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Difference Between Local Fresh Caught Seafood and Farmed

Did you ever think there would be a day when the majority of seafood houses serve foreign frozen seafood? It is sad fact that most seafood chain restaurants, Nags Head chain supermarkets, and Outer Banks based branches of superstores sell mostly frozen foreign seafood. These are raised in fish farms, mostly in Central Asia, away from the same production standards as businesses in the United States.

This got me to wondering. What is actually in the mass produced foreign frozen seafood that people in the Outer Banks and the Greater North Carolina Coast and the United States are consuming in droves?

Well a look at some reports showed me that the waters of the seafood you get from seafood chains is not the same water that you would get from fresh seafood caught here locally. I thought water meant water. You know H2o with salt. I never assumed there was anything but that.

Foreign Seafood Waters Contain..

Well some of the things they have found in this foreign seafood are:

  • Formaldehyde
  • leuco-malachite green
  • PCB (banned in 1979)
  • Artificial Coloring
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Carbon Monoxide

What If I don’t Know What It Is?

Sounds Yummy right? I know what you might be thinking. I do not know what some of these compounds are. You many not know what they do either. So I created a simple litmus test to help you determine whether you should allow it in your seafood.

Would YOU Swim In It?

Yes you can download apps on your phone to check what an ingredient is. You can watch exposes and shop at select supermarkets. But why not just ask the question:

Would YOU swim in it?

An easy question and easy answer. Maybe you are more visual and need to put in a way where you can really grasp the gravity of the question. So here we go. Imagine one of those chain seafood commercials with the fishermen in Alaska or Portland or Maine bringing in the big catch from the Wild waters of the Pacific or Atlantic. Now imagine that voiceover of the actor saying:

We fish these carp from the Bay Of Formaldehyde

And then maybe the camera could switch to a lab with some smoothly dressed scientist with a green vial saying something like

its not just used to preserve your dead loved ones. Mixed with PCB And Carbon Monoxide it provides a life like fish feast experience

By the way I do not know if there is an actual Bay of Formaldehyde but I am not swimming in it if there was.

Heck if you wouldn’t swim in it

Even simpler..would you swim in it? If you wouldn’t swim in the compound added to the seafood you probably wouldn’t eat it. If you don’t know what you are about to dive in, you shouldn’t dive into it. You definitely should refrain from eating it. Think about it:

  1. Fresh water: would swim in it: would eat from it
  2. Salt water: would swim in it: would eat from it
  3. Pool of Formaldehyde: no swimming or consumption here
  4. Artificial Coloring: Not deadly but would look silly if I were dyed pink and hard to explain to people: won’t swim in it: might eat it
  5. PCB (banned in 1979): not sure what it is: but banned decades ago: wouldn’t swim In it: won’t eat it
  6. Sodium tripolyphosphate: I recognize the first part of sodium as salt but not the second: no swim: no consume
  7. Carbon Monoxide: not sure how I would swim in but do not want to: Definitely won’t eat it

An Action Plan To Avoid It

If you can avoid it…avoid it. Think places that serve fresh seafood and have always served fresh seafood.


How Safe Is Your Imported Seafood? (n.d.). Retrieved from

Imports and Exports: How Safe is Seafood From Foreign Sources? | Food Safety News. (2018, July 30). Retrieved from

M, L. (2018, August 22). Shopping for Seafood? Watch Out for These Additives – The Healthy Fish. Retrieved from


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