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Tilapia--YUCK! Like eating a rat!!

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Tilapia is the most disgusting fish!

I compare it to a rat or a cockroach. They can survive practically anywhere and on practically anything.

I've worked in a few boat harbors, where the water is quite polluted and those and only those fish seem to thrive on engine oil and rusty nuts and bolts. My coworker used to work at a sewage plant. He also refuses to eat Tilapia. I remember a story he told to me about seeing a Tilapia eat a floating piece of feces!:eek:

I know that store bought Tilapia is most likely farm raised so its meat isn't dirty, but you can also farm raise a rat. :cry:
post #2 of 62
Sounds nice! ahem...
Is it also known as Basa? I've heard some bad things about that fish too
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #3 of 62
I've never tried it. Several years ago, we had a friend who kept a Tilapia Buttikoferi as a pet. That was one of the meanest fish I've ever seen and I've had piranhas, oscars, jack dempseys, and other aggressives. Our friend was cleaning the tank and the fish bit him hard enough to draw blood and leave a scar! The tilapia in the store look so much like him that Les refuses to try them...because that one was a pet. It wouldn't bother me, no different than eating beef from a cow you raised. Guess maybe it's a good thing we didn't waste our money after reading your thoughts!
post #4 of 62
Every piece I've had has been awful; but I've wondered if there was something about cooking it that I didn't understand.

And I'm a good cook and big time fish eater.

Glad to hear this, I can wipe it out of my future without a second thought.
post #5 of 62
Very hardy scavenger fish.

People from Hawaii might be a little biased in their opinion though. ;)
post #6 of 62
Well, I don't eat much in the way of seafood anyway, because everyone's toilet flushes into the rivers that all lead to the ocean, but think about shrimp which are bottom feeders aren't they?

And Mississippi catfish are definitely bottom feeders. My dad used to take one our dog's dried feces and put it on a hook, and he'd catch a catfish everytime. I always secretly grimaced when I'd watch my mom eat catfish, which she loved!

post #7 of 62
As delta doc mentioned, shrimp are bottom feeders, so are Lobsters and crabs. Many other bottom feeding fish are known to eat excrement--whether human or animal....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #8 of 62
Dogs eat cat poop. Why? Because cat's are inefficient digesters and pass lots of protein on through. Manure has a long history as a food fertilizer.

Tilapia's not great fish in my opinion, but it's not bad either.
post #9 of 62
Has anyone seen the "Dirty Jobs" episode where they were @ a waste management center? They used tilapia too eat the feces instead of burning it. They said they(the tilapia) were sold to stores and restaraunts once they matured. YUCK!!!!:eek:
post #10 of 62
How far removed do we have to be from "yuck" until it's good again? Consider grass-fed cows who crap in their fields fertilizing the grass and then eating said grass again, or even just grass that was crapped on last week. That's only two steps and grass-fed beef is considered prime eating. The filter organs, livers, kidneys are considered great eating, yet their function in life was to filter the animal and collect toxins.

There is all this talk about getting in touch with what we're eating and natural cycles but in our sanitized world, the details are "yuck" to people who have a gut reaction without really thinking about where food comes from. Farms full of poop, slaughtehouses full of blood and excrement. Even in the organic movement, those factors are not removed. It's what our food is. Our food is not a styrofoam pack of meat with a pad to suck up juices. Even organic is sold that way.

Most tilapia are farmed in California in remnant irrigation water that comprises the Salton Sea. That is water that is run through land that is chemically fertilzed and chemically weeded. It all collects in the Salton Sea where it is concentrated through evaporation. Tilapia are the only fish that can survive in that water and the only thing making that water useful.

That's probably truly more scary that tilapia from sewage treatment. Know your food.

post #11 of 62
Slightly off the topic, but related... human beings are meat too (no, I'm not suggesting cannibalism). A friend of mine is buddies with a guy that works in a funeral parlor. He says they're saving money these days because they don't need as much embalming fluid as the old days. Why? His take is that people are eating so much preservative, they're embalming their own bodies throughout their lives.

Upshot: You are what you eat and I suppose that applies to animals/fish/cows/etc too.
post #12 of 62
Thats a scary thought Free rider.
Red Tilapia is a recent addition to the fishmongers in the uk - Tried it and liked it, although the weird scale thing puts me off eating the skin which i like so much. i can get black Tilapia frozen from the chinese market and liked that even better. wondered if there was a difference other than the colour.
I enjoy Mackerel. A bottom feeder that i was almost put off cos I was told of the rubbish it eats. But i love it so much i eat it anyway.
My dog likes a chomp of his own poo from time to time, and that of his compadres and He's a shining example of a healthy dog. Maybe theres something to be said for low-tech re-cycling.
Anyway, I'll never give up Mackerel, no matter what horror stories you throw at me...I think, maybe, Please dont, 'cos a butter grilled Mackerel and Granary bread is my idea of heaven and you wouldnt wanna spoil that would you??
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #13 of 62
This is not about fish, but I prefer my vegies grown in my garden when I've dug cow poo into it - much better crop. And they're not yuck :)

Who likes rabbit? They eat their poo out of necessity to get the most from their food source. Bunny is also yummy.

And hey lets mention kidneys - what are they but filters in the body. Love 'em!
What about foie gras too? One of the world's most revered foods. Yuck is as yuck does
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #14 of 62
Oh, heavens. Most talapia is indeed farm raised. It's a very mild white fish (I view it as a fish for people who don't think they like fish) and is quite pleasant fried with a panko coating or lightly floured, sauted, and finished with browned butter, lemon and capers. What's the fuss?
post #15 of 62
This discussion reminds me of a recent trip to the supermarket, when I was standing in front of the seafood counter, and another customer comes up and starts making grossed-out noises about the salmon. He went on to say that the Atlantic salmon were a disgusting pale color compared to the Pacific variety because they were farm-raised and spent their lives swimming around in their own feces. (I have no idea if these Atlantic were actually farm-raised or not.)

I tried to explain to him that A) he was comparing apples and oranges because Atlantic salmon are actually trout and not a member of the salmon family, and B) that I was sure the ocean varieties encounter poop from all kinds of critters during their lives.

He didn't want to hear it, bought a pound of shrimp, and left. :bounce:
post #16 of 62
I can't reply from experience, since I have never tasted a rat or a roach :eek:
post #17 of 62
U r so funny!!!:) Thanks for the smile that's on my face!!!!!!:bounce::bounce:
P.S Tilapia-love it!
post #18 of 62
I don't consume that much fish, probably because I used to cut all the fish for a restaurant back in the '90's, but I do like black grouper, it doesn't have the parasites that red grouper has and I like tilapia..I cook it with lemon, capers and a little olive oil..I am sure glad that I read this thread:rolleyes:
post #19 of 62
I would be more concerned about the wheres and hows of the raising of the food rather than the food's eating habits.

We raised chickens for a while and have NEVER had eggs as good as the ones from our chickens,yet the chickens lke to eat 'gross' things and didn't seem to mind each others poop.

Point is the product's habits(in this case Tilapia) isn't the problem,the methods of raising and processing is.

Most of the Tilapia we bought in the restaurants I worked at was from China,as was almost 100% of the crawfish.I would be hesitant to eat food produced and processed there.

But that is me.
post #20 of 62
Thread Starter 
That point about plants growing in manure makes me see things much differently now. I guess it's not so much about what the plant/critter eats, but can it break down what it takes in and digest what it eats, and will its food source enrich it with nutrients?

And I admit I used to enjoy Tilapia before I knew its habits. Great points about shrimp and catfish.

So I guess as long as Tilapia eat 100% certified organic poop, it's okay in my book:roll:.
post #21 of 62
I found out that a lot of mushrooms are grown on sterilized cow poop. Didn't faze me at all :D
post #22 of 62
Tilapia has always been one of my best selling dishes. I prefer to encrust it with some red and green peppers, jalapeños and Japanese bread crumbs then bake it off and serve it with a nice tequila cream sauce. Never had any complaints about the dish.

Best regards....
post #23 of 62
What do you mean by "Japanese bread crumbs"?
post #24 of 62
Panko is the "proper" name.
post #25 of 62
I love the cows that eat the poo that fall on the grass that feed the mice that live in the house that Jack built.
"Honey, is something burning?" - my wife
"Honey, is something burning?" - my wife
post #26 of 62
Tilapia is not even by a stretch my favorite fish dish, but it is not the worst, if not farm raised, and cooked right.
post #27 of 62

Tilapia...the cure for global overfishing and world hunger

I just completed a course on Aquaponics which is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics...its as organic as is possible. The tilapia are fed grain based feed, their waste solids are filtered out and used in conventional soil based gardening and the dissolved wastes feed the plants (lettuce, herbs, traditional vegetables). The chemistry is amazing as unlike conventional hydroponics this is a constant nutrient feed for the plants and it is not based on some petroleum distillate...the fish is tasty, the veggies are delicious and pesticide free...and this technology allows people around the world to grow healthy food for themselves even in very arid places if they use recirculating aquaculture technology.

Tilapia has been deemed the "chicken" of the seafood industry because it is very low fat protein that takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with or seasoned with. I think the folks who think all that ocean caught food is pollutant free and safe should do some reading...aquaculture/aquaponics is the future of human food. Tilapia are great in so many ways not the least of which is that they readily consume naturally occuring green algaes (note: think of all the healthy benefits of spirulina and kelp) in addition to grain based feeds...truly, they are a wonder fish and exceedingly tasty if you know how to prepare them. Try smoking some with the skin left on with a little salt and pepper or whatever your favorite spice may be sometime...you'll be amazed at how tasty it is.

I hope one day all of you find yourself eating a US grown tilapia filet (versus the imports from China where there really are health concerns) from my soon to be launched aquaponics company or some other family run, US based aquaculture firm...as Alton Brown would say, Tilapia is "Good Eats!!!"

...and its good for you!!!

Best to all...RC
post #28 of 62

Basa...a catfish by any other name

Basa and Tra refer to catfish from southeast Asia in the Pangasius genus...quite tasty and quite an issue for a very strong lobby representing the south central channel catfish farmers primarily in Lousiana and Mississippi.

Do a Google search on pangasius bocourti or pangasius hypophthalmus...or try their common names such as basa, tra, mekong catfish, etc..
post #29 of 62
Tiliapia is also one of the three main fish used for "Fish and Chips" the other two being Cod and Halibut both much pricier. The Tilapia flakes like the Halibut but does not have as much flavor as it or the Cod. However the Cod doesn't have as good a flake as the Tilapia or Halibut, by far. Halibut, of course is supposed to be the King of Fish and Chips, with both superior flavor and flakiness.

Oahu, are you sure your not talking about Rhubarb?:D
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #30 of 62
It is pretty rare to hear of someone who has never eaten at a national chain fast food "restaurant" :lol:

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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