As I learn more about food production, I have started to shift my eating habits to include more sustainable and local foods. A few years ago, I stopped buying shrimp and prawns from Asia due to environmental and health concerns. A recent news story about farmed shrimp reveals the consquences of the industry. It seems we are best advised to stick with local spot prawns, which are most abundant in May to June, or are available in frozen form throughout the year.
Shrimp went from a delicacy two decades ago to being the number one consumed seafood in the world. That type of growth can’t happen without damage being done. In the global demand to eat food as cheaply as possible, shrimp producers have had to cut costs at every turn. … [I]t comes from an intensive industrialized aquaculture process that uses chemicals and antibiotics, has destroyed entire forests of mangroves and reefs, and is dependent on hundreds of thousands of easily exploited migrants who have no other options. … [read full article]
Students from the UBC Graduate School of Journalism looked into shrimp farming in Thailand and produced a number of videos that reveal concerns about the shrimp industry, including health, environmental impacts, and labour practices. Visit Cheap Shrimp: Hidden Costs to learn more.