July 23, 2007

You Are What You Eat, And For New Yorkers, That Means Mercury-Laden Fish

charlie_tuna_sidesalad-net.JPGA couple of very interesting research results for the food-and-baby-conscious New Yorker:

First, new mom Meg Hourihan [mazeltov!] has a very enlightening discussion of how to decide what to eat during pregnancy. Statistically, her data sample has problems, since it's just her, and her test was self-administered. On the other hand, she's an extremely intelligent and conscientious foodie. Her choices: skip NYC deli meat, raw and soft cheeses, and street dogs; eat the seafood and medium-rare meat she knew; no soft-boiled eggs.

How I ate while pregant [megnut]

Also today: the results of a new study show 1 in 4 adults in NYC have blood mercury levels at or above recommended safety levels. The people with the highest rate of unsafe mercury levels [i.e., 5 micrograms/liter, or 5ppm]:

  • Asians: 46%
  • Foreign-born Chinese: 68% [20% had >15ppm]
  • Folks who report eating fish more than 20 times/month [a big overlap with Asians, unsurprisingly]: 56%
  • People earning > $75k: 30%

    The results led the NYC Dept. of Health to create seafood recommendations for young kids and pregnant and breast-feeding moms, who are more vulnerable to mercury poisoning. It boils down to eating moderate amounts of fish and watching the mercury.

    High Mercury Levels Found in One-Fourth of Adults [in NYC] [nyt]
    Press Release: ONE IN FOUR NYC ADULTS HAS ELEVATED BLOOD MERCURY LEVELS [nyc.gov]
    Eat Fish, Choose Wisely: NYC-DOH Mercury Brochure - PDF [nyc.gov]
    Abstract: A Biomonitoring Study of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury in the Blood of New York City Adults, and complete survey data: pdf [ephonline.org]
    image via Jeff's hilariously depressing report from the red carpet of the Food Network Awards [sidesalad.net]

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