This link above was the video used by the Dude to complete his mission.
As stated in the video, Swai is not expensive but it tastes mediocre. I made the
dish pictured to the right according to the video and it was pretty tasty.
What it doesn’t tell you is that Swai is raised in the Mekong River.
The Mekong River is one of the most polluted waterways in the world. Numerous factories get rid of the chemical waste by dumping them into the river. While pangasius fish (swai) can survive in such an extreme environment, they absorb all these contaminants. As omnivores, they eat whatever is available in the environment. Some breeders feed the fish trash and rotting matter to cut down the cost. Pangasius fish bred in such circumstances, certainly contain these toxic chemicals.
Injecting the fish with hormones helps to stimulate their growth. Certain breeders are able to make their fish grow four times as fast as they do in the natural habitat. Frequent use of antibiotics serves to control disease but can lead to the contamination of meat and development of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Reliable farms utilize the clean areas of the rivers or breed the fish in artificial ponds. Frequent water changes and filtration maintain the quality of water, so that the fish avoid absorbing the pollutants. Trustworthy breeders feed the fish food scraps, dedicated fish pellets and rice bran. The carefully selected diet leads to healthier fish and improves the quality of their meat. Limited use of the antibiotics allows the fish to break the toxins down, instead of accumulating in the bodies of Swai fish.
To choose the safe fillets, check if the meat has been tested for the presence of the antibiotics and contaminants. Try to avoid panga fillets of unknown origin, as there’s a good chance that they are imported from these shady farms. The responsible shopping habits serve to reinforce the correct commercial breeding techniques. They protect the consumers from ingesting the toxic ingredients.
Bottom line, cheaper isn’t always better.