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Why You May Never Want to Eat Shrimp Again

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety Research Center page.

Shrimp cocktail makes a great finger food for holiday parties. Right? Only if you have no idea how those crustaceans were produced. Because if you did,  you wouldn’t want to eat shrimp again.

Before I go on, I'll say this: There is good shrimp out there. Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a list of decent sources. The tricky part is knowing which is which.

Even in the best case, you know which country it's from and whether it's farmed or wild. But odds are you won't know how it was farmed or how it was caught, so you're basically no wiser than you were before you got those tidbits of information.

My rule of thumb is that retailers and restaurants will always tell you when food is extra-good because they'll want to charge you for it.

Why offer up organic fruit or wild Alaskan salmon or heritage turkey unless you can make an extra buck? When food isn't labeled, it's probably the cheapest stuff out there.

So back to the mystery coconut shrimp on that tray at the party this weekend. What's in it? Where did it come from?

By the numbers, shrimp is America's No. 1 seafood by a long shot, and a whopping 85 percent of the shrimp we eat is imported. Some is farmed, and some is wild. And when it arrives in the U.S., almost none of this food is ever inspected.

When it is inspected, some of the top reasons it's rejected are "filth," salmonella and residues of banned veterinary drugs. (Hungry yet?)    


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