Seafood is a nutrient rich food that contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which provide many health benefits like protection against heart diseases and stroke. Fish, in particular, is easy to digest and contains a mix of amino acids that is essential to our health. Researchers have found that seafood is a better option compared to sheep, cattle or poultry. However, it is essential to avoid certain kinds of seafood as they may be contaminated by environmental pollution or otherwise unfit for consumption.
Following are five seafood choices to be avoided at all costs:-
- Orange Roughy
The orange roughy lives a very long life and reproduces slowly. It has been overfished so much that the species is now on the brink of extinction. Its slow rate of reproduction also makes it much more susceptible to overfishing. Apart from the environmental aspect, the orange roughy also contains very high levels of mercury. Mercury has been linked to brain damage and is especially dangerous to pregnant women as it can affect the fetus or child’s neurological development. So, you should steer away from dishes containing the orange roughy.
While shark is a popular seafood choice in many parts of the world, it comes with its share of risks. Shark are apex predators and at the top of the marine food chain. This means they consume a variety of fishes. These fishes most likely contain mercury, and so sharks end up having dangerously high levels of mercury which is toxic to our health. Overconsumption of shark also has another adverse effect. Lesser sharks would mean an increase in the populations of cow nose rays, the primary food of sharks. These rays eat scallops and other fish consumed by humans. So, a decrease in the population of sharks would place great stress on fisheries all over the world.
- Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
The Atlantic Bluefin tuna is by far the most overharvested species of fish in the ocean. This enormous fish is widely used in sushi. It has been classified as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund, due to overfishing. This fish also has very high levels of mercury and may contain dangerous levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). PCBs are industrial chemicals which are not only bad for animals and the environment; they cause cancer and other serious health effects in humans too.
Shrimp is another delicacy in many cuisines all around the world, be it America or Asia. However, not many know how risky it can be to eat shrimp, especially the imported variety. These crustaceans are often full of residue from chemicals used to clean their holding pens, dirt, mouse hair and insect pieces. In some varieties of imported shrimp, traces of E.coli have been found. Shrimp also contain very high levels of cholesterol, making this seafood choice extremely bad for your health.
- Chilean Seabass
The Chilean Seabass also known as the Patagonian Toothfish are a variety of popular fish which are considered a delicacy. What people don’t know is that they contain high levels of mercury and other pollutants. Also, most of these fish used by restaurants or sold, are caught illegally. According to the nonprofit organization, Greenpeace, unless people stop eating this fish, it will be extinct in the next five years.
Now that you know which dishes to keep away from, you can enjoy your seafood without fear for your health or the environment!