If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you want to know if tilapia is a real fish. Tilapia is the fourth most popular fish in the United States, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It’s also the third most abundant aquaculture species in the world, behind carp and salmon. What does that mean? More people eat tilapia than any other kind of fish. Do you think that’s a good thing or not? If you do, here’s why: Tilapia are freshwater fish from Africa and Asia.
Is Tilapia a Real Fish?
No, Tilapia is not a real fish. It is actually a type of fish that is farmed and farmed all over the world. It is originally a tropical fish but now it is being raised in all temperate regions of the world. They have no scales and they are actually very bony. I don’t really know why it’s called “fish” but I think because it looks like a fish!
Why Some People Don’t Consider Tilapia A Real Fish?
Tilapia Is Farmed, Not Caught In The Wild
The first reason why tilapia isn’t considered a real fish is that it’s farmed rather than caught in the wild. Wild fish are usually associated with better quality than their farmed counterparts. For example, wild salmon is generally considered a “real fish” while farmed salmon is viewed as an inferior product. Fish are farmed in huge ponds or tanks and are fed food pellets rather than their natural diet of smaller fish or insects. Farmed fish also have weaker bones than their wild counterparts, which means they’re often deboned before they reach the store. Fish that are caught in the wild have a rich and flavourful taste that’s hard to replicate in a factory. Wild fish are often filled with beneficial nutrients that can greatly improve your health, while farmed fish may have limited health benefits.
Tilapia Has A Strong “Fishy” Smell
Another reason why tilapia isn’t considered a real fish is that it has a strong “fishy” smell. This smell comes from a compound called methylmercaptan, which is found in the tissues of all aquatic organisms. It’s not harmful to humans, but it does impart a strong odor. Fish that are described as “oily” or “fishy” have high levels of methylmercaptan. Tilapia has one of the highest levels of methylmercaptan in the fish species, making it a “fishy” type of fish that isn’t considered a real fish. Fish that have a strong smell are often described as “oily” or “fishy”. Certain types of fish, like herring and salmon, are naturally oily and have a strong smell. However, other types of fish aren’t expected to have such a pungent odour. Fish like salmon and trout are naturally oily and should have a strong smell. However, tilapia is generally expected to have a much weaker odour because it’s not an oily fish.
Tilapia Contains Very Little Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another reason why tilapia isn’t considered a real fish is that it contains very few omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that many people don’t consume enough of in their diet. Eating fish is one of the easiest ways to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, as most varieties are rich in this nutrient. However, tilapia has very few omega-3 fatty acids despite being considered a real fish. In fact, it has almost as few omega-3s as the average farmed chicken. This makes it a poor choice for people who are trying to increase their omega-3 intake, especially since fish is usually more expensive than chicken.
Tilapia Contains High Amounts Of Mercury
Another reason why tilapia isn’t considered a real fish is that it contains high amounts of mercury. Mercury is a toxic substance that can be found in certain types of fish. It’s usually found in larger fish that live in deep water, like tuna and swordfish. Fish that contain large amounts of mercury are generally avoided by health-conscious people because they can be dangerous to eat in excessive amounts. This is because mercury can build up in your body and cause serious health issues over time. Fish with low mercury levels are often described as “safe fish” that can be eaten on a regular basis. However, tilapia is considered unsafe because it has high mercury levels. This means it’s not a fish that should be eaten on a regular basis unless you have a very specific medical reason to do so.
Tilapia Is Baked, Not Fried
Another reason why tilapia isn’t considered a real fish is that it’s baked rather than fried. A good fish is usually associated with the flavor of being fried. Fish like salmon, for example, is often described as having a rich, buttery flavor that’s derived from being fried in oil. Fish like tilapia, however, is baked in an oven without any oil. This makes it a less flavourful fish, as the taste isn’t as rich or buttery as some of its counterparts. This is why many people consider it an inferior fish that shouldn’t be eaten as often.
How Is Tilapia Farmed?
Importing And Breeding
Tilapia is native to a large region of Africa and Asia, but because it can thrive in many climates, it has become a popular aquaculture species around the globe. Because of this, imported tilapia has become the norm for many U.S. restaurants. When purchasing imported tilapia, you should first consider the country of origin. While there are many responsible, high-quality producers in countries like Ecuador, Honduras, and Mexico, there are also many in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia whose practices are less than ideal. There are no certifications that can tell you exactly where your fish came from, so you’ll need to do a little research to make sure you’re getting a quality product. Because of the potential risks associated with imported tilapia, many U.S. consumers choose to buy American-grown tilapia instead.
At the tilapia hatchery, fertilized eggs will incubate in temperature-controlled tanks. Because tilapia eggs are particularly sensitive to stress, they must be kept at a consistent temperature throughout the incubation process. This will ensure that the fish grow quickly, and also that they have a healthy immune system. After 18 days, the eggs will be ready for harvest and transfer to grow-out ponds.
Grow-out ponds will be stocked with juvenile fish that are ready to be harvested after 2-3 months. When stocking ponds, tilapia farmers will use a combination of grow-out methods to maximize production. For instance, they may seed ponds with broodstock fish (aka breeding fish) and grow out a larger number of juveniles. Or they may seed a smaller number of fish that are ready to harvest sooner.
Harvest And Processing
How tilapia is harvested will vary depending on the grower. Some will harvest fish by draining the pond and scooping out the fish with a net; others will use an in-water harvest method where fish are pulled out of the pond while they are still alive. Different harvesting methods are meant to maximize fish health by minimizing stress and injury. After harvesting, growers may transfer fish to a processing plant, where they will be killed, gutted, and de-headed. Alternatively, they may process fish at the farm level. When processing fish at the farm, farmers will use a knife or scalder to kill the fish. Even though the fish are already dead, the process is designed to minimize suffering. When harvesting and processing at the same location, farmers must adhere to strict sanitary standards because they will be handling the fish while they are still alive.
Health Benefits Of Eating Real Fish
1. Tilapia is a high-quality protein source
Tilapia is a highly nutritious fish. It’s considered a “complete” protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein). The most important amino acid in tilapia is lysine, which helps build muscle tissue and assists in the body’s metabolic processes. Tilapia also contains high levels of selenium, which helps to regulate metabolism and immune function.
2. Tilapia is low in fat and calories
Because tilapia has less fat than other fish, it can be eaten without excess calories. In fact, one cup serving of tilapia only has about 60 calories! Fat is not necessary for good health, but it does provide texture that can enhance the flavor of food. In addition to being low in fat and calories, tilapia also has very little cholesterol (11 milligrams per 3-ounce serving) so people with high cholesterol should not eat this fish if they are trying to lower their cholesterol levels.
3. Tilapia is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important because they help protect against inflammation and reduce inflammation throughout the body. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and improving blood lipid profiles (blood fats). Omega-3 fatty acids may also lower triglycerides (a type of blood fat) in some people. Fish is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One 3-ounce serving of tilapia contains about 55 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults.
Tilapia might not be a real fish, but it’s a delicious and nutritious one. Eating tilapia can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other diseases, improve your brain and eye health, and more. It’s also affordable, available, and easy to cook.