Chef Jon Gibson
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#2 Tilapia

Tilapia is a freshwater fish and is best known as Nile Tilapia, origins of the fish are not clear but have been used in Africa and the Middle East as a farmed fish and raised for consumption due to its fast growth rate and are considered wild.

However, in this day and age Wild Tilapia are almost non existent and aquaculture and farming have taken over this industry.

The main producers of farmed Tilapia are Papa New Quinea, Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia, and China being the number 1 exporter of farm raised Tilapia.

In 2000-2008 the USDA placed a ban on all Tilapia being imported from China due to contamination and unsafe farming practices.

Investigations found that the Tilapia were being fed manure due to the expensive cost of commercial feed and also were being farmed in ponds where waste water from poultry and livestock farms were found in the ponds.

Tilapia were also farmed in ponds or pens located next to factories or power stations using the waste dumped into the water, to keep the water at a constant temp.

Are those practices being used today in those countries? Well, since the 2008 embargo of imported Tilapia, the FDA has inspected 1.5% of all foreign facilities that farm Tilapia. Hmmmmm?

Most often Tilapia are fed a cocktail of ALA, DHA, and EPA to increase Omega-3 faculties in the fish, but the fish is also found with high traces of Omega-6 which can lead to inflammation in the human body.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has recently released that Tilapia is a sustainable fish and is a good choice, ONLY if purchased from CSA Farms (Closed System Aquaculture) in Canada and the U.S. Let me say that again, Tilapia raised in a CSA farms in Canada and the U.S..not imported. CSA’s are another article I will get to at a later date.

So would I eat Tilapia? No, but that’s my choice. I like my fish to taste like fish! If I wanted to eat something that has little taste or almost no flavor and has protein, I would eat Tofu!

“Live, love, learn, eat!”


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