The term shrimp is used to refer to some decapod crustaceans, although the exact animals covered can vary. Used broadly, it may cover any of the groups with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. In some fields, however, the term is used more narrowly, and may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group, or to only the marine species.
Shockingly, industrial-grade gelatin is injected into shrimp, as well as sea cucumbers and sea horses, in China in order to make the products heavier and bigger and increase the profit obtained. These shrimps were detected in several Chinese cities and they may also be imported to the United States.
Shrimp, however, due to their small size, have generally been considered to be one of the safer kinds of seafood. But a recent article1 may make you think twice about eating shrimp, unless you know it’s wild-caught from a clean source.
A major part of the problem is farmed shrimp which, like farmed fish, tends to be far more contaminated than its wild-caught counterparts. Aquatic farms of all kinds also pose grave dangers to ecological systems. Another problem is lack of inspection and oversight of imported seafood.
A video report shows one supplier using 30 chemical pumps to inject each shrimp with a combination of the following:
CMC (Carboxymethyl cellulose)
CMC is used in food under the E number E466 as a viscosity modifier or thickener, and to stabilize emulsions in various products including ice cream. It is also a constituent of many non-food products, such astoothpaste, laxatives, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, textile sizing, and various paper products.
Gelatin is a protein made from animal products.
Gelatin is used for weight loss and for treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Some people also use it for strengthening bones, joints, and fingernails. Gelatin is also used for improving hair quality and to shorten recovery after exercise and sports-related injury.
Glucose is stored as a polymer, in plants as starch and in animals as glycogen, for times when the
organism will need it.
Why is this done?
A recent Arizona State University study analyzed 27 samples of seafood, including shrimp, from 11 countries. Researchers found detectable amounts of five different antibiotics, including in wild shrimp. This is a critical finding, since the use of antibiotics in food production has contributed to a rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria, a major public health concern.
Bottom line: nutritionally speaking, shrimp is a bit of mixed bag, and Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood item. If you’re one of them the best advice is to know the pros and cons, enjoy shrimp in moderation, and do your best to shop for, prepare, and order the healthiest options.
What is CMC?
CMC or Carboxymethylcellulose, is a “water-soluble anionic linear polymer” used as a food additive, as well as in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Different types of CMC are available: purified (food grade), technical grade and industrial. The food grade is 99.5% or higher, and is called cellulose gum. The FDA labeled it GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), however no new studies have been done since 1970s to confirm that it is indeed harmless. What we currently know is that consuming large amounts of CMC can potentially lead to diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
Unfortunately, we do not know that the CMC Vietnam gets from China is food grade. Knowing that this whole scheme is to make money, it is quite likely that many vendors will order the cheapest CMC they can find; industrial grade is twice cheaper than food grade, and it is 50-90% pure. It contains large amounts of sodium chloride and sodium glycolate. Sodium chloride , also known as salt or halite, is an ionic compound with the chemical formula NaCl, representing a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chloride ions. Glycolic acid; chemical formula C₂H₄O₃, is the smallest α-hydroxy acid. This colorless, odorless, and hygroscopic crystalline solid is highly soluble in water. It is used in various skin-care products. Glycolic acid is found in some sugar-crops.
These two ingredients are not recommended for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, and sodium-sensitivity.
Although some studies suggest that the chemical is not toxic in low levels, [newer studies are needed], it is hard to say how much CMC the person is consuming when eating this shrimp form Vietnam.
And if it is injected with industrial grade CMC, people who are watching their sodium intake should be extra careful when eating shrimp. Labels and names can be confusing, meaningless, or—worse—deceptive. Sellers may not always tell (or even know) the truth about the origins of the shrimp they offer. And the allure of a label proclaiming that shrimp are “natural” or “wild” can obscure the fact that some expensive varieties aren’t necessarily fresher or more flavorful.
Watch this video for more information:
Topping the shrimp exporters to the EU in 2014 with Ecuador’s export value reached $ 800 million, India is ranked second with a value of $ 769 million, and Argentina is the third largest export value reached 512 million.In the top shrimp exporter to the EU, Vietnam ranks second in growth rate, after India (up 41.2%).
Vasep-(Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers) that they kept a high growth rate as last year, the EU is likely to overtake Japan to become the largest market forshrimp 2nd Vietnam.2014, Vietnam shrimp is considered more advantages than other competing countries such as Thailand and India onthe EU market. Thai Shrimp strongly affected after the adverse information about the industry.
Shrimp export turnover in Vietnam is expected to reach just USD 3 billion in 2015, down by one third on the previous year.
The latest figures from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep) show that export turnover from shrimp is likely to reach just USD 3 billion by the end of 2015, which is USD 1 billion down on the previous year, representing a significant drop in revenue.
Is Shrimp from China or Thailand Better?
Ms. Yang in the southern China port city of Guangzhou bought six high priced giant tiger prawns in October—she was happy with the purchase until she found gel inside the heads of the prawns.Such gel, the presence of which is not typically detectable upon superficial inspection, is injected some time between when the shrimp are caught and when they’re sold, in order to add weight and thus earn a greater profit. Shrimp sold live have not been injected, because the injection would kill the shrimp.
If you buy prawns or shrimp from Thailand, you will be buying the produce of slave labor, Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, told the Guardian at the time. And many countries do, including the United States, which imports about half of the shrimp Thailand harvests.
The investigation followed a 2013 report by the Environmental Justice Foundation, a nongovernmental organization, which chronicled the abuse in the Thai shrimp industry.
Is There Any Safe Shrimp Out There?
Most shrimp are plentiful and reproduce quickly. But whether they are sustainably farmed or harvested is the big question. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Trawling for wild-caught shrimp can result in by-catch (other species that are caught in fisherman’s nets) and cause damage to ocean floors.
Wild shrimp is the best choice for shrimp without antibiotics or bacteria, but then again wild shrimp farming has an environmental impact.
Beware of “seafood fraud,” the magazine says. Claims such as “organic,” “natural” or “environmentally aware” sound nice, but there aren’t any real standards to make those terms mean anything. And a lot of shrimp sold as wild isn’t really. Consumer Reports says to look for — well, poop: The “vein,” as it’s called, is really the digestive tract. A clean tract may be less gross, but that means a farmer stopped feeding the shrimp before the harvest.
“Reports like this validate our long-standing position that by asking for wild-caught shrimp and reading labels carefully, consumers and buyers can make sure they are getting quality shrimp that are free from antibiotics and disease,” said Jonathan McLendon, ASPA vice president and president of Wild American Shrimp Inc.