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healthy seafood choices

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
There's been a lot of recent press about heavy metals (esp mercury) in fish. My whole family loves seafood, so does anyone have a list of fish that are safest to eat, as well as the absolute list of fish to not eat? I know the latter list includes king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish for pregnant women.

What about the more common seafoods like salmon, bass, trout, halibut, scallops, and shellfish?

I assume that wild is favorable to farm-raised. Is that right?

Any difference between freshwater and saltwater fish?

post #2 of 8
Other folks will likely have more complete knowledge, but here's what I know:

Tuna should likely be included in the list not to be eaten by pregnant women. It was not, originally, apparently because of heavy lobbying by the tuna industry (tuna is, of course, consumed a bit more regularly in this country than, say, tilefish and shark, which are also on the list).

Wild salmon is, I think I've heard, one of the best fish to consider consuming, both from a health perspective and an environmental perspective.

Be careful about fresh water fish. Fish, whether salt water or fresh, is not regulated in this country. Fresh water fish may come from a polluted or contaminated waterway, and there's little way to find out (unless you know the source, and check up on it on the EPA website or other websites).

I'm looking forward to hearing what other folks who know more about the matter have to say!
post #3 of 8
I live in a fishing community in Florida. Here is what I see and have learned in my area. May be different elsewhere though.

Shellfish- most is caught on these fishing boats that stay out at sea for days on end. They spray clorox and other stuff on the shrimp and stuff to keep it pink.
Lobsters and crabs are bottom feeders, so ick.
Most tropical fish like groupers, yellowtail, dolphin ( mahi), pompano, stuff that gets really big may have ciguatera toxin ( just had a breastfeeding mom get it and need help, it was awful)and that does not cook out and no way to tell ahead of time. But aside from that, I would stick with groupers ( small) dolphin, yellowtail,tile fish,- small saltwater fish.

And the bigger game fish like tuna, swordfish and the like have the mercury debate.

So, when my husband fishes or shrimps he is selective about types and sizes. Small backcountry fish like snapper or small dophin. No filter fish like crab or lobster and he only eats shrimp that he catches.
I am a vegetarian, and the kids are too. Before though, I would only eat what we brought in or a friend did. Nothing off of a fishing boat and no game fish.

( if I wasn't veg)I would never eat fresh water fish. Too much contamination.
post #4 of 8
Thanks for the info...the only meat I eat is fish and its always salmon...so I think I'm safe.
post #5 of 8
Whoah. In fact, I popped over here to see what the good word is about tuna...and now I'm hearing that tuna is a no-no for pregnant women! wahhh! (D'oh...my 18 week pg self ate a big ol' mess of tuna salad today....nice.)

I thought it was okay to limit the intake to ONE can a week, and I thought I got this idea from Sandra Steingraber's book, Having Faith...all about enviro toxins and such....

...any other comments?
post #6 of 8

I have a list of OK and no-OK fish.

trout (farmed)
catfish (farmed)
shrimp (not so sure though)
fish sticks (not so sure here either, aren't fish stix a mix of diffrent fish?)
flounder (summer)
salmon (wild pacific)
blue crab (mid-atlantic)

OK once a month:
canned tuna
mahi mahi
blue mussel
eastern oyster
great lakes salmon
gulf coast blue crab
channel cafish (wild)
lake whitefish

Not OK:
tuna steaks
sea bass
white croaker
largemouth bass
orange roughy
lake trout

This list is adapted from info provided by U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Environmental Working Group.

Hello tinyshoes!!
I thought tuna was OK when I was pregnant too, had quite alot...

I'm wondering though if fish is just as unsafe as any other meat... As for mercury, there are other sources of contamination. I think if you vax with thimerosal, you should be very cautious about mercury in food, or if environmental mercury level is high in your area.
post #7 of 8
Fish sticks are usually cod.
post #8 of 8
Y'know, all this is really depressing. The one meat-type thing I wasn't willing to give up when I went vegetarian was sushi. And now apparently I can't have any more until I wean my unborn baby.
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