Fish and other seafood have long been considered an important part of a healthy diet. Most types of fish are high in omega-3 fats and oils, protein, vitamin D, and other important nutrients, while also containing very little saturated fat. Studies at many highly regarded medical research institutions including The Harvard School of Public Health have shown that eating fish regularly can:
- Lower blood pressure and heart rate
- Protect against erratic cardiac rhythm disturbances
- Improve blood vessel function
- Improve brain development in babies
In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend eating fish 2-3 times per week. However, the nutritional value of various species of fish can differ significantly. In recent years tilapia has become a popular fish due largely to its relatively low cost. Although tilapia may cost less, it is far inferior to other types of fish for numerous reasons, which is why Christophe’s To Go will never offer tilapia.
The Truth about Tilapia
Most tilapia served in the U.S. is raised in foreign countries in densely populated fish farms with little to no regulation. Without any oversight, fish farmers often feed testosterone and other hormones to tilapia to accelerate their growth. The fish are fed an artificial diet of corn and soy, causing much lower levels of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in wild fish like salmon. Tilapia also has much higher levels of undesirable Omega-6 fatty acids.
In some instances fish are forced to swim in the waste that accumulates in overcrowded cages for extended periods until the waste is collected for fertilizer. Like catfish and other farm-raised fish, tilapia are susceptible to muddy or musty flavor due to by-products of ubiquitous bacteria that bloom sporadically in lakes and soil.
Tilapia Does Not Belong In Your Kitchen
Prior to being shipped to the United States, tilapia is often frozen and packaged in carbon monoxide to preserve its color, so that when thawed it appears fresh.
Ecologically, tilapia is an invasive species that is very damaging to natural ecosystems due to its waste polluting the water. The aggressive breeding and feeding habits of tilapia have driven many native species to extinction and make tilapia especially hard to eliminate once established.
Whether you consider it from an ecological, hormonal, or nutritional perspective, tilapia is a sub-standard fish that does not belong in our kitchen or on your plate.
All of the fish**sold at Christophe’s To Go are caught in the wild. Throughout their lives, the fish have access to all the natural sources of food necessary to maximize omega-3 fats and other nutrients proven to be so beneficial as part of a healthy lifestyle. It also means they are not subject to artificial substances like testosterone and other hormones. Catching fish in the wild is also more ecologically responsible than large-scale fish farms that pollute the water and challenge native species.
Christophe’s To Go is especially proud to work with Lummi Island Wild for our salmon. Lummi Island Wild is one of the most environmentally responsible practitioners of sustainable fishing. Their entire fleet of boats is solar powered, and they practice an ancient fishing method known as reefnetting. Reefnetting yields the highest quality, most flavorful wild Pacific salmon with virtually no loss in life of salmon or other non-targeted species.
No To Tilapia and Yes To Salmon
When including seafood in your diet, it is important to remember that not all fish are created equal. Avoid the drawbacks of farm-raised fish like tilapia and instead look for wild-caught species like salmon and mahi-mahi to ensure you enjoy the most nutritious, flavorful, and freshest bounty from the sea.
By: Thomas Markham