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February 9, 2008

Fish on Fridays …

BY: smahan

Last Wednesday was first day of Lent — a time when many Christians around the world fast for 40 days before Easter.  As part of that fasting, Catholics are asked to abstain from eating meat on Fridays and usually choose fish as the entrée alterative (sales of some seafood increases to the tune of up to 40 percent during Lent!).  However, this Lent is different from others — there’s been a lot of news lately about high mercury levels in some fish.  

So how can a good Christian keep the fast without getting loaded up on quicksilver?  

Stay away from high mercury fish like swordfish, tilefish, shark and king mackerel of course!  The Food and Drug Administration has issued this very advice warning women of childbearing age and children due to the negative health effects related to consuming high mercury fish.  The FDA goes further and advises these people to limit consumption of albacore (white) tuna and tuna steaks to 6 ounces or less a week.  

Just in time for Lent, Kroger and Harris Teeter grocery companies have vowed to post the FDA advice at their seafood counters.  Nearly 30 percent of the major grocery company stores are posting the FDA advice nationwide.  Maybe it would be a good time for Costco, A&P, Giant Eagle and Publix to join this trend and protect their customers – especially during Lent.

Until then, check out Oceana’s seafood guide to pick low-mercury, sustainable seafood options.