Mercury levels in fish. Do all fish contain mercury? What are side effects every ethical consumer must know?
Here’s how buying fish high in mercury will impact your health.
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping.
As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on mercury in fish.
You are going to learn all about mercury in fish. This will include how fish get mercury, potential health risks, pregnancy and much more.
After learning about mercury fish levels you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about fish and mercury that every ethical consumer should know.
What is mercury?
Mercury is metal that produces toxic effects to the body. If consumed in high quantities it poisons the kidneys and nervous system.
Mercury occurs naturally at low levels in rock, water and soil. However, human activity (most notably the burning of fossil fuels) has dangerously increased mercury levels to be around 450% higher than natural.
How do fish get mercury?
Air pollutants from coal burning factories, for example, can travel around the world into lakes, rivers, and oceans.
It is then absorbed and ingested by small aquatic organisms and starts working its way up the food chain.
Think fish is a good meat alternative? Think again! There are other problems with fish…
You are concerned about not eating fish and seafood because of mercury levels but fish is even more problematic! Here’s how…
- fish is an acidic food group
- common food allergens (the big 8) include fish and crustacean shellfish
- fish has a moderate to high carbon footprint
- it’s unsustainable: fishing nets are the main cause of ocean plastic pollution!
- fish is not vegan: animals are killed in the production process (not only fish, bycatch like dolphins, turtles and birds get caught in nets too!)
- laborer issues and human rights concerns: fishing means high rates of worker exploitation
Fish with mercury pregnancy
The only way to ensure you do not consume mercury is to eliminate seafood from your diet entirely. Fish and crustaceans can be replaced by foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin).
If you eat fish and shellfish low in mercury during your pregnancy it is critical you do not eat any more than 8 to 12 ounces per week!
Mercury fish levels. Do all fish contain mercury?
All fish and shellfish contain at least some traces of mercury. Nearly all mercury that we acquire within our bodies comes from eating seafood.
Too much mercury can cause the following symptoms:
- memory loss
- pathologic shyness
- speech difficulties
- lack of coordination
- muscle weakness
- nerve loss in hands and face
- trouble walking
- vision changes
- The Complete Cookbook with Easy and Tasty Recipes for Vegan and Seafood Lovers.
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Fish high in mercury
Large, predatory fish on top of the food chain the highest levels of mercury, namely:
Fish with low mercury
This post was all about mercury fish levels.
What to do about mercury in fish – Harvard Health
Mercury in fish – Better Health Channel
Adriane MarieGrocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.
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