You’ve made goals to be healthier, to be more careful what you put in your body.

You dutifully check labels, watching for long ingredient lists you can’t pronounce and opting for home-cooked meals to avoid preservatives.

You feel good that you aren’t consuming unnecessary chemicals.

Except, you might be doing just that.

Do you eat shrimp?

Platter of cooked shrimps with lime and parsley

Unless you know exactly where your shrimp is coming from, you’re probably consuming unwanted chemicals and toxins with every bite – probably not the “seasoning” you were looking for.

Most farmed shrimp is treated with two chemicals: sodium bisulfite, and sodium tripolyphosphate (STP).

You might assume there is a health or safety related reason for using these chemicals

Nope.

Turns out, all these chemicals do is make the shrimp LOOK better.

Sodium bisulfite helps stop shrimp shells from getting black spots – like an apple after it’s been exposed to the air. Although they may not win any beauty contests, those black spots are completely harmless.

STP helps make the shrimp appear firm, smooth, and glossy. (Sure, we’d all like to appear a little more “firm”, but this seems like cheating!) How? Mostly by causing the shrimp to absorb more water. That means that you end up paying more by weight for less flavour, a rubbery texture, and a side of unnecessary chemicals.

Avoid the sludge

It seems unfair that you go to all that work to avoid the unnecessary chemicals in packaged foods by cooking from scratch, only to be sabotaged by shrimp!

While these chemicals are technically deemed safe at low levels – why consume them when you don’t have to? (And why pay more for lower quality shrimp!)

The best way to make sure you avoid the chemical sludge completely is to know where your shrimp is coming from.

Don’t assume wild-caught shrimp is chemical-free: the chemicals are often applied between when the shrimp is caught and when it reaches shore. Ask the fishery or distributor directly if these chemicals are used.

If you can’t find out from the fishery or distributor, your next best bet is to buy shelled shrimp, since the shell is typically where the chemicals are applied.

For the record, Farm2Fork black tiger shrimp is free from sodium bisulfite, STP, and any other unwanted chemicals and toxins, Eco Farmed, and organic!