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BE CAREFUL OF SHIMP

Be careful of Shrimp


There's no formal definition between "prawn" and "shrimp". They are both large swimming crustaceans that tend to be called "prawns" in Britain and Commonwealth nations (one-third of the world's population) and "shrimp" in North America (about 7.5% of the world's population). In the UK prawn is more common on menus than shrimp, while the opposite is the case in the United States. The term prawn also loosely describes any large shrimp, especially those that come 15 (or fewer) to the pound (such as king prawns or jumbo shrimp).

But the bad news is that it's very hard to find really fresh shrimp in the United States (or to know just how wholesome the shrimp you're buying really is). Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the US (1.3 billion pounds of it are consumed annually) but almost 90% of the shrimp eaten in USA is imported from places like Thailand and Vietnam, where shrimp farming is big business and the word 'industry' is considerably more accurate than 'farming'. In these massive factory-like compounds, "preventitive" doses of antibiotics and hormones are administered as the norm, often using antibiotics that are not permitted in US. However, since less than 1% of all seafood imported into USA is tested for contaminants there's no way of knowing whether or not the shrimp you buy are polluted in some way.

Concerned consumers have two other options for buying shrimp. One is to get only wild-caught American shrimp (which can prove quite expensive), and the other is to buy them from one of the handful of environmentally responsible and sustainable indoor shrimp farms that are beginning to appear here and there (also quite expensive). You have to balance cost against health, and it's your decision!

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