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Q: Is eating river/lake fish safe?

I noticed that a lot of fish dishes in Chinese restaurants use fish caught in local rivers or lakes, not the ocean. While I agree that these fish are more fresh than ocean-dwellers (especially for inland regions), I'm concerned about how safe it is to eat them as pretty much every lake or river I've ever seen here was insanely polluted.

 

Does cooking the fish filter out this nastiness or am I eating the remnants of the garbage and pollution in my food?

Have there been any studies published on this?

Is eating other meats or produce here any safer?

 

 

2 years 2 days ago in  Food  - China

 
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Remember fish are relatively high up in the food chain and some chemicals will stay in the food chain once it there. Heavy metals especially will accumulate. Google can supply details on what heavy metals does to e.g. the development of a child. 

 

Maybe there is a river in Tibet that is not polluted, but anything close to bigger cities like Guangzhou I would not touch. Getting the fish from the sea only helps somewhat as all the crap is washing directly into the sea and most fish sold is caught pretty close to shore. 

 

I do think fish from the sea is safer, it is worth also distinguishing between different fish. The larger fish that prey on small fish will have had a lifetime of accumulating the pollution, so eating one of them will get a high dosage. 

 

Cooking a fish will kill bacteria, any worms living in the fish, but it will NOT remove pollutants. There is probably a ton of "housewife tips" on how to treat fish, they are probably all based on bad assumptions !

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2 years 1 day ago
 
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This is only a personal opinion, not grounded in science nor based upon scientific observation.  I quite agree with what you have written, particularly concerning the amount of pathogens in the local ecosystem.  That being said, I do not eat locally-caught fish on any occasion.  I cannot imagine how these fish might have escaped a pathogenic environment.

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2 years 2 days ago
 
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I don't eat fish in China, not only because of the pollution but because most of the fish my family eat are 1 billion bones to each cubic centimetre of meat, which means spitting the bones out, something I refuse to do!

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2 years 2 days ago
 
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I love fish, but I avoided it for the most part in China. I was also worried about the pollution. If there's pollution in the river, then it's going to be in the seafood too, and no amount of cooking is going to get rid of it.

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2 years 2 days ago
 
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Governor

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I seldom eat  fish, not because of the pollution, but because of the bones...... my family eat these tiny little fish....5-6inch skinny little things, 4 or 5 of them served for 3-4-5 people at the table............  back home, I did used to catch some little trout and enjoyed eating them right after catching them, but had to catch 6 before it was a meal for me..........  rather get a big fish that you can at least get a bite size chunk, without the bones. The pollution isn't just in the fish.... it's in everything ...gottta eat though so what the hell.

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2 years 2 days ago
 
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Remember fish are relatively high up in the food chain and some chemicals will stay in the food chain once it there. Heavy metals especially will accumulate. Google can supply details on what heavy metals does to e.g. the development of a child. 

 

Maybe there is a river in Tibet that is not polluted, but anything close to bigger cities like Guangzhou I would not touch. Getting the fish from the sea only helps somewhat as all the crap is washing directly into the sea and most fish sold is caught pretty close to shore. 

 

I do think fish from the sea is safer, it is worth also distinguishing between different fish. The larger fish that prey on small fish will have had a lifetime of accumulating the pollution, so eating one of them will get a high dosage. 

 

Cooking a fish will kill bacteria, any worms living in the fish, but it will NOT remove pollutants. There is probably a ton of "housewife tips" on how to treat fish, they are probably all based on bad assumptions !

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2 years 1 day ago
 
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Emperor

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the fish is not safe to eat in china because of pollution. you can't "cook" the pollution out. the most dangerous pollutants are metals such as mercury. mercury is a neuro-toxin, it affects your brain. 

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2 years 20 hours ago
 
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Governor

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Whatever...if you are meant to die of something, you will...one day smiley

I love all seafood. I happen to be in China so I eat it here haha.

If you wanna be safe maybe you shouldn't eat anything these days...

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2 years 14 hours ago
 
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God only knows what is in those rivers - and thus the fish.  Anyopne who eats river fish would be highly ignorant or careless or apathetic in my opinion.

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2 years 12 hours ago
 
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