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The fish called basa is served everywhere Lakeside, from the American Legion to the the majority of places selling fish tacos. It does not taste like fish and is the cheapest fish filet sold in Walmart. It was once called swai, but has changed to basa to give the impression that it is some kind of bass. Its real name is pangasius, a catfish from the rivers of Vietnam.

Know what you are buying and where it is from. One restaurant in Chapala tried to tell me that what they buy is domestically raised basa, pure bunk. I know I won't eat it and informed, you probably shouldn't either. This fish is now banned in three states; Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Yuk!

basa_fish729.jpg

 

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Could it be because all 3 states have a domestic commercial cat fishery and nothing else-hmmmm? Not  a good reason to avoid it here if you like it and I see a lot of Mexicans buying it.

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The Vancouver Aquarian Ocean Wise Program, via their web site, recommends that people avoid the Basa fish as it is associated with disease outbreaks and infection of wild Basa populations. Open cage farming in Southeast Asia is associated with disease transfer to wild basa. There are also concerns about feed quality, farm operating standards and the biological impact of using wild stock for culturing.”  It as also commonly heard that these fish are being fed human excretory products in poor countries.

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Aside from the questionable labeling, it is my understanding the concern is also about the extremely polluted waters it comes from.

Pretty balanced discussion here:

http://www.timescolonist.com/life/ask-eric-is-it-safe-to-eat-imported-basa-fish-1.87907

The author also raised the point Ned brought up.

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LOL, it was called Swai until a large batch of diseased Swai was imported and had to be removed from stores about 10 years ago. Swai then became Basa. As a food buyer in the US hotel industry I remember this well. When one of my wholesalers started touting Basa, he finally admitted what it really was. Eye roll. Scowl. SMH. Cheap fish, it will continue to be staple world wide. 

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Google farmed basa in Viet Nam.  You will probably not eat it any more.  Raised in filthy crowded pens.

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I wouldn't be eating any fish if I lived by alarmist news stories. Heck, I wouldn't be eating anything at all.


Here's a current list of FISH YOU MUST AVOID AT ALL COSTS due to farming techniques, contamination with mercury, the smaller fish that they eat (!), and for not wearing tinfoil hats while swimming:
- shark
- swordfish
- king mackerel
- tile fish
- albacore tuna
- spanish mackerel
- orange roughy
- blue fish
- Chilean sea bass
- Pacific Ocean perch
- those imported catfish!
- Atlantic cod
- American eel
- Atlantic flatfish
- caviar
One other reason for not eating certain fish: depletion. However, once they are caught, it is kinda too late.
There may be others; these all came from one site. And I don't care. I figure typing about fish on my computer exposes me to enough rays that I will die soon anyway.
(http://naturalon.com/top-10-contaminated-fish-you-shouldnt-be-eating/)

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No basa for me.  I always make sure.  Of course, the waiter may not know or you may be lied to. Give me tilapia out of our lake rather than basa.

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15 hours ago, ComputerGuy said:

I wouldn't be eating any fish if I lived by alarmist news stories. Heck, I wouldn't be eating anything at all.


Here's a current list of FISH YOU MUST AVOID AT ALL COSTS due to farming techniques, contamination with mercury, the smaller fish that they eat (!), and for not wearing tinfoil hats while swimming:
- shark
- swordfish
- king mackerel
- tile fish
- albacore tuna
- spanish mackerel
- orange roughy
- blue fish
- Chilean sea bass
- Pacific Ocean perch
- those imported catfish!
- Atlantic cod
- American eel
- Atlantic flatfish
- caviar
One other reason for not eating certain fish: depletion. However, once they are caught, it is kinda too late.
There may be others; these all came from one site. And I don't care. I figure typing about fish on my computer exposes me to enough rays that I will die soon anyway.
(http://naturalon.com/top-10-contaminated-fish-you-shouldnt-be-eating/)

The biggest danger listed is the non wearing of tinfoil hats but that can't be helped because the "experts" that cite all this and the people that believe it, have taken all the tinfoil hats for themselves.

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21 minutes ago, ned small said:

The biggest danger listed is the non wearing of tinfoil hats but that can't be helped because the "experts" that cite all this and the people that believe it, have taken all the tinfoil hats for themselves.

Not true!  Amazon has them in stock!!

https://www.amazon.com/Electro-Deflecto-Unisex-Foil-Size/dp/B01I497JAM

However, better hurry!!

Quote
Only 2 left in stock - order soon.
 
 
Get it as soon as June 26 - 28 when you choose Standard Shipping at checkout.
Ships from and sold by ★ Fast Sports ★.
 
  • 100% Aluminum Foil
  • Designed with the shiny side facing out for maximum reflection/deflection
  • Packaged Flat. Just pull open and wear.
  • One size fits all. Made large and can easily be resized by scrunching foil to fit.
  • Each hat is handmade and unique. Expect some variance from the pictures

:D

 

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To that list you can add all the farm raised fish that gets a lot of antibiotics and that does not leave a whole lot of fish to eat..

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When I lived in the States I always followed the Monterey Bay aquarium sustainability guidelines for seafood consumption. Here -- between species that are not on their list, species I can't identify, and species that are misrepresented -- I am at a loss. Do any of you attempt to buy sustainable seafood locally, and if so, what do you choose, and how?

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If sustainability is your criteria, basa is your fish. Those catfish really reproduce in the fertile Mekong delta of Vietnam. I'd rather eat my toenails.

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I think it is an individual choice whether to eat basa, once you know what it is and where and how it is raised.  I, personally, don't care for the rather mushy texture of it and avoid it because of that and the polluted waters in which it is farmed.  I really resent being told it is "sea bass," which has happened several times.  I do not know if that is an attempt to mislead the customer or just poor English on the part of the waiter.  At one local restaurant when I corrected the waiter by saying basa was not bass but rather catfish he then told me that no, the "catch (of the day)" fish was mahi mahi.  An innocent misunderstanding/confusion of words in English or an attempt to deflect?  I don't know.  I ordered the mahi mahi but I guess I'd have to return to see if it happened again.  The next time it happens to me anywhere I will ask to speak with the manager about this misleading information, whether accidental or intentional.  People have the right to know what they are eating if they care to ask.

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Sustainable seafood definition

Sustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans, as well as the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent communities. It was first promoted through the sustainable seafood movement which began in the 1990s.

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On 6/29/2017 at 9:54 AM, El Saltos said:

Usually refers to managed fisheries.

Not true. A lot of sustainable seafood is wild-caught.

 

Here is Seafood Watch on basa (aka pangasius):

Quote

Sutchi catfish farmed in Vietnam in ponds is on the "Avoid" list. The hyper-intensive production that occurs in Vietnam generates large volumes of effluent, and many farms are reportedly engaging in illegal dumping. Data on chemical use is not available, but there's evidence that it's very high and includes the use of antibiotics that are critically important to human health.

 

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43 minutes ago, lobita said:

 

Not true. A lot of sustainable seafood is wild-caught.

 

 

A "managed fishery" is an area in the ocean where seasons and limits are imposed.

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Looking through the long list of contributors to the seafoodwatch.org outfit, I see a large number with a vested interest in reducing or even eliminating the importation of different types of fish from "unfavoured" countries. This keeps U.S. sales and business up. I have seen many reports reflecting this awareness.

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Basa is the ninth most fish consumed in the world. I hate the use of the word "unfavoured" in the equation because it sound politically motivated. Basa should fall on its demerits.

Everywhere I go that offers unnamed specie fish I ask them what kind of fish. They always proudly say BASA. When I ask them if they even know what type of fish it is they invariably reply no, but everybody likes it. The true fish for the person that wants fish that doesn't smell like fish.

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Unfortunately, it is political. My only problem is when a place tries to pass off "basa" as some kind of bass. It worked lakeside for a while; I hope not anymore.

In fact, I was at El Zapote in Chapala today waiting for an order of pozole to go, and perusing the menu, which unabashedly listed basa as one of their special fish dishes. It doesn't list from where, and they probably don't know or care. I doubt that if you put two pieces of farmed side-by-side from a farm in Mekong and one in Chesapeake Bay, or elsewhere in the U.S., that I would be able to tell the difference, unless the fact that different types are grown in the different places, leading to different taste.

Having spent many seasons in Florida, I often ate catfish supposedly caught there. Quite often, they had that telltale dusty taste... which comes from a chemical used to keep multitudes of fish healthy in close proximity, not from botton-dwelling.

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I had caldo michi today. I will eat catfish, but how can you describe the conditions in Vietnam to a Canadian? :D

I ate at El  Zapote last night.

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