up on January 12th, 1986.  This fish was introduced “experimentally” into the wild in the southern part of Arizona.  This doesn’t explain how the fish ends up in Alabama and are now a large part of aquatic life in the southeast United States.  This is not a true Nile Tilapia, and actually cannot be identified.  It is a strange fish that hit U.S. market, selling at a very low price.  This fish is being sold as low as $1.49 per pound at a time when people are being told that eating of fish will improve their health.  But is this true concerning Tilapia?

Tilapia are herbivorous.  They eat primarily the vegetation in lakes, rivers, and creeks and have been used in some water treatment plants.  Most Tilapia sold in the U.S. are farm raised, though I have seen wild Tilapia sold, that is a rarity.  Farm raised Tilapia has been found to be more detrimental for heart health than eating bacon or a hamburger.  Wake Forest University Researchers have published in the Journal of  American Dietetic Association that “Tilapia have higher levels of potentially detrimental, long-chain, omega-6 fatty acids than 80-percent-lean hamburger, doughnuts and even pork bacon.”  And yet, Tilapia is the number five biggest selling fish in the United States, projecting the selling of 2.5 million tons last year.   Beware, other transgenic fish are in your market including Trout, Salmon and Carp.  For my continental West African people and Memphis, TN fam who love Buffalo Fish, hate to tell you that Buffalo fish is in the Carp family.