Long warned about the health risks of trans fats and red meat, many consumers assume they’re making a healthier diet choice with fish. A December 2015 YouTube video produced by Aksyon Now suggests eating tilapia, especially those that have been farm raised through the aquaculture industry, may be a greater health risk than benefit.
“Farm-raised tilapia has been shown to cause aggravation in the body like asthma, joint inflammation, coronary disease, and a host of other problems,” the video narrator states.
According to a report by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Food Policy Research Institute, 62 percent of food fish will come from aquaculture by 2030. Tilapia, popular for its mild flavor, is one of the three fastest-growing fish in the aquaculture category.
The video continues that farmed tilapia contains fewer fatty acids because of their diet of soy pellets and other GMO feed. While wild tilapia mainly survives on a diet of lake plants and algae, the video states that farmed tilapia feed has been linked to a higher rate of carcinogens, ingested pesticides and even poultry feces. In addition, farm-raised tilapia contains less protein and the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids for which other fish are known.
“It may look like fish and taste like fish but does not have the benefits — it may be detrimental,” confirms Dr. Floyd Chilton, a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in a 2011 New York Times article.
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