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Old 08 July 2013, 08:31 PM
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Goldfish Do not eat tilapia!

http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/tilapia.asp
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  #2  
Old 08 July 2013, 08:55 PM
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When I was a kid we ate wild tilapia that we caught out of backyard canals in South Florida. Today I shudder to think how much fertilizer runoff, sewage, oil, garbage, and toxic chemicals those fish, and we, were ingesting. Just because you catch or grow something in your backyard doesn't mean it's necessarily any healthier for you. That being said, I do only eat local seafood, and I try to eat as much local food in general as possible. I just don't fish from canals anymore. Ocean-caught fish still can contain toxins, I know, but because I don't actually see the pollution in the ocean, it's sort of out of sight, out of mind.
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Old 08 July 2013, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: ALWAYS buy wild caught fish NEVER farm raised!



MOST OF THESE PRODUCTS COME FROM FISH FARMS IN THE ORIENT WHERE THERE ARE NO REGULATIONS ON WHAT IS FED TO THESE FISH.
.
Riiiiiight, cause them wild fish is regulated and only eat unicorn dew. Or something.
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Old 08 July 2013, 10:43 PM
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There is a lot of truth buried in that mess of an OP. Unfortunately, avoiding the problems raised isn't that simple.
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  #5  
Old 08 July 2013, 11:46 PM
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Goldfish

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch page for tilapia lists US, Canadian, and Ecuadorian tilapia as "best choice" and Chinese and Taiwanese tilapia has "good alternative." (Click here for a PDF of the full report.) In other words, the Far Eastern sources are not on their avoid lists.

The interesting (to me, at least) thing is that Seafood Watch site doesn't have any data for wild tilapia. Contrast this with their page for salmon, which lists both wild and farmed sources. This indicates to me that tilapia in the US is all farmed, just like catfish.

Brian
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Old 09 July 2013, 01:05 AM
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Didn't we get this warning a few years ago? I feel like I've seen it before.
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  #7  
Old 09 July 2013, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Didn't we get this warning a few years ago? I feel like I've seen it before.
Well, we know they're bad to put in an aquarium...
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Old 09 July 2013, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
It is enough to make you throw up. Some foreign workers have to wear masks as they work in these places, because the food is so rotten and filthy, it makes them want to throw up.
Don't workers in many food preparation places have to wear masks? I was under the impression that the masks (and gloves, and aprons, etc.) were to protect the FOOD from being contaminated by the workers. I'm not defending the quality control in China, but this isn't evidence of lack of quality control.
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  #9  
Old 09 July 2013, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch page for tilapia lists US, Canadian, and Ecuadorian tilapia as "best choice" and Chinese and Taiwanese tilapia has "good alternative."
But those recommendations don't have anything to do with how good they are is for the people eating it, do they? They're recommended based on their environmental sustainability or ecological impact.
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  #10  
Old 09 July 2013, 06:16 AM
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Controlling what the tilapia eat should not be the issue - tilapia are not carnivorous and eat algae and aquatic plants. I don't think that they can be "fooled" into eating animal protein, and because they are not carnivores and grow quickly, they don't accumulate toxins like slow-growing carnivorous fish like, say, orange roughy.
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Old 09 July 2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
tilapia are not carnivorous and eat algae and aquatic plants. I don't think that they can be "fooled" into eating animal protein,
Actually, everything I can find on them in a quick search says that they're omniverous.

And quite a lot of species that we think of as vegetarian will eat animal protein under some circumstances.
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Old 09 July 2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Actually, everything I can find on them in a quick search says that they're omniverous.
And quite a lot of species that we think of as vegetarian will eat animal protein under some circumstances.
Everything? Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilapia

To wit - this section:

Quote:
Unlike carnivorous fish, tilapia can feed on algae or any plant-based food. This reduces the cost of tilapia farming, reduces fishing pressure on prey species, avoids concentrating toxins that accumulate at higher levels of the food chain and makes tilapia the preferred "aquatic chickens" of the trade.
This statement is cited as follows :

Barlow, G. W. (2000). The Cichlid Fishes. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. ISBN 0-7382-0376-9.

This isn't about general misconceptions about "vegetarian" species eating other animals, as some non-predators regularly eat animals killed by other animals. It's one specific fish, and the very first, well-cited article I find refers to tilapia as non-carnivorous.
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Old 09 July 2013, 05:00 PM
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The problem with tilapia is they are a bland food with no redeeming value to one's pallate. No essential oils and only 7g protien.
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Old 09 July 2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Everything? Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilapia

To wit - this section:



This statement is cited as follows :

Barlow, G. W. (2000). The Cichlid Fishes. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. ISBN 0-7382-0376-9.

This isn't about general misconceptions about "vegetarian" species eating other animals, as some non-predators regularly eat animals killed by other animals. It's one specific fish, and the very first, well-cited article I find refers to tilapia as non-carnivorous.
Thorny locust said that his sources described them as omnivorous, not carnivorous. The Wikipedia you quoted says the same thing, in the "As Food" section:
Quote:
Guided by these findings, tilapia farming techniques could be adjusted to address the nutritional criticisms directed at the fish while retaining its advantage as an omnivore capable of feeding on economically and environmentally inexpensive vegetable protein.
That article indicates that tilapia are not carnivorous, i.e., their diets are not exclusively or primarily of animal tissue. It does not say that their diets do not include animal tissue. It says they can eat plants, not that they are "vegetarian" or herbivorous.
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Old 09 July 2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
Thorny locust said that his sources described them as omnivorous, not carnivorous. The Wikipedia you quoted says the same thing, in the "As Food" section:
The complete paragraph you quoted is below:

Quote:
Multiple studies have evaluated the effects of adding flaxseed derivatives (a vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids) to the feed of farmed tilapia. These studies have found both the more common omega-3 fatty acid found in the flax, ALA and the two types almost unique to animal sources (DHA and EPA), increased in the fish fed this diet.Guided by these findings, tilapia farming techniques could be adjusted to address the nutritional criticisms directed at the fish while retaining its advantage as an omnivore capable of feeding on economically and environmentally inexpensive vegetable protein. Adequate diets for salmon and other carnivorous fish can alternatively be formulated from protein sources such as soybean, although soy-based diets may also change in the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
The first sentence in bold is what sets up this the second sentence (underlined) which had no specific cites. The last sentence is cited in a "Sanford Health" article which demonstrates the health benefits of eating tilapia over, say, other oily fish. (The criticism of tilapia being that they had less Omega-3 content than oily fish, but the article points out that tilapia still exceeds the current daily intake of Omega-3s.) I didn't take this as a strongly cited statement with authority.

Quote:
That article indicates that tilapia are not carnivorous, i.e., their diets are not exclusively or primarily of animal tissue. It does not say that their diets do not include animal tissue. It says they can eat plants, not that they are "vegetarian" or herbivorous.
My point here is that the *first* article I found refers to tilapia as non-carnivorous (because they are "unlike carnivorous fish"), in well-cited fashion. They are accustomed to eating only plant material. So when farming them, it is not necessary to provide any animal protein as feed, and no need to prevent the tilapia from eating each other. If their only food source while being farmed - and this would have to be very carefully chosen to fool them (which I doubt) - is animal protein, then I suppose the fish would eat that just because it is hungry. I suppose then, in true "ha-ha" fashion, that some would claim that the fish is, indeed, carnivorous.

My original point is that tilapia are not predators - so the issue of "what they eat is unsafe" is not so important. When farmed, tilapia need only be fed vegetable matter. The fish grow quickly and, therefore, would not accumulate toxins like many predatory, carnivorous (and in some cases, exclusively carnivorous) fish which are popular as human food. The concept of farmed fish being fed improperly - especially when farmed in the 3rd world or where standards are assumed to be more lax - is a new concept mentioned in the OP. I did not think it to be valid, because, well, we're feeding vegetable matter to tilapia. That vegetable matter may have been grown using pesticides and chemical fertilizer, but I'd find that less risky than fish fed with fish meal or something higher up the food chain. As Cervus mentioned above, fertilizer runoff (rather than fertilizer absorbed in plants), sewage, oil, garbage, and toxins are probably a greater threat in farmed tilapia - than the plant material they ate.
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Old 09 July 2013, 08:17 PM
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But the snopes entry stated that many small sellers in the East were feeding their tilapia animal feces, and in fact some who had been feeding them properly were forced to switch because they couldn't compete. There are big places too, and they are more likely to be doing it right for a number of reasons IMO: 1) the bigger you are the more oversight 2) if you're going to buy something to feed your fish it might as well be commercial feed, which stores better 3) why run the risk of having a huge load of fish refused?
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Old 09 July 2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
Thorny locust said that his sources described them as omnivorous, not carnivorous. The Wikipedia you quoted says the same thing, in the "As Food" section:


That article indicates that tilapia are not carnivorous, i.e., their diets are not exclusively or primarily of animal tissue. It does not say that their diets do not include animal tissue. It says they can eat plants, not that they are "vegetarian" or herbivorous.
Exactly (psst: except for the masculine pronoun. Not that it matters in this context.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
My point here is that the *first* article I found refers to tilapia as non-carnivorous (because they are "unlike carnivorous fish"), in well-cited fashion.
They are unlike carnivorous fish. They are also unlike totally vegetarian fish (if there is such a thing.) You appear to be under the impression that only two categories exist, carnivorous and entirely vegetarian. This isn't so. Like many other species (including our own) they are naturally omnivorous.

Cites:

http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=tilapia

Quote:
Most types of tilapia are omnivorous, preferring to eat soft vegetation and detritus, which can be anything from dead animals and organisms to fecal matter.
http://2001-2009.state.gov/g/oes/ocns/inv/cs/2310.htm

Quote:
The Tilapia has a tolerance for poor water quality and is omnivorous, able to use a wide range of natural food organisms.
http://srac.msstate.edu/tilapia.htm

Quote:
The most positive aquacultural characteristics of tilapia are their tolerance to poor water quality and their ability to utilize a wide range of natural food organisms (i.e. omnivorous).
You stated both in your earlier post to which I first replied, and again in your more recent post, that they would be difficult even to fool into eating non-vegetarian food sources. I see no evidence whatsoever for that claim, and quite a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Even if they did eat only non-meat foods, it's perfectly possible for vegetable foods to be contaminated with toxins or pathogens.
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Old 09 July 2013, 08:48 PM
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"Not carnivorous" does not mean that they don't eat meat. It leaves open the possibility of them being omnivores or herbivores. The evidence, unless you find a cite to the contrary, is that they are omnivores.

ETA: Addressing Mike's posts.
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  #19  
Old 09 July 2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
But those recommendations don't have anything to do with how good they are is for the people eating it, do they?
Their principal concern is sustainability but it isn't their only concern. From page 3 of their full report.
Quote:
The low chemical use in tilapia production in the US determines a high score for this criterion.
Again, their principle concern is, obviously, environmental, but as they say on page 17:
Quote:
Improper use of chemical treatments impacts non-target organisms and leads to production losses and human health concerns due to the development of chemical-resistant organisms.
However, this may all be moot now since there is a page now that provides much more data about the health concerns.

Brian
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Old 10 July 2013, 04:48 PM
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As I understand it, yes, many creatures are omnivorous in that they will eat whatever food is most readily available, provided that it can sustain them. Predators are mostly, but perhaps not exclusively, carnivorous. Some creatures which are primarily carnivores, are not predators, but eat carrion.

I'd like to point out that I have yet to see anything - especially in your retorts - about what kind of animal matter is eaten by tilapia. Do they eat krill? Carrion? Do they dig up shellfish from the seabed? This is a fish, after all, and if it is eating sea grass with fish eggs on it, it may not avoid those fish eggs.

The point that many of you are missing is this - *farmed* tilapia will eat whatever the farmer puts in front of them, as long as the tilapia don't have to kill it. They can be fed exclusively vegetable matter - which is cheaper, easier to obtain, and generally safer than animal protein. By "safer" I refer specifically to the issue that toxins accumulate in predatory (or primarily carnivorous) fish, being present in every creature lower in the food chain, that the predatory (or primarily carnivorous) fish eats.

Are they feeding animal feces to farmed tilapia in Asia? Well, let's think about this for a moment. Can tilapia thrive, and, indeed, grow quickly enough to become a marketable size, while eating animal feces? (It may not kill the fish, but if the tilapia merely endure and do not grow quickly, then what's the point of farming them? It's not profitable, and it won't be done if it merely keeps the fish *alive*.) Does eating animal feces make a creature an "omnivore" rather than a "herbivore"?

So why would a "fish farmer" deliberately choose not to feed vegetable matter to a non-carnivorous fish, which can survive (and thrive) on only vegetable matter? Animal-based feed costs more. And how well does tilapia actually grow when fed that way? The risks, as mentioned in the OP, of eating that fish don't really exist because, well, doing what the OP states doesn't make a lot of sense. Not to me anyway. YMMV.
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