Bringing Purity Back Into The Seafood Industry


Published:

Seafood is packed full of important nutrients, proteins, vitamins and omega-3s. But lurking in our oceans is a hidden poison that is corrupting the purity of the world’s seafood supply — mercury.

While mercury has been in the environment since the planet was first formed, industrialization has caused the levels to rise. Inorganic mercury enters our environment both naturally through volcanic activity and forest fires and through industrial pollution. Emissions from coal-fired power plants are the most significant contributor. And, the annual manmade mercury contribution grows each year with a compounding effect. Additionally, global warming increases the frequency and magnitude of forest fires, which in turn increases the mercury load on our planet. A Michigan University study revealed that mercury levels in Yellowfin tuna in the Pacific Ocean have increased by 3.8% per year between 1998 and 2008 and predicts that if the mercury pollution continues at current levels, the mercury levels will double in our oceans by 2050.

Mercury in tuna is an issue for consumers because the toxic form of mercury, methylmercury, can be found at higher levels in tuna than other types of seafood. Mercury in its elemental or inorganic form (Hg) makes its way into our lakes and oceans and reacts to create methylmercury (MeHg or MMHg). This organic mercury compound is most commonly found in marine life, and it binds with plant life. Through bio-magnification, in which small fish eat the methylmercury laden planet life, bigger fish eat the smaller fish and so on, the methylmercury concentrations, on average, are higher the farther up the food chain one goes. So on average swordfish have higher mercury concentrations than tuna and tuna have higher concentrations than mussels.

It is important to note that one’s body can process trace amounts of methylmercury, like other toxins, without adverse effects. However, chronic exposure to doses of methylmercury from seafood beyond the body’s ability to process it can cause serious problems. Chronic elevated mercury exposure in adults impacts the cognitive, motor, and sensory functions. Effects on infants and children can be more severe due to their developing nervous symptoms and their smaller body masses. According to the EPA, children exposed to methylmercury while they are in the womb can have irreversible impacts to their cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, fine-motor skills and visual spatial skills.

As the issue of high methylmercury levels in seafood has become common knowledge over the years, many people’s instinct has been to eliminate larger fish, like tuna, from their diets altogether. The problem is that tuna is also a valuable source of nutrients such as vitamins, protein and omega-3s, so eliminating tuna completely from a diet is disadvantageous.  

Another obstacle is the variance of mercury levels between canned tuna brands and within the brands themselves. Brands like American Tuna and Wild Planet try to work around the methylmercury issue by targeting younger, smaller fish in their catches. But, tuna are a highly migratory, predatory species so their diets can vary due to differences in prey and geographic location. Since mercury accumulates in seafood due to bio-magnification, the age of a tuna can have an effect on the mercury content as well. But age is not a reliable factor in determining mercury levels because there is no way to accurately monitor what a specific tuna is eating. If a younger tuna continuously eats prey with higher mercury concentrations than an older tuna with a different diet, the younger, smaller tuna can have higher mercury concentrations than the larger tuna.  

There are standards for testing seafood, including tuna, for mercury, which are set by the FDA in the U.S. and by other regulatory bodies in other countries around world. The FDA sets a standard of 1.000 parts per million (ppm), which has been exceeded by canned tuna in multiple studies conducted by universities and regulatory bodies. Other countries such as Canada and most participating countries in the EU have a standard that is half of the FDA’s, at 0.500 ppm. However, these standards are rarely enforced because these regulatory bodies do not have the resources to check or verify every brand of tuna and there is no mandatory testing to ensure brands are meeting these standards.

The only way to truly know the mercury level in a tuna is to test each and every tuna.

Sean Wittenberg and Bryan Boches are co-founders of SafeCatch, the first and only canned tuna brand that tests every fish for mercury, and the only brand to meet Consumer Reports “Low Mercury” criteria and mercury levels of the Environmental Working Group’s “Best Choice” standard. Visit www.safecatch.com for more information.

See also:
CNN Documentary Takes A Peek Behind The Food Industry Curtain
Weekly Musings: Oceans of Love

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 21, 2020

An early morning trine between Mars and Uranus arouses enterprising spirits. Some may find themselves on the path to personal liberation. Others assume the role of social reformer or adventurer. Scientific and technological advancements help bridge the…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2020

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

January 19th, February 16th, March 8th by appointment only. Kinetic Chain Release (KCR) to balance body, resolve leg length discrepancies, reduce back, shoulder, knee, hip pain and reduce stress...

Cost: $65 to $145

Where:
Leapin' Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME  04101
View map »


Sponsor: Leapin' Lizards
Telephone: 207-221-2363
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Anna DeWitte Mondays—starts 1/27 Our next new class! Join Anna (one of our recent grads) for her mild heat class! The temperature will hover around 80 degrees which helps to loosen...

Cost: $17

Where:
State of Grace Yoga & Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Sponsor: State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Automatic & Channel Writing — Class 1 of 3 Discussion of channel writing and then spending the rest of the class practicing writing. Getting comfortable writing either with paper and...

Cost: At door $20; online reg. $15

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers — Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of Pediatric Dentistry Month and recognizing children’s oral health as a foundation for life-long health, join us for a free, fun and informational evening about how holistic...

Cost: Free

Where:
The BioMed Center New England
111 Chestnut Street
Ste 1
Providence, RI  02903
View map »


Sponsor: The BioMed Center New England
Telephone: 833-8BIOMED
Contact Name: Admin Desk
Website »

More information

Free Workshop: What happens to the marital home in divorce? Join us for this timely seminar led by Attorney Beth Aarons, Realtor Sky Minckler, and Mortgage Consultant Craig Tashjian as they...

Cost: Free

Where:
Skylark Law & Mediation, PC
9 Main Street
Southborough, MA  01772
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Are you considering, going through or recovering from divorce? Join us at our FREE Daytime Divorce Boot Camp, and we’ll help you get into shape! In response to requests from people who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
180 Wells Avenue
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the...

Cost: $40

Where:
Friends Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Sponsor: Allen Howell, M.Ed. LMHC
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

February 22nd & 23rd Deepen your knowledge and practice of Reiki. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher) This two-day Level II Training enhances...

Cost: $250

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Get a personal teaching for Brother Granite's new Visionary Shamanism Tarot. This class includes the new Visionary Shamanism Tarot deck as well a 90 minute one on one class with Brother Granite...

Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
407 Rte 44
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
Raynham, MA  02767
View map »


Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags