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


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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  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!

    • Lesley Standridge

      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.

      • I just got done reading how bad shrimp is and basically don’t eat it. As a consumer to watch out for miss labeled shrimp, wild caught, gulf shrimp etc.
        Right underneath this article is a recipe for Coconut curry shrimp turmeric recipe????
        Thanks for the info. I was always told, don’t know if it’s true or not, when buying shrimp make sure it’s “ Texas Shrimp”.?

  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

    • Boost has a very high caloric version found on Amazon. That’s my go to for trying to maintain healthy weight. I am senior and have always been a “lean-er”. Be careful ….npt too much!

    • In British Columbia, there is a company called Berezan Shrimp Co. Yes, farmed, but done in a way to eliminate all of these nasty, not needed “stuff” in their shrimp, plus they are looking into other types of seafood. Read up on this, quite fascinating! No I have never order it as yet, but they ship right to your door!

  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.

    • I’ve given up shrimp, which I love, because you can’t know or trust. You can just about conclude that when the bottom line that matters to restaurants and markets is profit, they won’t be offering ‘all you can eat’ or low cost shrimp if they’ve paid a quality price for them.

  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.

    • Donna Lee Shrimp is not food,according to the Bible shrimp lobster and other bottom dwelling sea animals are unclean for food consumption,they eat what ever drifts down to them as well as other dead animals and waste ,they are like swine which is also unclean,the are walking garbage dumps and are full of Bacteria,these food laws were enacted for a purpose,its a proven fact that people who eat a lot of pork and other unclean foods have a lot of joint problems and pain,because that is where the toxins settle cause trouble,these food law are not just for Jews and should never be viewed in a religious context,I follow these laws as close as I can,and along with the other commandments,maybe not perfectly,but I give my best effort with the help of holy spirit,and I am blessed and not ashamed of it.

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

    • Honey is bee shiY! besides some cultures eat dogs and others raw oysters!

      • Gary, you need to research honey bees and how they make honey. Not an excrement by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Well done! This food is not good for human consumption. In fact there are many foods that should not be eaten by us humans and shrimps are one such. For further information please read Leviticus chapter 11 which list a number of creatures that should be eaten.

      • B P
        Just a correction on my previous reply.

        In last line of my previous reply, I intended to say, “creatures that should not be eaten,” however, Leviticus chapter 11 also lists creatures that can be eaten but my focus was on those that should not be eaten, due to the subject in question. Hence my correction.

      • Humans should not be eating humans but it happens in an emergency and for other reasons, i believe the majority of people know about shrimp but it is their choice and who are you to tell them what to eat. Some people have been eating this type of seafood for years and can handle it, if they get sick or have a reaction then that is their choice. So be it.

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

    • Agree, i read/ receive so many scare tatic articles about how most everything is bad for us, but read 10 pages of how right they correct ;and then tell us to buy their cure all product. At least provide a solution to your informational scare article.

  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.

  15. As Cindy says above, what do we look for on the package to determine the origin of the product?

  16. It’s not just shrimp that are an issue, trust me.
    I absolutely refuse to buy any seafood (or anything else, for that matter) at all from China, Thailand, etc… No regulations and all farmed in appalling conditions.
    Buy local, friends.

    • Love to live here on the Gulf coast where my local sea food mart has shrimp and other fish caught the same day or night before.

  17. I buy only Australian raw red shrimp which are delicious. Australia as does Europe have much higher food standards than the U.S. After much research, I have come to the conclusion that it is the preservatives in our foods that cause cancer and other abnormalities; the Europeans will not import anything from the U.S. with preservatives, hence, all their fresh open markets. I only eat salmon and herring from Norway, in addition to the Australian red shrimp and sardines from Spain. The U.S. is so very lax on food studies compared to Europe. Study the eating habits of other cultures; Europeans live on real dairy, Asians live on white rice….yet we are told don’t eat either (and more foods), however, they are healthy peoples. I digress from the shrimp issue….but do some research on different culture foods. We are an overweight and unhealthy nation because of preservatives.

    • Where do you find Australian red shrimp?

    • @ Madison Because of varying and vast and amounts of ALL chemicals in and on our food. The origins of the nation’s No. 1 herbicide today began its life as a chemical weapon of war, and proven to be majorly devastating to human health and life. How does such a compound magically morph from being a ‘killer’ to being safe enough to eat?

    • Agree. I really believe in the US, the profit is too great to companies and Big Pharm, and AMA. If we all get sick, we spend billions on meds, hospitals, operations, etc. Lucrative market. A lot of money would be lost if a lot less people were sick.

    • natural rice is different from man made rice because it seems okay for one does not mean its good for everyone many should avoid white rice if they have health concerns lifestyle also plays a role, I would and do avoid foods from china the standards are lax reading labels are best, Seafood are labelled canadian and when you read further the product is just packed there but originates from some part of asia while the Canadian products are exported. YHE ARTICLE NEEDS COMPLETION WHAT IS SAFE THAS WHAT PEOPLE ARE ASKING,mOT EVERYONE IS INTERESTED IN AVOIDING IT BECAUSE ITS BAD. i DO OCASSIONALLY EAT THE WILD ONE NOW IT SEEMS IF PACKED AS WILD IT MAY NOT BE SO WHO OR WHAT DO YOU TRUST,

  18. As a bit of info from a former commercial fisherman, a warning. The USDA allows the treatment of nearly (aa, I believe) with sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP). STPP has only one use. It causes the shellfish to swell. Seafood can gain up to about 30% in weight. BTW, STPP is an old time cleaner, sold for years to clean walls etc in the home. It also makes me (and others) ill. It tastes terrible, too. It sometimes is identified as ‘wet pack (seafood)’, sometimes not.

  19. OK, so if 90% of the shrimp we’ve been consuming as a country for 30+ years is evidently poison, tainted with resistant bacteria, and laden with illegal antibiotics then why aren’t we all not dead? Please, think through and educate yourself before you write. The trace levels of antibiotics are higher in many municipal drinking water supplies than in violative farmed shrimp, much less shrimp that are below DAF’s further the water supplies also contain Viagra, birth-control drugs, xanex, and a host of other prescription medications. Further to that as long as you cook meat, fish, shellfish, or poultry you kill any pathogens. The industry is well aware of the practice of using antibiotics in all aquaculture products as well as the FDA DAF’s (defect action levels). Those products undergo significant testing before a private concern pays money to import it.

    • Patricia Williams

      You have your head in the sand. So sorry you do not understand that our food is not clean because Corporations are there for profits and lobbying congress is a huge part of their budget so laws are not passed to create standards for food inspection and truthful investigation into products such as Roundup because in America, the health of the population is no longer as important as corporate profits. Huge bribes are vested in Congressmen that vote on food inspection regulations to cause them to look the other way when considering whether the health of their constituents is more important than their pocketbook. We must do our own research and hopefully more Americans will learn what is causing their ill health through research of the food they eat and never depend on the government to protect them because the government (Congress) no longer cares if they are all sick and die.

    • You need to read the article in full. I think you missed a couple of things.

  20. Interesting that over a billion Chinese (& a billion or so more) eat those shrimp most everyday. And they have been doing it in their society for over a thousand years yet they continue to prosper. Their pens are moved periodically to a fresh location. Yet they are poisonous to us but not billions of others? It’s not so much what you do but HOW you do it!

  21. There are other reasons as well not to eat seafood from other countries. Think about the money that is being taken away from our local fishermen when you buy foreign. Most of the frozen shrimp in the groceries are labeled as to where they are a product of. It’s usually on the back in small print. Even on the cases in the meat department there is a label saying “ Product of _____\\\_. Take note, people. Our seafood industry is suffering from this kind of practice. The appearance of the shrimp in the case is disgusting as well! They appear shiny and fake looking. I never buy any seafood without first checking as to where it originated.

  22. Very informative but I must say it seems a tad hypocritical to post a link for Coconut Curried Shrimp at the end of the article,, especially after reporting that even ‘wild caught’ shrimp is harmful to the environment (‘bycatch’) and that it’s very difficult to know the REAL source of shrimp as it is often mislabeled….. just sayin’.

  23. Thanks for the article. Ironically, I did something I’ve not done in years. I ordered shrimp with my groceries. Since I order from home without being able to read labels, if I have time, I will be cancelling that part of my order!

    Last summer I bought shrimp from a local grocer and they were advertised as “Austrailan Shrimp.” Since I had seen no bad publicity on them, I bought them.

    Soon those of us who care what we eat will have nearly nothing to eat. LOL That’s coming from one with no gallbladder, diabetes II, high cholesterol, and COPD. I have maintained my health since nearly dying from chemotherapy by adding Moringa Oleifera to my diet. I thank God for it!!

    I thought the recipe odd as well, so I reread the prior paragraph. IJS

    • Andra Henderson: I agree with you that soon we will have nothing to eat. I am just coming off of chemo, and I am very interested to know how you use the Moringa. Do you use the leaves, the seeds, the green pods etc? Please pray tell, will appreciate it.

  24. Laurence White [email protected]

    Pleasee let me know if prawns are safe to eat; or are they also raised in farms ? Thanking you in advance .

    Laurence White [email protected]

  25. We buy our shrimp direct from the boat that caught the shrimp the night before. I never buy any seafood that is imported.

    • You should never eat ANY shrimp! They are not for food! Their purpose is to clean waste, this is why shrimps are not clean and poisonous. The same with vultures, jackals, pigs, etc. Read in the Bible book of Leviticus, there is a list of animals given for food by our Creator.


  27. You should never eat ANY shrimp! They are not for food! Their purpose is to clean waste, this is why shrimps are not clean and poisonous. The same with vultures, jackals, pigs, etc. Read in the Bible book of Leviticus, there is a list of animals given for food by our Creator.

  28. I’ve been aware of the lack of oversight by are FDA and USDA for.years.
    I find it ironic that you included a recipe for shrimp at the end of the article and yet I don’t know if that I can trust to buy any shrimp even if it does say
    ..”wild caught!”
    Trust me I love scallops and a good lobster tail. it’s too bad that I don’t get to eat them because they are full of pesticides they are bottom dwellers if they’re even caught wild and certainly I don’t buy anything farm-raised.
    If you go out to a restaurant and you ask questions, they don’t even know how they source t their seafood. Forget Red Lobster or any high end seafood restaurant. Same sources and usually they go for cost value, not high nutritional value.
    I’ve been reading nutrition journals and I am a healthcare professional and frankly I don’t recommend any of the crustacean seafoods as Oe can’t trust that to the labels are even accurate.
    A few years ago, in Ann Arbor, I did meet an entrepreneur who was creating a hydroponic Shrimp operation so it would be clean and tightly controlled. That sounded like a great source to me!

  29. I found it ironic too, to post a recipe using shrimp.!

  30. read the consumer reports’ 2-issue comprehensive study on shrimp
    done a few years ago before you eat any shrimp!!!

  31. Kinda funny. A nice long article describing how disgusting, dangerous, and deadly shrimp are followed by a recipe for cooking shrimp. lol

  32. Great infos on shrimps, thanks.

  33. How about wild caught Argentina shrimp

  34. I have a hard time believing that people still eat anything that is a bottom feeder. In the last several years, since most people have a chance to witness a video of the floods, hurricanes, landslides, and tsunami, it all ends being washed out to sea. Human waste, oil, all kinds of plastics, materials used in building homes, dead animals, anything and everything that is in the way of floods washing it out in lakes, rivers, and streams. It ends up in the oceans and the animals that live there. Sad to say it is all poisoned and really not fit for human consumption. This is my opinion from observing the videos that ordinary people catch on their cameras and phones as they witness nature out of control.

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