Fishy Situation

Reader Contribution by Stephanie Bloyd

To eat or not to eat fish? Why should it be such a tricky question? While the health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are numerous (they boost cognitive function and reduce your risk of heart attack & strokes), the dangers of consuming fish laced with mercury keep many people from eating fish. And the recent media hype encouraging pregnant women to eat more fish, based on a report from U.S. obstetricians and nutritionists (funded in part by a seafood industry trade group), contradicted the FDA and EPA recommendations that expectant mothers limit fish consumption to 12 ounces of fish per week. So what to do?

To minimize health risks, while still enjoying the benefits of eating fish, some experts think the answer lies in the species of fish you choose. From an environmental angle, it’s also smart to avoid overharvested species, and pay attention to the pollution levels in the water.

Seem like a lot to take in? You’re in luck! In conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS article on Fish and Your Health that we published recently, the MOTHER editors compiled a Sustainable Seafood Shopping Guide (PDF) that lists fish to pick, fish to avoid, plus online resources to view for more information. also ran a great article this week to address the myriad questions swimming around the fish issue.