Edible fish is a valuable food that not only tastes good but should also be on the menu twice a week for its health-promoting properties. However, not all fish are created equal – some varieties are also healthy for the rest, including the meat of the pangasius fillet.
The Pangasius lie: this is why the fish species are unhealthy
Pangasius fillet is often found on German frozen food shelves because the fish is cheap, low in fat and has a mild flavor. In 2011 alone, people in Germany bought around 40,000 tons of exotic pangasius. It is a freshwater fish that lives in warmer tropical waters. There it is not on a big one layer of fat dependent, which is why it contains very few healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These are found mainly in fat-rich cold-water fish such as salmon, herring and trout.
Therefore, use these types of fish to meet your iodine and omega-3 fat needs. Pangasius is not suitable for this and on top of that it usually contains mercury, which can cause nerve damage. Additionally, edible fish usually comes from questionable breeding conditions.
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Breeding: where does Pangasius come from?
The cheap pangasius fillets we can buy at the supermarket often come from fish farms in Vietnam. This form of farming, the so-called aquaculture, Similar to Intensive Farming: Similar to raising cattle or pigs, there are too many animals in a confined space. The water is polluted with fish excretions, that’s why antibiotics must be used in the feed.
In particular, the Mekong Delta, a labyrinth of rivers in southern Vietnam, suffers from the breeding of edible fish.
Unhealthy Fish: These pollutants are found in pangasius
In addition to antibiotics, harmful pollutants can also be found in popular freshwater fish. When fish fillets are processed, they are often included phosphate and citric acid, as they bind the water in the fish, making it heavier. After thawing, the phosphate remains in the pangasius and is absorbed by us.
Mercury: which fish is particularly contaminated?
Compared to other fish, pangasius is actually contaminated with only small to medium amounts of mercury. By far the largest amounts of mercury are found in predatory fish such as tuna fish, swordfish, cod, whitefish And pike. The so-called methylmercury is particularly toxic for our body nervous system and brain development, which is why the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) advises pregnant women and children in particular not to eat fish containing mercury.
Which fish is similar to pangasius?
Plaice or sole are suitable alternatives to pangasius fillet. In principle, you have a large choice of all flatfish.
If you still want to eat pangasius – or meat from other fish species – pay attention to this when buying ASC seal (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) – the world’s leading seal of approval for farmed fish. Also, there are others seal with strict regulations, for example “Bioland” or “Naturland – wild fish”. For more information, consult Greenpeace Fish Advisor.
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