In order to increase profits, shrimp suppliers pump each shrimp with chemical fillers – making them appear more full, fresh, and also increasing their weight. For every 100lbs of shrimp, they can re-sell 120lbs to international suppliers.
Companies in Vietnam use a chemical mixture from China labeled “CMC” although nobody knows for sure what is in CMC. Vietnam is on of the top 5 seafood exporters in the world, and China is in the top 3!
“Seafood is sold by factories, even we merchants don’t know which set of goods is injected with gel.” remarked a seafood merchant in Beijing
Because this operation is unsupervised, there is no way of telling whether companies use edible gelatin, or industrial gels. Industrial gels are far cheaper however.
Wu Wenhui, a professor at Shanghai Ocean University warns:
“Industrial gel is used for furniture, print, and contains many heavy metals such as lead and mercury, which harms the liver and blood, and is even carcinogenic.”
Yet, even if companies voluntarily choose to use the more expensive edible gels, there is risk of contamination – a big danger with seafoods:
“Even if what was injected was edible gel, which may not itself be harmful, who can guarantee that the process is aseptic? ” said Liu Huiping, a member of the executive council of the Tianjin aquatic products association, in an interview with the Beijing News.
Even The Good Shrimp Might Be Bad
Unfortunately, 90% of the shrimp sold in grocery stores or served in restaurants come from factory farms in Asia. This means the shrimp are raised in such toxic conditions that they must be injected with antibiotics, doused in pesticides, and fed chemical-laden food.
In fact, according to a study published in 2001, many different chemicals are used to control viral, bacterial, fungal, and other pathogens, Including:
- various pesticides and algaecides
- detergents and other water and soil treatment chemicals
All of these are used in vast quantities by the aquaculture industry globally. -Source
But ignoring the chemicals, antibiotics, and pesticides for a moment; let’s consider the toxic conditions these farmed shrimp are raised in!
They live in conditions that are so toxic they require all of these additives just to keep the shrimp alive.
This is the problem with all non-organic, industrial farmed livestock.
The Young Turks discuss these farmed shrimp in the video below:
I hope this new information helps inform the way you shop and the way you eat.
Remember: the problem is not just with shrimp, it is with all industrially farmed livestock and produce. Think of that next time you are in the supermarket or at a restaurant. Unless it was locally grown on a small farm, and unless it was labelled “Organic” then there is no way to ensure it is not filled with chemicals or that it wasn’t raised in toxic conditions.
How has this information affected you? Leave a comment below.