Mercury in Your Food – Do You Know the Source?

The author of our very first book club read, Mark Bittman, had a super interesting piece in the New York Times yesterday on the source of mercury in food, such as albacore tuna and rice (!), so we thought we’d share it. Here’s an excerpt:

If you’re like most people (including me, up until a month or two ago), you know that tuna and other top-of-the-food-chain fish contain unsafe levels of mercury and that childbirth-age women and nursing mothers, especially, are warned off these fish. What you don’t know, probably (I didn’t), is the mercury’s source, or how it gets in these fish.

Turns out that about three-quarters of it comes from coal-burning power plants; it dissolves in water, where micro-organisms convert it to methylmercury, a bio-available and highly toxic form that builds up in fish. The longer a fish lives, the more mercury builds in its flesh.”

Click here to access the whole article on the New York Times’ website.

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