Farm Raised Fish- Saving or Destroying the World?

leadvilleFish in general are becoming a hazardous food.  If large and wild it is certainly going to be high in mercury, likely far exceeding levels considered safe for humans and definitely not safe for pregnant women or young children.  If it’s farm raised, it typically contains more pesticides and other toxins including antibiotics used to keep the farm raised fish from getting infections.  It was interesting to read that Whole Foods is making a concerted effort to purchase only farm raised sea food that is farmed without antibiotics and that is tested and known to have safe levels of mercury and pesticides.   This is not an independent research link but good to know they are making the effort:  


In general, more and more of the sea food at the market is farm raised, and in the USA, only 2% of it is tested, so the safety of this sea food is questionable. The article by NPR, below, outlines some of the concerns about mercury, pesticides, antibiotics, and other contaminants that are common in farm raised fish.


Dr Mercola has a great summary of the challenge that farm raised fishing practices put on the environment and on native species such as the salmon runs of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.


The take-home message in my mind is this:  If you are pregnant, don’t eat fish or sea food at all, take your prenatal vitamins, and additional omega-3 (that includes DHA – what the developing brain needs).  If your family history includes neurological disease or developmental disorders (autism, ADHD etc.), then don’t eat fish and take purified omega-3 supplements instead.  For the rest of us, consider shopping wisely (like at Whole Foods where the sea food is likely much safer) and eat seafood no more than once a week.  If I was a fisherman, I would fish short rivers that do not have fisheries on them and do not run through big towns or industrial sites. 


Dr. Paul


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