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While looking for a supplier of tilapia to purchase from I came across an article that indicated tilapia may not have the same health benefits that other fish do.  Basically it indicated that farm raised fish have less omega 3 fatty acids and much more omega 6 fatty acids.  I've included an article I found on wikipedia.  To me it seems that the article indicates the increase in omega 6 fatty acids are a result of a corn based diet; however, I'd like to get everyone else's opinion in this forum.  I've included the a snip of the article I found on wikipedia.  Thanks for any clarification anyone can pass along.

Tilapia have very low levels of mercury,[39] as they are fast-growing, lean and short-lived, with a primarily vegetarian diet, and so do not accumulate mercury found in prey.[40] Feral tilapia, however, may accumulate substantial quantities of mercury.[41][citation needed] Tilapia is low in saturated fat, calories, carbohydrates and sodium, and is a good protein source. It also contains the micronutrients phosphorusniacinseleniumvitamin B12 and potassium.

However, typical farm-raised tilapia (the least expensive and most popular source) have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids (the essential nutrient that is an important reason that dieticians recommend eating fish), and a relatively high proportion of omega-6. "Ratios of long-chain omega-6 to long-chain omega-3, AA to EPA, respectively, in tilapia averaged about 11:1, compared to much less than 1:1 (indicating more EPA than AA) in both salmon and trout," reported a study published in July 2008.[42] The report suggests the nutritional value of farm-raised tilapia may be compromised by the amount of corn included in the feed. The corn contains short-chain omega-6 fatty acids that contribute to the buildup of these materials in the fish.

The lower amounts of omega-3 and the higher ratios of omega-6 fats in US-farmed tilapia raised questions about the health benefits of consuming farmed tilapia fish. Some media reports even controversially suggested that farm-raised tilapia may be worse for the heart than eating bacon or a hamburger.[43] This prompted the release of an open letter, signed by 16 science and health experts from around the world, that stated that both oily (i.e. high in omega-3 fatty acids) fish and lean fish like tilapia are an important part of the diet and concluded that "replacing tilapia or catfish with 'bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts' is absolutely not recommended."[44]

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Roger, it is my understanding that any fresh water, omnivorous fish (bluegill, catfish, etc.) is going to face the same issues.  They won't have much Omega 3 to begin with...and when you feed them a diet high in corn then the % of Omega 6 goes up as well...and my understanding of that is that it isn't necessarily a bad thing unless you are getting too much Omega 6 to the amount of Omega 3 you are getting...it is a ratio thing.  Does anyone else know about this?

But the bottom line is you would face the same thing with any other farmed lean protein, right?  The notion that it is better to eat 'bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts' is just plain silly. 

Thanks for your response Sylvia.  I was just concerned that you weren't getting any omega 3s from eating tilapia.  I thought maybe it was just specific to tilapia and didn't realize this was the case with any fresh water, omnivorous fish.

Look,anyanimal eating high portions of grain (esp corn and soy) which is not their natural diet is going to be deficient in any number of nutrients. Haveyou watched the movie "Super Size me?" If you haven't. Watch it. Then do more research on imbalanced nutrition and you may come to the same conclusion I did, which is NOT to follow the crowd of "with ease" and " for profit" of factory farming and really go organic or better yet, what I term "beyond organic". Without any backing, I contribute most of todays health problems to our modern diet of empty facimily of food. Chicken looks like chicken, but....Fish that look like fish....but. But, just doesn't cut it in my book. I want and demand REAL FOOD.The kind my grandpa use to grow/raise before Monsanto changed industry and started the Green Revolution. Atlantic Salmon raisedin farms, eating corn based diests are just as devoid of nutrients as KFC chicken and cannot come close to being compared to wild Salmon.

I make my own feeds for all my animals to raise their Omega3 level as high and balanced as possible. Afterall, I grow/ raise food primarily for myself; so my customers appreciate my extra efforts too and reward me by paying higher than organic prices, knowing well that I am not certified. My eggs fetch about $0.80 each or 5.00 Yuan a peice.

We just dug our half acre pit, so will be back in the fish game next year. We will have at least two large AP setups out of ponds and the restaurant will be decorated throughout with AP.

@ Sylvia: Pork or beef raised on pasture would be better (higher in Omega 3) than confined feed lot operations, no matter whether they raise fish or poultry or any other source of meet. I agree with you on the doughnuts (though I love eating them).

Cheers

Syliva,

Trout are a fresh water fish that part of the salmonid family. From what I understand they have a good level of the omega-3 fatty acids. Of course you would need the climate and skill to grow trout, but aren't they are a more nutritious fish assuming they have the right food source?

Sylvia Bernstein said:

Roger, it is my understanding that any fresh water, omnivorous fish (bluegill, catfish, etc.) is going to face the same issues.  They won't have much Omega 3 to begin with...and when you feed them a diet high in corn then the % of Omega 6 goes up as well...and my understanding of that is that it isn't necessarily a bad thing unless you are getting too much Omega 6 to the amount of Omega 3 you are getting...it is a ratio thing.  Does anyone else know about this?

But the bottom line is you would face the same thing with any other farmed lean protein, right?  The notion that it is better to eat 'bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts' is just plain silly. 

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