Salmon, tuna, scampi and other fish are not healthy
Plastic in the sea is plastic in you
"The ocean is a toilet bowl for all of our chemically contaminated substances and waste in general," according to Chelsea Rochman, researcher at the University of California, Davis, in a recent study in Nature, Scientific Reports. Ultimately, those toxic substances make their way up the food chain, in wild fish, farmed fish and the people who eat those fish.
The higher up the food chain one goes, the more chemicals are absorbed. The biggest, fattest fish, such as tuna and swordfish have the highest levels of mercury, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) and other dioxins.
Sea animals also ingest a large amount of chemicals in the plastic waste that they consume involuntarily. There are plastic islands floating around the ocean with a total surface area of 50 times the size of Belgium! Less visible, however, there are billions of small plastic particles floating in the seas, ground down by the tides.
Rochman and other researchers wondered what the role of plastic was in infiltrating chemicals into the food chain. A study was carried out with Japanese rice fish, which are often used in experiments. One group of the fish were fed normal fish, a second group was fed fish with 10% 'clean' plastic (without any contaminating substances) and a third group was fed a diet of fish with 10% plastic taken from San Diego Bay. After two months, much higher levels of contaminating substances were found in the fish in the group that were fed 'plastic from the sea'.
"Plastic in the ocean acts like a sponge for chemicals," Rochman says. "When the plastic interacts with the juices in the digestive system of the fish, the chemicals separate from the plastic and are transferred into the circulatory system and the tissue." The fish that were fed the sea-plastic diet also developed liver problems and tumours.
The fish is amiss!
Eating wild fish turns out not to be as healthy as we thought because they are full of plastic and chemicals. To still get enough 'healthy' omega-3 fatty acids, many people are switching to farmed fish.
Even though farmed fatty fish do contain omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA, they do not contain any essential omega-3 fatty acids (ALA and LA). 'Essential' means: 1. That our bodies are unable to make those omegas and 2. that our bodies cannot do without those omegas. So one would do better to avoid fish when trying to get the right omega-3, and to get it from vegetable oil that contains alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid that is essential.
Farmed fish also contain heavy metals, toxic and hormone-destabilising substances, pesticides, antibiotics, colouring, offal, nerve agents, etc. It is clear: farmed fish is not a healthy alternative for meat.
Everything you didn't want to know about farmed salmon
Salmon are cultivated in cages: an average of 27 salmon in a tub, much too close together. The salmon are often bludgeoned to death or have their gills cut off while they are still alive. Small salmon are often not even killed violently. They are thrown onto the ice and suffocate slowly. In addition, to cultivate one kilogram of salmon, five kg of other fish have to be caught.
A fish farm with 200,000 salmon produces as much excrement and antibiotics as a human city of 65,000 people. The excretion sinks to the bottom of the tanks where they are a breeding ground for disease. To combat those diseases, the fish farms use methods including large quantities of antibiotics. The antibiotics remain in the fish and are ingested by humans when the fish are eaten. Pregnant women and new mothers must be especially careful, both for themselves and for the foetuses and babies. Every year, an estimated 600,000 children are born with a lower brain development and problems including deficient motor skills due to their mothers having consumed fish containing pesticides and antibiotics. The excretion from salmon also attracts parasites and worms. To control those pests, pesticides are used. Although the pesticides are intended to harm the brains of fish parasites, they can also cause problems to human brains, such as ADHD, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, dementia and other conditions. One of those pesticides is the toxic nerve agent Endosulfan. Nerve agents are forbidden everywhere except in aquaculture. The nerve agent accumulates in the fish and enters the human body upon eating, as do the pesticides Cypermethrin, deltamethrin, emamectin, teflubenzuron and azamethipos, all of which are irritants for the eyes, skin and breathing passages and harmful to the nerve system. In salmon, highly increased and dangerous levels of arsenic, PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin and toxaphene have been found. The fact that heavy metals and toxins are stored in the fat of the salmon, concentrations of pesticides have been found in the salmon that are up to 9 million times higher than the water they swim in.
Since 1 June 2013, due to a decision by the EU, offal may once again be mixed in with salmon feed. That had been forbidden since the outbreak of mad cow disease (BSE).
To give the salmon the lovely pink colour, farmed salmon are artificially coloured by means of the synthetic products Carophyll® and astaxantin. Salmon is also often smoked with liquid smoke, which contains FF-B and AM 1 and can damage DNA.
Everything you didn't want to know about scampi
The fish farms have irreversibly destroyed 38% of the mangroves in the world. To cultivate 5 kilograms of scampi, 13 km2 of mangrove is required.
Scampis are cultivated in water that is 'enriched' with chemicals including ureum, monocalciumphosphate and diesel. The scampis are given pesticides, antibiotics, borax and piscicides to protect them from disease and fungus. During testing, however, scampi were still found to contain 162 bacteria, 10 of which are resistant to antibiotics.
Wild scampi are not much better: for every kilo of wild scampi caught, 5 kg to 18 kg of unwanted species are also caught (e.g. sharks, starfish, sea turtles, etc.)
Everything you didn't want to know about tuna
All of the commercial species of tuna are being overfished. We are causing the tuna to go extinct. The exorbitant costs of cultivating tuna make it virtually impossible. The tuna may be able to save itself from extinction by becoming so toxic that we can no longer eat it. When tuna are fished in a dolphin-friendly way, other species suffer (immature tuna, sharks and rays, sea turtles, albatross, etc.).
Tuna salad and sushi are the two biggest causes of food poisoning (scombrotoxin).
Tuna contain heavy metals, especially methylmercury. Methylmercury is a by-product of burning fossil fuels. It gets into the water, is absorbed by algae, which is eaten by small fish, which are eaten by tuna. There is usually more methylmercury in the more expensive types of tuna than in the less expensive sorts. The more expensive tuna comes from bigger tuna. The bigger the tuna, the longer it has lived and the more mercury it has built up in its body. Methylmercury is responsible for hair loss, memory loss, intestinal problems, heart palpitations, headache, etc. . People with excessive concentrations of methylmercury in their body have 70% more chance of a heart attack. The half life of methylmercury in the human body ranges from 50 days to one year.
With tuna having become so rare and expensive, 60% of everything that is being sold as tuna is not tuna at all. There is virtually no control. Very often, escolar or snake mackerels are served. Escolar is forbidden in Japan and Italy and may only be sold in Canada, Sweden and Denmark if accompanied by a very explicit warning. Escolar contains a highly laxative oil (gempylo toxin), which causes diarrhoea in humans.