Thursday, December 15, 2016

Would You Like Carboxymethyl Cellulose With Your Shrimp?

Would You Like Carboxymethyl Cellulose With Your Shrimp?
By Kurtis Bright

Disgusting Video: Injecting Shrimp With Toxic Chemical Goo to Add Weight

Would You Like Carboxymethyl Cellulose With Your Shrimp?
By Kurtis Bright

Disgusting Video: Injecting Shrimp With Toxic Chemical Goo to Add Weight

We are all aware, at least in a vaguely unsettling way, that factory farming methods come with a host of problems. The endemic overuse of antibiotics, and hormone treatments, along with GMO feed for the animals are immediate health threats to humans, not to mention problems like disease, massive environmental impact, and cruel conditions for the animals--the list goes on.

But many people don’t realize that almost all the above problems not only relate to hoofed animal facilities--they also apply to farmed fish and especially to shrimp farming.

The only difference with seafood is you should multiply these issues by a thousand.

Some of the most toxic, filthy, poison-laden product ever created as a foodstuff for human consumption is the result of modern shrimp farming methods. The fact that humans actually ingest this vile product--which, as you may or may not know, is grown in foul cesspools of feces-saturated, toxic water that is then doused with insane amounts of antibiotics, some of which are so problematic they are banned in the U.S. and E.U.--is testimony to the monumental ability of the modern advertising and media industries to disguise the true nature of things.

But see for yourself just how bad it gets. A viral video is currently making the rounds that may well have an effect on not only the farmed shrimp industry, but also on international trade agreements and may even go as deep as the roots of neoliberal capitalism itself.

What is money worth? What are increased sales and ever-higher profits worth to you in terms of selling people toxins disguised as food?

Shrimp producers are shown in the video hard at work operating a sophisticated machine that has as many as 30 stations where workers take the shrimp that has been harvested from the pits and then are seen injecting it with a clear jelly-like substance. This goo they are injecting contains carboxymethyl cellulose or CMC, as well as gelatin and glucose, all of which give the shrimp added heft when it comes time to weigh them for market.

This massive operation is of course driven by money, and greed. The substance in question doesn’t appear at first glance to be radically different from the uncooked shrimp’s own gelatinous body structure, and the additional weight given to each of the crustaceans will transform a kilo of shrimp into 1.15 to 1.2 kilos when it comes time to sell them to exporters. The injections are also said to make the shrimp “look fresher,” according to the producers.

It is the system in the shrimp farms of Southeast Asia, and it is perfectly acceptable to the locals. One worker said, “Every day I buy around 30-50 kilograms of shrimp. After I inject the substances, I sell them to seafood export companies in Ca Mau, Vietnam.

“I have to do this,” he added, “because all the other shrimp suppliers do this.”

For his part, the facility owner claims to buy the CMC his workers inject from China, and he claims that is true of “...all the other shrimp suppliers.”

The fact that the chemical glop comes from China should immediately raise red flags among those who value their lives and their health; China isn’t exactly known for enforcing strict quality control standards on their own food, nor on food for export, let alone on chemicals.

The thing is that CMC comes in three distinct grades: purified (food quality), technical grade and industrial.

Circling back around to the profit motive and how far it has been twisted, you get one guess as to whether the Chinese wholesalers selling this chemical blend to the shrimp farms are scrupulous enough to ensure that the CMC they provide is purified grade.

And that’s not all: imported shrimp have long been known to be among the dirtiest, least-rigorously inspected food product to enter the food system of the U.S. Alarmingly, imported shrimp make up over 90 percent of the product available, yet another reason to run screaming from this product. If you aren’t sure you’re buying an organic, clean shrimp, just skip it.

The implications this disgusting video makes in its implicit critique of the demand for profit uber alles, as well as showing just how far people will go in pursuit of filthy lucre, not to mention the dangers that open-door trade policies directly pose to our health and well-being are all topics that should rightly come under scrutiny as well.

The massive list of ways in which we allow corporations to sicken us every day in order to pad their bottom line is, frankly, sickening.

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