Conventional wisdom……not necessarily wise

There is quite a bit of information concerning our food supply.  There is also a good deal of misinformation.  Unless one looks beneath the headlines, ‘commonly held perceptions’ can be just as dangerous as ignorance.

Take for example ‘farm-fed fish’.  I have heard the argument that because these fish are ‘farm-fed’ they are cleaner than the fish in the wild. After all, the argument goes, the waterways are polluted.  This sounds plausible, as we naturally associate ‘farming’ with care and diligence.  I have never ‘farmed’ but I have gardened.  Gardening is a painstaking enterprise, and the only payoff is beauty.

Farming on the other hand, has as its natural benefit –food.  Food is necessary for health.  Most people have an expectation that ‘farm-fed’ is more healthy, better for the environment, and less toxic.  However, while that is the general consensus of society, in some cases, it is very far from the truth.

The following article gives some insight as to what exactly contributes to ‘farm-fed’ fish.  The article states that these fish are fed chicken feces.  Additional components are rat hair, mouse hair, chemicals that are used to clean the pens, and the ever present e-coli bacteria. 

Farm-fed fish is also contaminated with pesticides that are used to combat sea-lice.  These fish are also fed antibiotics to keep them healthy in their confined spaces.  Interestingly, these fish have LOWER omega 3 fatty acids than their ‘wild’ cousins.

Enjoy the full article:

Until next time,

Dr. Polly

  • Candy Turner says:

    With the radiation scare, I haven’t been buying much fish or salmon because I don’t feel like I can trust the source. Honesty in labeling is anything but. There also seems to be new information on a regular basis about other waterways with contamination issues. I spend the majority of my time in the produce section since I feel like I have a measure of control over the quality. I’ve wondered how other shoppers have dealt with it.

  • Michael Brent Sewell says:

    Omg, why would anyone intentionally feed feces to fish being farmed for consumption?!? Only two reasons I can think of are 1) maybe its cost effective or 2) a disgruntled employee needs terminated. However, even those reasons don’t even seem remotely reasonable.

    Perhaps it is explained within the article, but my mainly just wanted to add my thoughts to people automatically assuming farm fed is better. Sure water sources across the globe have some pollution, and there are certain areas I would not want to eat fish out of, but I would never assume farm fed better anymore than I would assume formula to be better than breast milk. God makes the perfect baby formula, the advantages of breast milk over formula is a list nine pages long on WebMD.

    One interesting show on the History channel documented day by day, week by week, what the Earth would look like if all humans just disappeared tomorrow. I was quite shocked at how quickly the Earth would naturally erase the memory of our modern society off its surface. Ancient marvels like the pyramids stand the test of time, while the NYC skyline and Hoover Dam would be untraceable after only a decade or two.

    Bottom line, while pollution and commercial fishing may raise issues concerning our seafood, my instinct will always be to trust the wild (God-made) food over farm fed (man-made).