Shrimp lovers beware, not all shrimp equally safe for us says Consumer Reports
Do you love shrimp? Shrimp is a regular staple found in supermarkets, restaurants and is great on salads or on the grill. Is there a difference between the shrimp that is frozen, fresh or imported and do you know the differences? Farmed or not farmed; which should you want to eat?
While most of us never think of these things, or wonder why some shrimp are 10 dollars per pound while others are 20 dollars, Consumer Reports did some great research for us to help us be better consumers.
The big points that they made are that
- Freshly fished shrimp are better (providing that the fishing methods do not harm other water animals)
- Farmed shrimp are less expensive and may not be as flavorful, and may contain antibiotics.
- Most imported farmed shrimp have antibiotics and other things used that may be harmful to us.
- How to determine which shrimp is best for consumption.
Check out their article here
How safe is your shrimp?
Consumer Reports’ guide to choosing the healthiest, tastiest, and most responsibly sourced shrimp
Americans love shrimp
Each of us eats, on average, almost 4 pounds per year, making shrimp more popular than tuna. Once considered a special-occasion treat, shrimp has become so ubiquitous that we now expect to find it on the menu whether we’re at a pricey restaurant or a fast-food joint.
In fact, Americans eat about three times more shrimp than we did 35 years ago. To satisfy our insatiable appetite, the U.S. has become a massive importer: About 94 percent of our shrimp supply comes from abroad, from countries such as India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
But our love affair with shrimp does have a downside. Most of the shrimp we import is “farmed”—grown in huge industrial tanks or shallow, man-made ponds that can stretch for acres. In some cases 150 shrimp can occupy a single square meter (roughly the size of a 60-inch flat-screen television) where they’re fed commercial pellets, sometimes containing antibiotics to ward off disease. If ponds aren’t carefully managed, a sludge of fecal matter, chemicals, and excess food can build up and decay. Wastewater can be periodically discharged into nearby waterways. “Bacteria and algae can begin to grow and disease can set in, prompting farmers to use drugs and other chemicals that can remain on the shrimp and seep into the surrounding environment,” says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center. Those shrimp-farming practices raise a variety of concerns—not just about how safe shrimp are to eat but also about the environmental damage that can be caused by farming them that way.