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Pregnant Women, Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!

Posted by feww on October 5, 2007

The Daily Green writes:


Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers Should Eat Fish

Coalition Advice Counters FDA Concerns Over Mercury

Eating 12 ounces of fish per week does more to promote than inhibit healthy brain development, despite government warnings that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid fish because of mercury contamination.
[Read more…]

Mothers who are still concerned about mercury would be wise to choose fish carefully. Many species that are lower on the aquatic food chain contain no or very little mercury (or other contaminants, like PCBs) and yet still contain high levels of Omeg-3 fatty acids. Some of those fish, according to Oceans Alive, include:

  • Abalone (U.S. farmed)
  • Anchovies
  • Arctic char (farmed)
  • Catfish (U.S. farmed)
  • Caviar (U.S. farmed)
  • Clams (farmed)
  • Crab – Dungeness, snow (Canada), stone
  • Crawfish (U.S.)
  • Halibut – Pacific (Alaska)
  • Herring – Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
  • Mackerel – Atlantic
  • Mahimahi (U.S. Atlantic)
  • Mussels (farmed)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Sablefish/black cod (Alaska)
  • Salmon – wild (Alaska), canned pink/sockeye
  • Sardines
  • Scallops – bay (farmed)
  • Shrimp – northern (Canada), Oregon pink, U.S. farmed
  • Spot prawns
  • Striped bass (farmed)
  • Sturgeon (U.S. farmed)
  • Tilapia (U.S.)

For more information on choosing the best fish to eat, visit this Oceans Alive Web site. For more information about the study, click here.” [Original Story…]
[end quote]

FEWW asks…

Assuming a few of the items on the Oceans Alive’s “safe fish list” are less deadly than the others, how would the average pregnant woman or nursing mother ensure the fish she eats is, say, the Atlantic mackerel (!) and not the king [mercury, PCB, dioxin] mackerel, or farmed striped bass, instead of the wild [PCB, mercury, dioxin] striped bass?

See also:
Sustainable Lifestyles & Healthy Food
UPDATE & New Links

Fish Farming: The Hazards & Environmental Impacts
TITO: Toxin In, Toxin Out

4 Responses to “Pregnant Women, Eat Fish! Don’t Eat Fish!”

  1. feww said

    Hi Michelle
    That’s a good rule! The problem with eating “safer” fish is to first establishing where they were farmed and what they were fed!

  2. Michelle said

    I make it a rule to avoid “Large Fish” like Salmon or Swordfish. They usually contain the most mercury.

  3. feww said

    Hi Amanda,

    There are good reasons why some of the HMHB coalition organizations don’t support the new recommendations [or at least I hope they don’t for the following reasons!]

    Here’s the aquaculture paradox: Farmed fish are “safer” to eat than wild fish. To produce 1 kg of farmed fishmeal, the fish are fed about 5 kg of smaller wild fish (also known as pelagic, open-ocean, or “trash” fish).

    It takes about 20 kg of pelagic fish including anchovies, mackerel and sardines to produce 1 kg of high protein ranched tuna!

    Please also see UPDATE and new links:

  4. Amanda said

    It’s really hit-or-miss. If you’re at a fairly yuppy restaurant, they’ll usually be able to tell you the details of the fish. In most grocery stores you can just ask. Some places will just look at you funny — I had one woman look at me like I was clearly on drugs and say “no, dear, it’s not farmed, it’s fish!

    For the record — the “study” was funded by the seafood industry, and most of the respectable organizations that are (or were) a part of the HMHB coalition have said they don’t support the new recommendations.

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