The One Thing No One Tells Women About Seafood

A new report has some bad news for fish lovers.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-386528662/stock-photo-various-kinds-of-sushi-served-on-black-stone-sushi-set-sashimi-and-sushi-rolls-close-up-top-view.html?src=mlTrzFaYbq9wGzrrjxWsrQ-1-137">Malyugin</a>/Shutterstock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Pregnant? Time to ditch that tuna.

According to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, pregnant women who eat the amount of fish suggested by federal guidelines routinely have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that expecting mothers eat two to three servings of fish per week, with an emphasis on those high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury, a neurotoxin that can put a developing fetus at risk. But the EWG, which tested mercury levels in 254 pregnant women following the recommendations, found that 1 in 3 participants had mercury levels deemed unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“These are savvy, health-conscious women who thought they were making the right choices, so they were shocked to find high levels of mercury in their bodies,” said author Sonya Lunder in a statement. “What’s more, the fish they ate didn’t provide enough omega-3s. The seafood advice from the FDA and EPA should be much more detailed and specific, to help women balance the harm from mercury and the benefits of omega-3s.”

Federal guidelines don’t specify exactly how much mercury in fish is too much, but generally speaking, the mercury-heavy fish tend to be at the top of the food chain—think tuna, swordfish, and marlin. They ingest the heavy metal when feeding on smaller contaminated fish, which, in turn, absorb it from water polluted by coal-fired power plants or other industrial sources.

For seafood lovers trying to avoid heavy metal, there are plenty of options low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate