Although this does not apply to every aqua farm, many of these problems are endemic around the country. Kudos to Huffington Post for an informative, yet fairly controversial article. Check out an excerpt here. (For the complete article from Huff Post, go here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sea-to-table/is-farmed-fish-really-the_b_3455436.html )
We recently reached a milestone in the history of the human diet: for the first time ever, world farmed fish production exceeded beef production. In 2013, it’s predicted that humans will eat more farmed fish than wild fish. The common refrain is that we need aquaculture because the planet’s booming population is running out of animal protein. That’s the same argument that says small-scale farmers can’t feed the world, justifying a reliance on industrial agriculture. While shellfish farming is actually good for the environment, the facts show that most other forms of aquaculture have scary similarities with industrial meat production.
5 Reasons to Avoid Farmed Fish
1. You are what your farmed fish eat
Many farmed fish are carnivorous, which means they are fed wild fish, fish meal, or fish oil, further depleting ocean stocks. And non-carnivorous farmed fish are fed GMO corn and soy. Studies have shown that it takes more than 5 pounds of wild fish to grow 1 pound of farmed salmon. Kind of defeats the purpose of farming fish to protect the oceans.
2. Antibiotics run rampant
Like with factory farming and Capos, overcrowding of fish in aquaculture results in a higher rate of disease and infestations, leading to increased antibiotic use. Over 80% (80%!) of all antibiotic use in the U.S. goes to feeding livestock, and it’s estimated that farmed salmon are fed more antibiotics per pound than any other livestock in North America. If we don’t want that in our meat, why would we accept it in our fish?
3. Farmed fish isn’t healthy
Eating fish is good for you, but that nutritional value is diminished in farmed fish. Farm-raised salmon have been shown to have an unhealthy high fat content and higher levels of PCBs. A recent study warned women, children, and adolescents against eating farmed salmon because salmon feed contains harmful pollutants.
There’s more! The complete article by Huffington Post can be found here.
The upshot is, we don’t just need more fish. Let’s support the systems that help us eat better. Support traditional fishing communities. Eat wild domestic fish.
Menus Beyond Organic is working on new stories from Fish Farmers who are faithfully raising antibiotic free stock in uncrowded conditions that offer the same nutrients found in wild-caught fish.For every shoddy operation in manufactured fishing, there are many working diligently to produce sustainable, healthy fish on pesticide, antibiotic free diets.
We promise to share their side of the story in a soon to be published follow-up.