The Reason You Shouldn't Order IHOP Tilapia

Before examining why you should not eat IHOP's tilapia, we should deal with the reputation this type of fish suffers from in general. After all, if you believe Global Seafoods' claims about the various issues with tilapia, then you wouldn't order it from IHOP anyway. The biggest charge against the fish is that a tilapia is worse for you than a hamburger. Snopes explains that this idea originated from a scientific paper focusing on omega-3 fatty acids, which are admittedly not that good for you and are present in tilapia. 

So, if you are worried about your heart, tilapia is not a healthful superfood. The paper goes further to say that "all other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia." However, with nutritional content involved, a tilapia would still probably be healthier overall, as seafood typically is, even if it has a specific inflammatory property. 

So what's wrong with IHOP's tilapia?

If, as established, the scope of the public's fear of tilapia is somewhat overblown, why shouldn't we eat tilapia? LiveStrong reports that the issue with the fish is not the nutritional content itself, but the manner in which it is farmed. Namely that, as reported by The Washington Post in 2016, many tilapia farmed in China supposedly feed on the feces of livestock. Of course, the remedy to this is not to eat tilapia raised in China. However, LiveStrong explains that the majority of tilapia imported to America comes from China.

So, here is where IHOP comes in. The restaurant chain does not offer the source of its tilapia, which does not mean that it comes from China. But considering the scale of their operations, the likelihood of them importing tilapia from China seems high. Until further inspections that prove the previous reports are either false or outdated, you would be better off buying your tilapia sourced from other countries.