If they were raised in China, there’s a chance the fish on your plate had feces for its food. That’s not good eats. For reasons unknown, aquaculture does not seem to get as much exposure as agriculture, but aquaculture is just as detrimental to the earth and to the aquatic animals as is industrial agriculture.

There are many problems with the practice of feeding fish feces, the first of course being that it is hugely disgusting and unnatural. To give another: “The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,” says Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, via Bloomberg.

Yang Shuiquan, chairman of a government-sponsored tilapia aquaculture association in Lianjiang, says a “growing number of Guangdong farmers adopt that practice anyway because of fierce competition.”

Besides the general gross-out factor and high health risks, feeding pig and geese feces to fish is perpetuating the cycle of factory farming to a truly disturbing level. There would not be an overabundance of feces needing a place to go if animals were not intensively farmed. The sad fact that to keep costs low, farmers would choose to transport and handle feces rather than buy feed, should be a wake up call for consumers. A few quick examples of other unsavory feed additives include: GMO soy in fish feed, arsenic, and antibiotics.

Need one more reason to ditch the fish? Bloomburg reports, “About 27 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from China — and the shipments that the FDA checks are frequently contaminated, the FDA has found.”

P.S. – Here’s a vegan fish and chips recipe to try out, and it’s feces free!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons