Natural, untainted shrimp is a very healthy food. Besides being very low in fat, it is loaded with protein, vitamins B12 and D, as well as omega 3- fatty acids.
However, the same cannot be said for most kinds of the shrimp sold in the United States, as they’ve been raised and harvested in a completely different way.
Vietnam is among the leading exporters of shrimp to America, with over 100 million pounds of shrimp every year (about 8% of all the shrimp consumed in the U.S.)
In the last two decades, the demand for shrimp in the U.S. has significantly increased, triggering a stiff competition in the seafood market. This situation also led to efforts to keep up with the competition, and it didn’t matter if it compromised the health and safety standards.
Research has revealed that Vietnam farmers freeze their shrimp in contaminated water before it is exported to the U.S. According to the microbiologist , Mansour Samadpour, the water used by the farmers actually supports the development of bacteria and diseases.
Samadpour states that:
“Those conditions — ice made from dirty water, animals near the farms, pigs — are unacceptable.”
The investigation also discovered that a tilapia farm in Yangjiang, China, uses feces from pigs and geese to feed their fish.
According to Michael Doyle, the director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, this leads to the growth of various bacteria and diseases:
“The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella.”
Many of us know that farmed seafood is usually more dangerous compared to wild-caught one, since farmed shellfish and fish are laden with dangerous antibiotics. This fear was confirmed by Consumer Report, as they discovered that farmed shrimp has high levels of harmful bacteria, along with antibiotics.
Moreover, farmed seafood are crammed into very tight spaces in the course of their life, which also promotes the spread of diseases throughout them.
According to a study conducted on 342 frozen shrimp samples, 60% of them had either listeria, vibrio, E.coli, or salmonella. Furthermore, researchers discovered traces of oxytetracycline, sulfa antibiotics, and enrofloxacin in them.
Hence, given the fact that 94% of all imported shrimp in the U.S. comes from Asia, from countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand, where fish farming conditions are extremely poor, you’re advised to avoid such kinds of fish. Instead, focus on consuming local and wild-caught shellfish and fish. In fact, a study by Consumer Report has shown that raw, wild-caught shrimp in the U.S. contains the lowest amount of bacteria.