For years, we've known that tuna and even swordfish are more polluted with mercury than most seafood. And sure, knowing this has been a bummer for people who enjoy the occasional tuna salad sandwich or spicy tuna roll, but it really wasn't anything all that alarming. But now, new research has revealed a fact that anyone who likes to eat fish should find truly upsetting ... 84 percent of fish have unsafe levels of mercury, according to a study from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine and the International POPs Elimination Network. Ugh. This is no joke. It could have serious health implications for us.
But, okay, say you only really eat fish on Saturday nights when you go out for a hot date night with your honey ... or when it's on sale? So you should be safe -- for the most part -- right?
Not necessarily. The researchers warned:
Fish samples from around the world regularly demonstrate mercury concentrations exceeding human health advisory guidelines based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reference dose. Our findings demonstrate that 84 percent of the fish sampled were not safe for consumption for more than one meal per month.
Yup, more than once a month! They might as well say never eat it! So sad. Apparently, we've polluted our waters so much -- they say concentrations of mercury have increased approximately threefold as the result of us humans treating the planet like a trash dump -- that the majority of our fish may be too high in mercury to enjoy. Seriously, this is seriously heartbreaking for anyone who enjoys seafood.
Still, there are some fish that are better than others. According to MontereyBayAquarium.org's "The Super Green list" seafood list, the following fish contain low levels of contaminants, provide a daily minimum of omega-3s, and are classified as a Seafood Watch "Best Choice": Albacore tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia); freshwater Coho salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.); oysters (farmed); Pacific sardines (wild-caught); rainbow Trout (farmed); salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska).
Ultimately, though, let's hope negotiators from more than 130 countries, who are working to finalize a treaty to reduce the use of mercury and limiting emissions into the environment, succeed. Because how sad would it be if we get to the point where fish is off the menu for good?
Here's the news report on the study ...
How do you feel about this news? Do you plan to cut back on how much fish you eat?
Image via Ari Helminin/Flickr