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Thursday, May 31, 2007

What to have for dinner?

As if this topic wasn't hard enough to answer already! Recently I've been delving into the world of what we should, and shouldn't, be putting into our bodies. A few rather shocking discoveries that have changed the way I feed the family...as well as some tricks I've figured out in how to avoid them.

I'll start with fish...the good, the bad, the ugly. After having my vegetarian-fish-eating Pilates trainer out for 18 months with mercury poisoning from eating fish, I started to pay much more attention to this area. Basically, you don't want to eat anything big...because they eat everything else in the sea and the mercury from the whole food chain gets concentrated in the fatty tissue. (This problem will only get worse and more and more mercury-spewing coal-fired power plants come into existence.)

And then there is salmon. Wild salmon is fine, health-wise, as they are relatively small. The problem comes in when they are farmed...they are fed pelleted fish from scraps of much larger fish that contain mercury and residual PCBs. Which are then concentrated in the salmon. So you'd think the answer would be to eat only wild salmon.

I thought so too until I read the enlightening New York Times (4/10/2005) article that tested "wild" salmon purchased from a range of stores in New York, including Dean and Deluca. 8 of the 10 samples obtained were in fact farmed, being sold as wild. Digging deeper, it seems that the only safe salmon is from Alaska. Now I am only buying salmon from a boat directly, or smoked salmon from Alaska...as I'm betting that they can't lie about that provenance as easily.

I think this is a good option, but I am looking at it more closely and will report back. I recently was talking with the seafood buyer for The Pasta Shop in Berkeley and she recently found out that much "wild" salmon is actually from farms...in the ocean. Still being fed the same problematic feed. Now I need to find out whether there are any ocean fish farms in Alaska...

Great resource: The Seafood Watch list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp

1 comment:

Meri said...

Great discussion of the fish issue. My vegetarian, fisheating sister-in-law had breast cancer two years ago and discovered in the process that she also had elevated heavy metals in her blood. Her healer recommended eliminating fish from her diet until her blood is cleaned out, and then consuming only occasionally. So she is back eating chicken.

Eating a diverse diet is really essential. With all the toxins in our environment, many things will have unhealthy toxins. At least eating a diverse diet will help reduce the buildup of any particular toxin.