Believe it or not, shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States; this number is calculated in relation to the amount eaten nationwide and the amount that is fished for. Consumed everywhere from the shrimp cocktail to the tasty gumbo, shrimp is tiny, but mighty, especially in the punch it packs in the amount consumed department.
However, as tasty and popular as the shrimp may be, it’s best that you know all about it in order to protect your health and well-being. For instance, close to 90 percent of the shrimp we eat here in the U.S. is imported, but roughly a mere two percent of that whopping 90, gets thoroughly inspected by U.S. regulatory agencies. This is a major concern when you understand that shrimp, more so than any other seafood in the U.S. has been found to have contaminants in it: contaminants consisting of banned chemicals and harmful pesticides.
According to a 2011 Government Accountability Office census, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested a measly 0.1 percent of all the imported seafood during that year for harmful chemicals. This means that in that year alone, seafood, and mainly shrimp, was contaminated with health hazardous antibiotics and other chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer when eaten in large quantities on a frequent basis.
In a recent study on chemicals within our foods, shrimp was tested and found to contain traces of nitrofuranzone, which is a known carcinogen used in antibiotics. Some of these levels of chemicals were up to 30 times greater than the allowed amount under FDA guidelines. Another antibiotic, chloramphenical, was also found at dangerous levels well over 100 times the legal limit. This chemical has been linked to aplastic anemia and leukemia.
Previous testing on U.S.-consumed shrimp has also found penicillin, which is a legal antibiotic, but is also one of the more popular and deadly triggers for severe allergic reactions. These chemicals are thought to linger on the shrimp, as they are used to help clean the areas where the shrimp is housed before being sold. Improper care of these chemicals, and the misuse of the practices in cleaning the shrimp, have led to the high amounts of dangerous chemicals being left behind. Salmonella and E. coli have also been detected on shrimp in small amounts.
The conditions in which shrimp are packaged and shipped have little to no regulation. The focus is solely on producing large amounts of packaged seafood in a timely manner so that it can be shipped, so many of the places that get the seafood ready to be sent worldwide, are not of the highest caliber. Much of the reason that these foods are coming to our tables with chemicals embedded in them is because of the improper care that manufacturers are taking when shipping them out in large quantities.
Now, while one exposure to imported shrimp isn’t going to severely harm or kill you, the chronic exposure to things like harmful residue and antibiotics most certainly will. The fact that shrimp accounts for close to 30 percent of all shipments of imported seafood that get rejected due to filth and chemicals, is a big deal. Be sure to properly prepare your shrimp (boil or bake) the next time you are indulging in the country’s most popular seafood.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.