Yet another reason to avoid imported fish . . .

. . . and this one’s nauseating!

I’ve written before about the dangers of fish and shellfish sourced from South-East Asia and China, where impurities and pollution affect fish farm water and antibiotics and chemicals are routinely added to their food to promote faster growth and treat infections resulting from overcrowding.  Now Virtual Mirage gives us an even better reason to avoid Mexican-farmed tilapia.

While working in Mexico I found that some Beltran Leyva Cartel types were feeding people they killed to farmed tilapia in the Puerto Vallerta 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.

Santiago “El Pozolero” (The soup maker) Meza Lopez became famous for the “El pozole” (Mexican meat soup), that he made of dead people, killed by the Arellano-Felix Family and later for the Sinaloa Cartel.

“El Pozolero” became famous because he was in charge of getting rid of the bodies of the war that was being fought in Tijuana over the drug routes towards the United States. Some of those bodies ended up being dissolved in caustic chemicals. Others made their way to the tilapia ponds because caustic chemicals cost money and the cartel owned tilapia ponds and could solve two problems at once.

I’m not suggesting that all Mexican tilapia are farmed using bodies of dead people as food. I’m not suggesting that even a small percentage of the tilapia raised in Mexico are farmed in that way. I’m simply saying that I refuse to eat ANY tilapia and that’s why.

There’s more at the link.

I seem to have suddenly lost my appetite for tilapia . . .



  1. Peter, I grew tilapia for a few years, and still build liquid oxygen injection systems for water recirculation filters. We used to (illegally) infuse fry feed, the stuff to feed baby tilapia, with methylated testosterone to make them 100% male (they process food more efficiently). Tilapia grown in the US, EU and Costa Rica are watched over like they're made of gold; something related to the crappy profit margin of selling the fillets in bulk. You can eat them with confidence. We really did hand-feed them and monitor their water with rabid vigilance, you know, after we stopped giving them sex changes, and that's the modern standard. US/EU/Costa Rica-grown tilapia can be Organic certified, and you might imagine what a pain in the ass the business hippies are about giving that cert. The rest, and unsourced tilapia, are ditch fish. You're better off going to McDonald's for lunch.

  2. Not to be overly blunt here, but all fish eat dead bodies. Also, still alive bodies and the excreta of live bodies. Whose pond (God's or some erstwhile commercial fish farmer) said fish happen to live in seems kind of beside the point. Knowing the percentage of human DNA in said fish's total diet would certainly be worth a second (or fifth) consideration, but the supposition that there might be some seems silly squeamish somehow.

    You're an African; I bet at some point in your life you've eaten Crocodile tail, and did so with relish (gusto, not the condiment :)). Maybe a juicy Bear steak up in Alaska? Given the well-documented dietary standards both species enjoy when they can, what are the odds you were dining on re-cycled human (direct or by-product) on those occasions?

    There are very sound health reasons against eating your own species directly having nothing to do with scruples. At second degree of separation by way of some other animal's digestive juices has to qualify for "reasonable doubt" at some point in the BBQ process though, doesn't it?

  3. Years ago NatGeo did a show on farming fish. After species X was hauled out of their pond Talapia were put in to clean it. Turns out fish not only pee/poop where they live, they eat the stuff, too.

    What little fish I do eat these days comes from the ocean.

    stay safe.

  4. The mafia were silent partners in some pig farms for this purpose. Crank up that meat grinder, and there's nothing left – the pigs have no problem with cleaning it all up. Are you going to stop eating bacon?

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