Why I Don’t Eat Shrimp

A couple of years ago, I read an expose in Gourmet on the shrimp-farming industry. What I read about the pollution and environmental destruction caused by shrimp farming, particularly in Asia, and the chemicals that pollute the shrimp caused me to give up eating shrimp almost completely. I had suspected that over the years shrimp had become less tasty, more mushy and more redolent of chemicals. This article just confirmed my suspicions.

My husband has developed a severe reaction to shrimp — only shrimp, not crab or other shellfish. When he was tested, though, he didn’t have a true shellfish allergy. I suspect his sensitivity is to the polluting chemicals found in farmed shrimp now, rather than the shrimp itself.

I will occasionally eat wild-caught Carolina shrimp, if I am in a trustworthy restaurant that labels their shrimp as such. The taste difference is unmistakable. However, there are still problems with wild-caught shrimp, in that trawling destroys the sea floor environment, so I’m considering cutting out even my occasional indulgences.

This article in Alternet has a lot of good information on current shrimp farming and fishing practices, and why shrimp is such a harmful seafood, for you and the environment: Shrimp’s Dirty Secrets: Why America’s Favorite Seafood Is a Health and Environmental Nightmare.

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