Fish Syndrome

May 1, 2014

It is not wise to eat foods that are high on the food chain. Why eat fish, to get nutrients? Why not eat the foods that fish eat? This is where the fish get their nutrients. There is no reason to filter nutrients through the organs of another species prior to obtaining them. We can eat algae supplements or add kelp powder or dulse flakes to our entrees instead, eliminating the dietary cholesterol contained in fish. There are wonderful varieties of seaweed and algae as well that are edible and are great compliments to many dishes. To name a few: kelp, dulse, nori, spirulina, wakame, and AFA blue-green algae are all good food choices that will provide us with a greater abundance of the nutrients we think we are obtaining from fish. The key to optimal health is to eat as low on the food chain as possible – as in edible plant matter, not animals.


The blue whale eats only phytoplankton. It also happens to be the largest mammal on the planet and remains sexually active until old age –or– the end of its life, nearly two-hundred years later. Similar to how the strongest, leanest, and most muscular land mammals such as cows, elephants, gorillas, and horses eat only plants, so do blue whales. They each eat as low on the food chain as possible. We should follow their lead and eat a plant-based diet. Doing so will nourish and strengthen our bodies. 


When fish is cooked, any healthy oils that may be contained within are degraded. This means they are equivalent to trans-fats. These bad oils cause inflammation and lead to all sorts of other health issues. The cooking process also leads to the formation of the highly carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Because the oceans are so polluted from our waste, fish contain heavy metals, industrial pollutants, pharmaceutical drugs, and farming chemical residues. These waste products also impact the wildlife that eat fish. Some animals that eat fish, such as bears, do not eat the fish for protein. They eat the fish for the fat. Only a relatively small part of their diet is meat based. As is typical with carnivores, bears can also tolerate high amounts of cholesterol in their diet without getting heart disease. 


Many people continue to believe that eating fish provides them with omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical to brain cell function, and boost levels of DHA and EPA. These same folks also think that eating fish prevents cognitive decline and staves off dementia. What they are unaware of is that they can maintain adequate amounts of these nutrients from the alpha-linoleic acids (ALA) found in raw plant oils. In a ten-year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, researchers found that the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids found in fish oils did not lower dementia risk. Those who ate fish regularly developed dementia at the same rate as those who did not eat fish. Further research has proven that the most important foods for brain function are not fish or fish oils; they are ALA-rich foods, such as raw flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and fruits and vegetables. The ALA found in many plant oils has been shown to have direct anti-arrhythmic properties, meaning they help prevent sudden cardiac death. In the Neuropsychopharmacology Journal, researchers reported that ALA actively promotes neuronal plasticity. This stimulates the growth of new nerve cells, and enhances nerve growth factors that protect against depression. This ALA is not obtained from eating fish. We are nourished with ALA from eating raw plants. To maintain happiness and achieve optimal health, our best option is to avoid all food that once had eyes, was born, had a family, and was once a living creature with a soul.  


In 2007, the Institute of Medicine compiled the risks and benefits of eating fish. They stated, “The contaminants in fish that are of most concern today are mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and pesticide residues. Very high levels of mercury can damage nerves in adults and disrupt development of the brain and nervous system in a fetus or young child. The effect of the far lower levels of mercury currently found in fish have been linked to subtle changes in nervous system development and a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”                                                                   

 While many people accept the belief that eating fish is a healthy choice for losing weight and maintaining health, consider the chemical pollutants found in fish that disrupt our metabolism and may pave the way for obesity.  A February 2009 study published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, titled Endocrine Disrupters as Obesogens, suggests that chemical obesogens in the food supply may be contributing to the obesity epidemic. In our body we have preadipocytes (pre-fat cells), which are fibroblasts that can be stimulated to form adipocytes (fat cells). These chemical obesogens were found to stimulate the formation from preadipocyte to adipocyte. Adipocytes – also known as lipocytes or fat cells – are the cells that compose the majority of adipose tissue, and store energy as fat. We are exposed to obesogens by means of our diet, and it was determined that these chemicals are found most abundantly in fish. So, as we continue to eat sea life, we trigger the body to store more energy as fat, and this could cause weight gain. 


In addition to fish being a poor food choice, shellfish are also known to contain phycotoxins, which are produced by microalgae. The November 2011 edition of Chemical Research in Toxicology published a study introducing cyclic imines as harmful phycotoxins with fast-acting toxicity. These marine biotoxins were shown to be fatal in rodents, and are said to be responsible for the high incidence of shellfish poisoning that occurs worldwide.


As we learn more about the toxins found in fish, and as we educate ourselves further on true nutrition, we begin to realize that eating fish is not necessary for health, or is it essential for a lean frame. We discover that eating seafood is more harmful than it could be beneficial. Once we see it from this perspective, then we can take it up another step and learn how the fishing industry is close to wiping out the entire population of fish in the sea.


In August 2012, the completion of a four year study conducted by an international group of ecologists and economists on 7,800 marine species around the world’s ecosystems concluded that all of the world’s stocks of seafood will collapse by the year 2050. This is due to the present rates of destruction by the fishing industry. Over sixty percent of the fish taken from the sea by this industry are ground up and force-fed to vegetarian livestock in the meat industry so they can be fattened and slaughtered. As Philip Wollen mentions in the St. James Ethics debate, vegetarian cows have now become the largest ocean predators. This is not natural. Access to learn more. Because of factory-farmed pigs now eating fish, the captain of Sea Shepherd now claims pigs are the number one ocean predator.                                            


Each product purchased from the meat industry contributes to the death of marine life. The ocean provides the majority of oxygen on Earth, and if we continue doing what we are doing, all ocean life will soon die. When ocean life dies, life on land will go with it. The solution to this problem is simple: refrain from eating meat and all animal products and the meat industry will collapse. See the book Extinction by John McCabe to learn more about the atrocities taking place in our oceans.


Jesse J. Jacoby ©2012

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