The United States has been reporting for the past couple of years, on the dangerous levels of mercury contained in certain fish, most notably, tuna. In high concentrations, this metal can cause very serious brain damage which is why pregnant and nursing women and children are often recommended to severly limit their intake of fish known to contain mercury.
Last week, The New York Times reported that eight of 44 pieces of tuna sampled from restaurants all over the city contained levels of mercury that meet the Food and Drug Administration’s measure for taking the fish off the market completely. That’s scary stuff, especially when sushi restaurants are almost as ubiquotious as pizza joints. Well, maybe they are not at that level of popularity yet, but we’re getting close.
Having been pregnant myself, I still find myself adhering to most of the restrictions that pregnant women are supposed to follow in regards to diet (no raw fish, no unpasturized food or beverages, no alcohol and no caffeine). Why? Because I feel that these restrictions, which are for the benefit and safety of the woman’s health and her baby’s, say something about the unsafety of our own food supply, or at least the unknowns of the food that stocks are grocery store shelves. And I care too much about my health and my longevity to give in to a passing craving for a piece of tuna sashimi.