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Why You Should Never Eat THIS Type Of Shrimp

by Cat Ebeling 
co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

Shrimp seems to be everyone’s favorite when it comes to seafood, here in the U.S. and worldwide. It is also the most highly traded seafood in the world, but unfortunately the global demand for shrimp has become a huge health, environmental and human rights nightmare.

Unfortunately, because of demand, 94% of the shrimp that is consumed is farmed and raised in man-made ponds along the coasts of Thailand, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, and Ecuador. Farmed shrimp, however, is far from healthy, and is considered probably one of the most Unhealthy types of seafood you can possibly eat. In fact, it’s considered to be even more toxic than imported farmed tilapia and catfish, which are among the most toxic, polluted fish you can eat. And on top of that, less than 2% of imported shrimp is inspected by the FDA.

Farmed shrimp is subject to pesticide residue, antibiotics, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as E.coli.

According to Food and Water Watch (2006), over 90% of the shrimp we eat is imported, and there is very little information about how it was produced. Half of the shrimp—or more–that we purchase in grocery stores is from an ‘unknown origin’ if it is processed and added to any type of seafood mix. Restaurants don’t label shrimp either, so you and often the restaurant never even know where it comes from.

Shrimp farms cram millions of shrimp into their ponds, which means they are polluted with waste, disease-carrying pathogens, and parasites. An average farm now produces up to 90,000 pounds of shrimp per acre, compared to a traditional shrimp farm which produced about 450 pounds per acre. Often the ponds used to farm shrimp develop a sludge of fecal matter, chemicals, and excess feed that builds up and decays. To combat this, shrimp farmers use massive amounts of antibiotics, pesticides and disinfectants—many of which are illegal and too toxic to use in the United States. So it’s a pretty safe bet that you are eating farm-raised shrimp from Asia, raised in murky waste-filled water with antibiotic resistant bacteria, tons of antibiotics and toxic pesticides.  Can you say “cesspool?” Most shrimp operations can only exist for about 7 years before the pollution, waste and pathogens build up to a point where they kill off all the shrimp. Eating farmed shrimp is a toxic cocktail that can lead to many serious health conditions, such as neurological damage, life-threatening allergies, infections, and digestive disorders.

Shrimp is sometimes sold as “wild caught” or “Gulf shrimp” when it is actually farmed shrimp. Consumers sometimes get incorrect information regarding the origin of their shrimp. Researchers in a 2014 Oceana study found about 30-40% of the shrimp in the U.S. were mislabeled, and misrepresented regarding their country of origin, and whether it was farmed or wild.

Here are a few other unappetizing facts about shrimp you may want to know about:

  • One of the additives added to shrimp to prevent discoloration, 4-hexylresorcinol, possesses estrogen-like effects. Xenoestrogens like this are feminizing in men, reducing sperm counts and causing gynecomastia (‘manboobs’). In women, xenoestrogens increase breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
  • Most pesticides used in imported shrimp farms are banned for use in the United States.
  • Shrimp farm ponds are usually treated with neurotoxic, organophosphate pesticides linked to memory loss, tremors, Parkinson’s disease, ADD, ADHD, and cancer.
  • Many of the severe allergic reactions to shrimp are often due to the toxic chemicals, additives, and antibiotics that remain in the fish.
  • Modern-day slavery networks actually exist in many countries that farm and produce shrimp, where young children and adults are forced to work long hours in harsh conditions with no pay and no means of escape.

Industrial shrimp operations discharge thousands of gallons of polluted water and waste into surrounding farmland and waterways. And shrimp operations not only pollute the surrounding land and water, but they actually destroy the natural environment, including the mangrove trees that help to protect and filter out toxins from nearby homes. Residents and children living nearby often are sick, and have burning throats, eyes, and unusual skin rashes due to exposure to the toxins from the shrimp farms. Farmed shrimp is very unsustainable. Besides the environmental mess it creates, it takes up to 3 lbs of wild fish just to produce one pound of shrimp.

Is any kind of shrimp safe to eat?  Well, wild-caught shrimp is often considered a safe and sustainable option, but in truth, that may not always be true.  Keep in mind that shrimp is often caught along with bycatch that can be sometimes die and be discarded during the process.  Thousands of pounds of other sea creatures are killed annually during shrimping operations, but as time goes on, more regulations are being adopted that are slowly reducing bycatch and hopefully making shrimp operations more environmentally safe.  With that said though, shrimp and other shellfish that are wild caught are actually very nutritious and loaded with important vitamins and minerals, protein, and even small amounts of omega-3 fats.

For a super healthy and delicious dinner, try this recipe from PaleoHacks:

Coconut Curry Shrimp with Turmeric recipe

References
 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx800048m
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/suspicious_shrimp_report_nov_2009.pdf
https://draxe.com/shrimp-nutrition/

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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18 comments

  1. Years ago shrimp & lobster tails were among my favourite foods but suddenly I had several occasions where I was very ill after eating shrimp & even lobster/crab spreads.My stomache would swell,I became nauseous,dizzy & faint with some vomiting.Doctors could find nothing wrong & I went for allergy tests which found I was NOT allergic to ANY shellfish,fish etc but when discussing other ‘allergic’ reactions ( classed as ‘chemical sensitivity’!!)that I have.It seems I have severe reactions to preservatives & many other chemicals!! When purchasing shrimp the ingredients are listed as ‘shrimp & water’! but as has been pointed out,if they are fed on food with preservatives & other chemicals or even packed in them,I will have a reaction!! There should be more legislation & oversight with ALL our food with more details on how & where it is sourced.Thank you for trying to help in monitoring our food supplies.

  2. Sounds like I need to eliminate shrimp all together.
    Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea!

    • These people that are making Hand over Fist with the Shrimp, doesn’t want the Public to know, and it has been announced but no one listens to it unless of course the News Networks report when half the time they don’t tell the truth about anything else, so how can anyone believe them?!

      But with the Radiation in the Pacific and the Massive Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico it has affected everyone, including the Marine Life/Land Life, and People don’t seem to take anything seriously, until it happens to them. Then they get mad, cause they are saying no one has told them anything, when in fact it has been told, but still no one listens.

  3. Thank you for that wonderful information you provided on shrimps to avoid…
    I have a question…everywhere you turn people are bombarded with trillions of concoctions and come what may to lose weight….what about us slim women who wants to gain a few pounds??? Like myself….please help me out ….
    Thank you

  4. Loretta flynn-Murphy

    This is not the first time that I have read a report on the inherent dangers associated with eating toxic shrimp. How does one insure that they are in fact consuming wild caught product? How do you safeguard against mislabeling and misrepresentation?

    • Thank you so much for your research to help us live healthier. I actually had no idea! I too would like to know how to ensure that I am eating the right kind of shrimp. Where to buy, etc. I love shrimp and don’t want to have to worry about causing more harm than good when eating it.

  5. OMG! I’m find of eating seafoods and one of them is shrimp. I’m having second thoughts now after reading your article. So far, we have not had any experience of allergic reactions after consuming shrimp but just the same I’d be wary from now on.
    Thank you!

  6. Thank you for this very informative article. I’ve eaten shrimp all my life and I’ve noticed in the last several years that’s my hands would itch terribly sometimes after cleaning them. This maybe why!

  7. I cringe when I see people ordering shrimp. They have NO CLUE….and some don’t want to hear it.

  8. shrimp are the cockroaches of the sea..gave them up decades ago..

  9. Great article, but how about letting us know how to determine the shrimp that is safe to eat?
    Thanks

  10. Wow, according to your emails about what is in our food, I can’t eat a #+%$ thing anymore!! But thanks for the truth. Will get a good life insurance policy and do the best I can with what time I have left! It is shocking to say the least, I look at all the junk in the grocery store and now I know what is in it, rude awakening.

  11. I love shrimp, what should we be looking for on the package which says its okay to eat.?

  12. The heath reasons for not eating industrially raised shrimp or any other such flesh are huge but nothing compared to the environmental and humanitarian reasons for not supporting those industries. Feedlot beef is just as nasty and creates an enormous pollution problem for the area in which they are located.

  13. Richalene L Smith

    Seems like it would be better to eat no shrimp.

  14. Thank You so much for this information, I will be mindful of shrimp from now on.

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