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Wednesday, February 15, 2006 

Should You or Shouldn't You When it Comes to Fish?

Marian Burros in the New York Times today has a very interesting article on a topic that has a lot of people confused these days.

We're constantly being told of the health benefits of eating fish. At the same time, we're warned about unsafe contaminants that some fish contain.
One contaminant, methylmercury, which can damage the nervous system and the brain in fetuses, infants and young children, is found in tuna, particularly albacore, or white meat. PCB's and dioxin, probable human carcinogens, are found in farmed salmon. But omega-3's, important nutrients in both types of fish, can prevent sudden heart attacks.
Tuna and Salmon are the two kinds of fish we're most commonly warned about. Coincidentally, those are also two of the most consumed varieties of fish out there as well.

Studies for both sides of the issue are discussed, and the article closes with the following statement:
But the public is really not faced with a Hobson's choice. It can always get plenty of omega-3's from canned wild salmon, cheap and available year-round and low in contaminants.
If case you're wondering, here is the definition of a "Hobson's choice" as given by Answers.com.

An apparently free choice that offers no real alternative.