Something's fishy: Is our seafood safe to eat?
- Mercury gets accumulated in the fish during its lifetime
- Carcinogens like formalin and sodium benzoate are used to prevent fish from decaying
- Ice used to preserve fish is made of water mixed with ammonia and formalin
From fresh water and salt water to deep water shell fish, sea food is a beloved delicacy. The low-fat, high protein powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids offers a wide range of health benefits. Often called the brain food, it helps ease symptoms of depression and keep your heart hail and healthy. It even keep your hair and skin looking radiant. Fish is also proven to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
However, in today's environment these statements are only partially true or the fish you eat may even prove harmful"prove harmful to your health. The unscrupulous fishmongers are using chemicals ranging from hydrogen peroxide to formalin to preserve their catch.
Fish is the biggest carrier of mercury, the metal which can harm the development of brain. The mercury released to air through waste and pollution and the organic mercury compound methyl mercury is eaten by fish. Studies have proved that mercury level is high in people who eat fish regularly.
The infamous carcinogen, is used as a preservative to prolong the shelflife of fish. Though this chemical preservative is acceptable when used in low amounts, a combination with Vitamin E or C will release benzene which causes harmful effects on the bone marrow. The sodium salt can have detrimental effect on your health.
The chemical is so dangerous that even exposure to high concentration of ammonia in air can cause burning of throat, nose and respiratory tract. This can also lead to alveolar bronchial edema and destruction of airway resulting in respiratory distress or failure. It may also prove fatal if inhaled. The fish we purchase from market is preserved in ice made of water mixed with ammonia. Ammonia is used to slow down the melting of ice.
Fish brought from market is heavily contaminated with formalin, the chemical used to preserve dead bodies in mortuaries. The carcinogen, a substance which causes cancer, is used to prevent deterioration of fish. The toxic substance also affects the functioning of internal organs.
It is an antimicrobial agent used to prevent decomposition of fish and to retain its natural taste. Though ingestion of small amount of hydrogen peroxide is not harmful to human body, consumption of higher concentration may result in mild irritation, burns to throat, stomach and throat or vomiting. It might also lead to burns to gut mucosa and mucus membrane.