[QUOTE=suzukiaustin;9784621]I've got a question for you...how often do preggo women in Japan eat fish? Do the majority of them ignore the mercury/farm raised fish/pcb warnings and eat to their heart's content? Curious. [QUOTE]
As far as I can see, there seems to be no public awareness of the mercury issue at all in Japan. Pregnant women are not warned at all about eating any type of fish, and I have heard no warnings about feeding children either. My two-year-old DS is attending a half-day preschool at the moment. He eats lunch there, and fish or seafood is on the menu 3-4 days a week. I've never seen tuna, but they do serve mackerel, which can be very high in mercury (depending on the exact species). I try to avoiding giving him fish at home, because he gets so much at school, but FIL loves to cook, and will sometimes prepare fish without asking me.
On the other hand, the quality of meat here, from a TF perspective, is really bad. There's little pasture land, so most animals are kept in small pens and fed food pellets (or whatever). And there's a dioxin problem here, which affects all meat and dairy foods ... So, I almost prefer having DS eat low-contaminant, wild fish and seafood ... Supplemented with pastured eggs (at $1 each), raw milk shipped in from the least-dioxin-polluted northern province, beans, natto and occasionally tofu.
I have mused over this issue a lot, and have concluded that the reason there is no awareness of mercury here in Japan is that eating fish is such a deep part of the culture here. To inform people that fish contains contaminants would be like killing a part of Japanese culture. I truly believe that people do not want to know.
The contamination of our planet and food supply is so depressing to me. I think these problems can become more apparent when you have to live somewhere new, and have to go "hunting and gathering" for decent, uncontaminated food. It makes me sad that I am bringing a new baby into such a contaminated world.
Sigh, sorry everyone for this long post, but suzukiaustin asked
Baby is due in three weeks, BTW!