fish good or bad? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-03-2003, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i have heard conflicting info on eating fish while bf'ng. some say it's brain food, others say it has mercury in it and should be avoided. what do you say?
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#2 of 7 Old 04-03-2003, 08:22 PM
 
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IIRC, the only fish that have mercury issues are those that are very long living - like tuna and another I can't remember now. From what I've read/heard all other fish are perfectly safe and encouraged to eat many times a week.

My SO and I are addicted to fish - cod, salmon, Chilean Sea Bass (my absolute favourite of allllll time), etc etc. We could eat fish every day and be happy.

Hopefully our love for fish will pay off when we're old and gray so our son won't have to deal with us calling every 10 minutes because we forgot we already called him.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-04-2003, 06:22 PM
 
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my dh has a MS in fisheries/aquaculture--his opinion is that most fish is safe. BUT if you want to be assured that your fish has absolutely NO mercury or heavy metals in it buy farm raised fish--such as tilapia, sea bass, trout, catfish, and others
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#4 of 7 Old 04-07-2003, 01:36 AM
 
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It isn't whether fish are long-lived that determines whether they have the most mercury, it's how far up the food chain they are - whether they eat all the fishies that ate all the little fishies and the mercury bioaccumulates its way up the food chain. So the big ones to avoid are tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (see also the third link below for more).

The FDA also issued an advisory a couple of years ago not only advising pregnant women to avoid certain fish but also to limit weekly consumption to 12 ounces a week. However, this may not go far enough to protect fetuses from mercury:

See http://www.ewg.org/reports/focuspocus/

and http://www.ewg.org/reports/BrainFood/execsumm.html

And in particular this list of fish to avoid: http://www.ewg.org/reports/BrainFood/sidebar.html

Also, the problem with farm-raised fish is that fish farms often use a lot of antibiotics to keep the fish healthy in overcrowded conditions, so you get antibiotic residues in the fish. (Fish farms can also cause a lot of environmental problems of water pollution and genetic contamination when the farm-raised fish escape and interbreed with wild fish).

Wild Alaska salmon is a great choice for both environmental and health reasons. Another option that avoids the risks of fish consumption is to supplement with a DHA supplement such as the one from www.veganessentials.com (which is mercury free) and/or to consume flax oil/ground flax seeds for the omega-3s.

Besides being on the list of fish to avoid because of contamination, Chilean sea bass is extremely overfished, and lots of illegal fishing is occurring because of its popularity here - please don't buy it!

Here's some more information on good, not so good, and bad fish choices from an environmental perspective:

http://www.audubon.org/campaign/lo/seafood/index.html

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#5 of 7 Old 04-07-2003, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great info. I just wonder why WIC offers tuna to bf'ng mothers? That has me concearned.
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#6 of 7 Old 04-07-2003, 10:44 PM
 
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tuna lobby is very powerful

nak

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#7 of 7 Old 04-08-2003, 09:59 AM
 
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I've never been on WIC, but that's one of my WIC pet peeves. They supply lots of milk, which I believe is the number one food allergy, peanut butter, which can of course have deadly allergies, and tuna, which pregnant and nursing women shouldn't eat.

I try to eat fish once a week, but no more. And I eat the kinds of fish that are considered to be safer. I think that it is good to get nutrients from a wide variety of foods, but an excess of anything, particularly fish, can be bad.
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