Did you know that a whopping 60 percent of our fish are now factory farmed?
How about that by 2050, our planet’s oceans will be completely depleted?
Or that fish live in water that is so polluted you would never dream of drinking it, yet you are ingesting all of these contaminants, bacteria and heavy metals every time you choose to eat it…
An Environmental Catastrophe
Our oceans are on the brink of collapse. In less than 40 years, we will have exploited our world’s oceans to extinction, all because of our unrealistic demand for a food that could quite literally be killing us, our beautiful planet and the incredibly diverse organisms that inhabit our waters. Along with the 90 percent of the ocean’s large fish being completely fished out, we have caused permanent damage to the ecosystem that is frankly irreparable. Now there’s a pause for thought.
Apart from the extensive clearing of land and cattle grazing to grow soybeans and a plethora of grains to feed factory farmed cows, pigs and chickens, the other often underestimated driving force behind deforestation is lurking in what can only be described as floating factory farms.
In an attempt to solve the inefficiency of feeding 70 wild caught fish to produce one salmon for human consumption, the ‘genius’ idea of vegetarian fish was coined. However, it is inherently unsustainable to feed soy, corn and a multitude of other plant foods (most of which are GMO) to animals, in place of using that plant protein to feed people directly.
The Most Polluted Food We Eat
Fish are living, breathing toxicity bombs, exploding with each mouthful you carelessly devour. Fish concentrate dangerously high levels of chemical residues in their fat and flesh. In fact, they can harbor up to 9 million times that of the water in which they live. Considering the state of our polluted waters, can you even begin to imagine what effects that eating fish could have on your health?
All fish contain traces of mercury, which is poisonous to the brain. This mercury is accumulated when polluted water is filtered through the fish’s gills. Over time, the mercury mounts up and it becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. Starting within small fish, then within large fish that eat smaller fish, and finally within our very own tissue where it can remain for decades. If you regularly dine on fish, chances are your body is high in mercury. High body stores of mercury can lead to memory impairment, brain damage and eventually dementia.
Mercury isn’t the only dangerous toxin that can be found in fish flesh. PCBs (synthetic chemicals that were banned in the United States in 1979) are also being ingested by fish eaters worldwide, contributing to a variety of illnesses such as cancers, infertility, mental retardation and physical disabilities.
Fish Is Not a Health Food
Everywhere you look someone is telling you that fish is a so-called health food, and that it plays a valuable role when eaten as part of a healthy diet. If this is the case, then why does the EPA have to put out special advisories on safe levels of fish consumption? Perhaps we should stop eating foods that need to come with a health warning, and start eating fresh organic plant-based foods that in no way leaves us skeptical about our exposure to potentially life-threatening contaminants.
Fish is also high in fat, cholesterol and the kind of protein that is very acidic in nature. Luckily, we don’t need to rely on fish to be happy and healthy. One of the most touted benefits of including fish in the diet is the essential Omega 3 fats. If you’re wondering where else you can get your Omega 3′s, then look no further than flaxseeds and walnuts. These delicious alternatives provide the body with all the Omega 3′s you could ever need, minus the negative side effects. Studies have also proven that plant based Omega 3 fats are much more beneficial to our overall health than eating our fishy friends.
The End of the Line
Factory farmed fish or not, fish is one food that is better left off the menu. There are far healthier plant-based alternatives to getting all the vitamins and nutrients that fish may (or may not) offer, without any of the nasty stuff. So why bother?
Photo Credit: Meanest Indian