If you love shrimp, beware – what you don’t know CAN hurt you!
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that shrimp is the most popular type of seafood in the U.S. – it might even be yours. But before you order that platter of shrimp scampi, you should probably be aware of these unsettling facts. While some shrimp is raised in the Gulf of Mexico, the vast majority of the shrimp we eat (some 90%) is imported, and less than 2% of it is inspected by U.S. agencies.
Why is this important, you may ask? Because while contamination issues exist with many types of imported foods, imported shrimp is the worst of the worst. Not only has it been found to contain a number of banned pesticides and other chemicals, it may also contain truly disgusting contaminants like cockroaches and rat hair!
Here are 6 things you really should know about imported farm-raised shrimp, so you can make a truly informed choice next time you order that shrimp cocktail – not just for your health, but for the health of the planet as well:
1. They’re Filthy
Banned antibiotics aren’t the only unwanted sides you get with imported shrimp…. In fact, imported shrimp is so dirty that it accounts for 26 to 35 percent of all shipments of imported seafood that get rejected due to filth, according to Food & Water Watch.
2. Shrimp-Packing Plants Are Filthy, Too
A report published in the November 2012 issue of Bloomberg magazine revealed some truly disgusting facts about the conditions in which shrimp are packaged and shipped. At one particular facility in Vietnam, the magazine’s reporters found processing-plant floors littered with garbage, flies buzzing around, and shrimp that wasn’t being stored at proper temperatures….
3. They’re Full Of Cancer-Causing Chemicals
According to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested just 0.1 percent of imported seafood for chemical residues. Here’s what the agency missed in that untested 99.9 percent: banned antibiotics that have the potential to cause cancer….
4. They’re Exacerbating Climate Change
More often than not, these nonnative shrimp are raised in farms, rather than being caught wild. Shrimp farms, essentially huge underwater pens, are built along coastlines, and to make room for them, shrimp farmers have to destroy native mangrove forests that provide a buffer against hurricanes and flooding….
5. They’re Making The Rest Of The Seafood Menu A Lot Smaller
Those mangrove forests do more than just trap carbon dioxide. They provide vital habitats for other commercial seafood species that are important to local economies, including snapper, wild tilapia, sea bass, oysters, and crabs. According to Food & Water Watch, roughly 70 percent of commercially valuable seafood species in Ecuador, Honduras, and Mexico and 33 percent in Southeast Asia are dependent on mangrove forests, and for each acre destroyed, 675 pounds of commercial fish are lost.
6. They’re Not Domestic
By this point, you’re probably thinking that imported shrimp may be disgusting, but domestic shrimp is tainted with oil. The U.S. wild shrimp market did take a serious hit after the 2010 BP oil spill shut down dozens of shrimp fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico for a year. The shrimp populations there are still recovering, but money has been flowing into a seafood-testing program overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration….
Read the full article at Rodale’s Organic Life…