The local supermarkets seem to sell a ton of tilapia, probably because it’s relatively cheap. Fillyjonk, for one, won’t touch the stuff:
Actually, some of the Healthists claim that Tilapia really isn’t all that great for you after all something to do with the balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 acids. (The fact that it eats excrement apparently isn’t even a blip on the radar)
Me? I hate most fish and won’t eat it. I make an exception for freshly-caught panfish and the occasional wildcaught salmon.
This particular claim by “Healthists” (I gotta steal that term) drew this open letter from a consortium of scientific types:
US Department of Agriculture statistics indicate that farmed tilapia and catfish contain somewhat more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3. Most health experts (including organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association) agree that omega-6 fatty acids are, like omega-3s, heart-healthy nutrients which should be a part of everyone’s diet. Omega-6 fatty acids are found primarily in vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower, etc) but also in salad dressings, nuts, whole-wheat bread, and chicken.
Replacing tilapia or catfish with “bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts” is absolutely not recommended.
And that would seem to be that except for this:
While working in Mexico I found that some Beltrán-Leyva Cartel types were feeding people they killed to farmed tilapia in the Puerto Vallarta area to hide the bodies. Other disturbing reports indicated that the Arellano-Felix Cartel people were doing it in Northern Mexico as well to get rid of their rivals. Apparently tilapia enjoy the meal and grow even more rapidly with the steady supply of protein.
Most of these fish find their way to tables in Mexico and to tourist destinations along the Mexican Riviera, so buying and eating them in the US is likely cartel-influence free. Personally I’ve been put off on eating them.
Beltrán-Leyva has supposedly been inactive for several years, but yes, that sort of thing is off-putting: you generally don’t see this issue with bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts.
(That cartel link via Bayou Renaissance Man.)