Our research on tilapia impacts on Lake Apoyo, recently cited in the New York Times, reached the attention of this blog (see May 02, 2011 entry), thanks to the environmental and nutritional aspects noted in the article. In our search for food that doesn't hurt the environment and gives us good health, we make a number of wrong turns, and farmed tilapia appears to be one of them. Will this attention change our eating behaviors?
|No, this is not tilapia, but it looks tasty and it is probably much|
better for the environment.
We are convinced that tilapia can contribute significantly to improve the nutritional lot of an overpopulated world. But as Ms. Rosenthal has pointed out, it falls far short as a substitute for wild-caught fish in both nutrition and in health concerns, and tilapia farms located outside the US often destroy the environment in ways that we would never permit in the US. We need to improve our policing of imported food to the US and stop exporting the externalized costs to the poorer countries of the world.
Tilapia aquaculture in Nicaragua has been severely mishandled since its inauguration in 1965. Today, tilapia are not just in tanks and cages; they are in the majority of the watersheds, feral and in many places tilapia dominate the aquatic habitats.