The Fisherman’s Paradox: Farm vs. Wild

The ‘omnivore’s dilemma’ has become increasingly problematic as our food systems continue to regress and lose integrity in its final products. In regards to seafood and fish, there is previous and existing debate on the issue of farm raised vs. wild fish and seafood.

The general consensus is that one’s obvious choice of fish should be wild. If you can afford it and if you have access to it, why not choose wild? The issue, however, is that wild seafood is experiencing the negative repercussions of man’s touch. With climate change too, warmer waters and vast ocean pollution have created a huge problem amongst wild fish. Mercury levels, parasites and worms have become increasingly prevalent, posing threats to our health.

Whether it be at one of the finest restaurants in North America, or a fresh filet of sea bass at Whole Foods, it is likely that you will find live worms in your wild fish. Parasites like nemotodes, very common in fish like cod and sea bass, can only be killed if the fish is salt-cured, frozen for 7+ days at a temperature of -4 degrees F, or heated at a temperature of 140 degrees F.

Purveyors of fresh, wild fish wish to stray away from the idea of farm-raised fish as the quality is not be as good. Now, people are debating whether farm-raised fish is in fact better, as it contains antibiotics that prevent such pesticides from growing. Certain pesticides can lead to life-threatening illnesses, and some cannot be cured at all. Mercury levels are rising too, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.

The issue is that farm-raised fish is hardly sustainable. It’s a sad truth that we can’t rely on nature anymore because so much of it has been contaminated and touched by man. People fear that we can’t trust our fish, and our mammals, for they are dangerous for our health. Some farms strive to be as sustainable as possible, while others go as far as to inject salmon with pink food coloring and force feed them corn and grains.

Hopefully, the issue solves itself, but as for now, we must be extremely cautious about the fish and seafood we put into our bodies. If we buy farm-raised fish, we must do our research. If it’s wild, we must take precautions.

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