At my local grocer on The Sunshine Coast, I found some frozen fish fillets, they looked nice, clean and white, in a nice package: “Bayside”, “Bringing the best of the sea to your table”. Basa Fillets or Pangasius. “A good Source of Protein”.
The first time I saw them I thought the price was ok, but I did not see or understand the type of fish it was. A few weeks later they were on sale, and I purchased a package. A few days ago, I had one fillet, steamed in a pan, butter and olive oil, garlic, fresh mushroom, frozen vegetable mix, mediterranean spices and some nutmeg. tasted ok, I was hungry.
On the back the package has Nutrition Facts a plenty, dates and lots of info, including the name of the well-known company in Vancouver that import and distributes these fillets from Vietnam. No place did it say it was farmed in “fresh” water.
“What they feed basa/pangas is completely unregulated so
there are most likely other dangerous substances and hormones thrown
into the mix. The basa/pangas grow 4 times faster than in nature, so it makes
you wonder what exactly is in their food? Your guess is as good as mine.”
Tonight I had another one, tasted kind of bland, actually no taste at all. I took another look at the package. Looked up on internet. Basa or Pangasius. Found out that this fish is not an ocean fish, but farmed river catfish from the Mekong River, one of the dirtiest rivers in the world. See Safe Catfish. AbbotsfordToday article “Many are snatching up the fish at supermarkets as they are very cheap. The fish looks good but read the article and you will be shocked.”
I also found an article from a lady in Manitoba. “I bought some Basa at Superstore about a month ago … I didn’t care for it but my husband thought it was ok … however … I just got a link to a documentary done about the fish and I have decided that I will not be buying it any more. I thought I would share the link and see what you think. “
Popular in France. “Anyway, we never buy fish in these large markets but I know many people do. So, here’s the warning: Don’t buy fish coming from bodies of water that are warm, those fish being primarily from Asia. Stores usually indicate where the fish is from originally so you can get an idea about the quality of fish and its edibility (or poison-ability).”
http://www.vimeo.com/11817894 I looked at the documentary, and now I have a bad taste in my mouth, attempting to wash it away with some red wine, did not help much, might have to dig up some moonshine. I have to share this with you, although you might have seen it before.
Vietnam and the orient produce a lot of good food and seafood, just look at this link, but that does not mean we should accept everything they produce. This way we actually help them to produce better quality for the future. I am also surprised and dissapointed that a large well know Vancouver wholesaler put their name on a product like this.
“Farmed basa fish are not fed their natural foods. They are fed the bones and remnants of dead fish usually after a period of time after the fishes’ deaths—giving time for bacteria to grow and infect the “basa fish food.” These farmed fish are also often injected with dehydrated urine of pregnant women forcing female basa fish to grow and produce eggs quicker and the injection of hormones, imported from a pharmaceutical company in China, increases the speed of the growth and production processes of the fish. Farmers of these fish are only concerned with the progression rates and the income these fish bring in with no concern for the consumers.” “To summarize everything in a few words: basa fish may be poisonous!”
The same grocer have fresh and frozen cod, snapper, wild and farmed salmon, and much more in the selection of good seafood, probably from the same wholesaler. I like and trust them all, but these frozen packages of Basa I will never try again.
And some even complain about local fish farms, that produce some of the finest seafood anywhere, try some, you will like it.