Shrimp is one of America’s favorite seafood, but a whopping 90 percent of our supply comes from overseas, largely from farms prone to disease and environmental destruction. And that leaves domestic shrimp producers in the lurch, as prices plummet dangerously.
Most of our shrimp is imported from farms in Thailand, China, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Brazil, among other countries. These have varying levels of acceptability; a handful use very responsible recirculating systems, but the vast majority are spectacularly gross. Organic waste, antibiotics, and various chemicals (largely and ironically for sanitary purposes) leach into the groundwater and pollute the nearby waterways. Escapees from the farms also breed, forcing out native species and screwing with the local ecosystems. Costco is even currently embroiled in a scandal for selling Thai shrimp that’s produced, in part, with slave labor. There’s no end of reasons to be wary of cheap imports.
Read on about domestic shrimp at Modern Farmer.