Well, this New York Times article is quite disturbing. Seems the tuna used in most of 20 New York sushi restaurants sampled contains so much mercury that, “a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.” Yikes.
“No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” said Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.
Scary. Apparently five of the restaurants had mercury levels so high the Food and Drug Administration is considering stepping in and taking the fish off the market.
But, while that’s all very disturbing for New Yorkers, it doesn’t affect pretty little San Francisco, does it? Well, the Times article doesn’t explicitly identify our city, but it does indicate that,
Although the samples were gathered in New York City, experts believe similar results would be observed elsewhere.
“Mercury levels in bluefin are likely to be very high regardless of location,” said Tim Fitzgerald, a marine scientist for Environmental Defense, an advocacy group that works to protect the environment and improve human health.
That’s in addition to this report on 60 Minutes last week that explored the global market for tuna and concluded that the fish travel way farther after they’re dead than you’d expect. What’s caught in the Mediterranean winds up in Japan in the report. One would expect that other markets include similar amounts of frequent flier miles.
So be careful out there. Tuna is a tasty fish, but it’s not worth poisoning yourself or your kid (for you breast-feeding moms).