The common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichild tribe is tilapia. Tilapia is mainly freshwater fish that inhabits rivers, shallow lakes, streams and ponds. Tilapia was one of the three main types of fish that were caught in the Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee but were mainly called must, or St. Pete’s fish.
Tilapia has laterally compressed, lower pharyngeal bones and the deep bodies are fused into a single tooth – bearing structure. A complex set of muscles allows the lower and upper pharyngeal bones that are used as a second set of jaws for processing food, that allows a division of labor between the “pharyngeal jaws” and the “true jaws”.
Now, that you know a little bit of the tilapia’s anatomy and history, you should know why they’re bad. The mild fish has climbed to become the fourth most eaten seafood in the United States, behind canned tuna, salmon and shrimp, according to the National Fisheries Institute. Tilapia is easy to find, cheap and easy to raise on fish farms. So, there are a lot of tilapias out there.
A group of researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine released a study recently, in which they compared the fatty acid levels among popular fish in 2008. They found that the American favorites, like mackerel and salmon contain more omega – 3 fatty acids than tilapia. In their report they said, “Inflammatory potential of pork bacon and hamburger (8 percent lean) is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia (100 g).” Their study raised concern when it stated that farmed tilapia contains high levels of arachidonic acid, an omega – 6 acid that, has been linked to brain disorders, even though it is necessary to help repair body tissues.
The levels of healthy nutrients in the farm – raised tilapia are significantly lower. The omega – 3 fatty acids contained in farm – raised tilapia are less usable to the body than compared to wild bred fish. They tend to be fatter than wild raised fish because they are being kept in cages, and they also contain lower protein content. When the fish are fatter, they contain higher levels omega – 6 fatty acids and the body will become inflamed, if too much of this fatty acid is consumed.
Fish, that are kept in tight spaces with other animals, like any other animal, tend to get sick often, which leads to the use of antibiotics. This farm raised fish are also treated with pesticides to fight off sea lice. The pesticides that are being used is so strong, that wild salmon have died when accidently been exposed to its harmful chemicals. Because of the feed that is being fed to the fish, farm raised fish can also contain about 10 times the amount of cancer – causing pollutants than wild fish.
A chemical found in PVC plastics – dibutylin, is said to be 6 times higher in farm – raised seafood. This chemical can contribute to inflammation while it can also harm the immune system function. Dioxin is a toxic chemical that contribute to many complications, such as cancer. It takes a long time to completely remove dioxin, once it enters the body. Dioxin levels are 11 times higher in farm – raised fish over wild fish. So, next time you’re at a restaurant, think about your decision before you order the farm raised fish. Share the knowledge as you might help someone in need!