Instead of eating tuna, there is a big chance that you may be eating a type of fish that can cause serious digestive effects, called escolar.
Almost 60% of ‘’tuna’’ that is in the restaurants and grocery stores is another type of fish. It is worse for sushi restaurants. These findings were revealed by the non-profit ocean protection group Oceana.
If you love sushi, skip the one called ‘’tuna’’
1,200 fish samples across the US were tested by Oceana. The results were terrifying – one-third of the fishes were mislabeled. Tuna is second with almost 60%, but the highest mislabeling rates have red snapper samples (almost 90%).
75% of fish samples were mislabeled at sushi restaurants. Even major metropolitan areas like Chicago, New York, Austin and Washington have the same problem.
Those mislabeled fishes were substituted for less desirable, cheaper, and more readily available fish, according to Oceana’s report. And the results were:
-In 46 fish types, 27 were mislabeled. (Almost 60%)
-Almost 90% of fish sold as snapper was actually other type of fish
-Almost 60% of tuna was some other type of fish
-85% of ‘’white tuna’’ sold in sushi venues was escolar.
-Red snapper, grouper, and halibut in most of the cases were substituted with tile fish and king mackerel. These two types of fish have dangerously high mercury content, and pregnant women should avoid it.
Only 1% of Imported Seafood is Tested for Fraud
This situation is out of control, because no one is minding the store. There is no explanation of how people who sell mislabeled fish get away. It is shocking that 90% of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, and just 1% of imports are inspected for fraud. Because everyone is minding their own business, try to avoid this kind of fish.
Seafood fraud is harming not only consumers, but also every honest vendor and fisherman cheated in the process. Increased inspection and testing of our seafood, specifically for mislabeling, and laws that will punish those who are involved in this process is the solution for this problem.
Another Good Reason to Avoid Tuna: It’s Typically Loaded With Mercury
The best source for the animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA is fish. The pollution is increasing and this health treasure of a food is becoming less and less available. This is true for tuna, which tends to be a higher mercury fish.
Many studies were made to prove this, so one study from the U.S. Geological Survey showed that all tuna that were tested, had high amounts of mercury. And imagine the contamination in restaurants? Another study showed that in the restaurants tuna had even higher amounts of mercury.
Depending on the fish size, and if it lived for a longer time, it had more time to bioaccumulate toxins like mercury from the ocean. So the restaurants are buying larger sized fish so that means it contains much more mercury.
80% of Salmon May Also Be Mislabeled
But it is not just the tuna and red snapper that are mislabeled. Randy Hartnell is a founder-president of Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics. He explains that almost 80% of the fish marked ’’wild’’ salmon were actually farmed. And of course in the restaurants 90% of salmon is farmed. But he gave us some tips that will help us to determine whether the salmon is authentic:
1.Canned salmon labeled ‘’Alaskan Salmon’’ is a good bet, as Alaskan salmon is not allowed to be farmed.
2. Mislabeled salmon will be described as ‘’wild’’ but not ‘’wild Alaskan’’ in restaurants, because ‘’wild Alaskan’’ is easier to trace.
3. No matter if you are in a grocery store or a restaurant, always ask where is the fish from. If they don’t have an answer to your question then this is another sigh that maybe it’s farmed or even something worse.
4.Salmon labeled ‘’Atlantic Salmon’’ actually comes from fish farms, so that means you need to avoid it.
5. Sockeye salmon is in most of the cases wild, because it cannot be farmed. You can notice sockeye salmon from other salmon by their colors. It has bright red color as opposed to pink because of its superior astaxanthin content.
3 Ways to Help Determine if Seafood Is Mislabeled
It is hard to notice if you are actually eating, what you ordered or bought. So always do this 3 things in order to protect yourself:
1. Always ask about the fish, like what kind of fish is it, if it is wild or farm raised, how and when it was caught.
2. You need to check the prices, if you see that is so cheap, than there is a big chance that you will maybe get another type of fish.
3. If you have the chance, then purchase the whole fish, because that way is harder to swap one species for another.
If You Are a Seafood Lover, Use These Tips To Stay Healthy
The conclusion is that you need to avoid most of the fishes, because major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, so that means you still need somehow to get animal-based omega-3 in your body. You can do that with krill oil, but there are two exceptions.
The chlorella is a potent mercury binder. So make sure you use chlorella tablets, when you consume fish. It will help you bind the mercury before you absorb it.
Another exception is smaller fish with short lifecycles. So if you can’t avoid fish, then eat the following types:
Remember to always avoid larger fishes!