What's Really In Our

Latest Fact Sheet

Season 5, Ep 3 - Fish & Chips

Season 5, Ep 3 - Fish & Chips

·Nutritionists recommend eating fish 2 or 3 fish times a week.

·Fish is an important source of selenium and iodine, both of which tend to be deficient in our diets. It’s also rich in protein, vitamins and omega 3.

·Omega 3 can lower the risk of heart disease and depression.It is good for joint health, and even help with studying for exams.

·To get the recommended amount of Omega 3, you’d only have to have 2 servings a week of an oily fish like salmon whereas you’d need to eat white fish every day to get enough.

·A recent study found you absorb as much omega 3 from capsules as you do from fish.

·Fish and Chips are generally made from local fish including Snapper, Tarakihi, Gurnard or Shark.They could also contain an imported catfish from Vietnam called Basa.

·41% of all fish we consume is imported, most of it from China, Thailand and Vietnam

Since they were first allowed into NZ in 2008, Basa catfish imports from Vietnam have increased from 315,609 kilograms to 1,046,816 kilograms.

·3 years ago MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) tested 20 samples of Basa from Vietnam and one contained traces of an unapproved antibiotic called gentian violet.

·Gentian violet is an anti-fungal agent which has been linked to bladder cancer. Even though it’s not approved for food production in NZ and many other countries, it’s not banned so food can still legally contain up to 0.1mg/kg.

·Small amounts of gentian violet such as was detected by MPI, may pass through the body before it has enough time to accumulate and cause damage.

·MPI’s latest study showed battered fish has the highest levels of mercury, at up to 0.48mg/kg which is only just under their limit of 0.5mg/kg.

·Mercury is toxic and can be lethal. It is also cumulative so small doses everyday will lead to a dose that may kill you.

·New Zealanders eat about 7 million serves every week of hot chips.

·On average, 1 serving of fish and chips contains almost 70 grams of fat which is the total daily allowance for an adult in one meal.

·A survey last year found fat content in chips ranged from 7% to 20% depending on where they were bought.

·In general crumbed fish is a bit healthier with about half the fat content of battered. Also, grilled fish has considerably less fat than battered.

·Fish should only be stored in the fridge for 3 days. The colder its kept, the longer it lasts.In the freezer it can store for months.

·Smoking fish stops it from going rancid and is the oldest known method of preserving food.

·There is a higher rate of cancer in countries where people eat more smoked food, but you would have to eat smoked fish every day for years for it to have a significant impact on your health.

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Season 2 Fact Sheets