Answer to subscriber's question
by aajonus vonderplanitz, phd nutrition
I recall one of your late 2006 or 2007 newsletters advising that mercury ingestion from RAW fish is much less than from cooked fish, the implication being that it is probably safe to eat RAW meats and fish even if they are known to have moderate mercury levels.
I'm finding data, or at least allegations, that mercury poisoning is found in wild predators, presumably as a result of eating (raw) prey that has mercury in its tissues -- e.g., the following link pointing to mercury toxicity in Florida panthers who consume more raccoons than deer.
Perhaps less mercury is absorbed from eating meats raw, but is enough still absorbed to cause problems? And if so, should we avoid most fish as much as possible?
I thought your point was that eating it RAW was the key. But then how do the cougars suffer from eating the raccoons raw? Wouldn't we suffer similarly from eating mercury-laden fish, and those exist even in open ocean water, it is said. ??
Sorry, just trying hard to understand - is the distinction how much and what type of Hg is in the animal we eat, or in whether we eat it raw or cooked?
-- Thanks, Bonny Schumaker
Aajonus: Hi, Bonny. There are many ways that land and fresh-water animals receive mercury poisoning. It is sprayed as pesticides and fungicides greatly in Florida where raccoons forage. Many mercury-containing poisons are in garbage dumps where raccoons rummage. As I have stated for years, ocean-caught fish are not exposed to the type and concentrations of mercury that land and fresh-water animals are.
I suggest that we do NOT avoid wild-caught ocean creatures that are consider high in mercury. My point was that eating ocean wild-caught raw fish was a factor with low mercury absorption. Land and freshwater animals do not have the same mineral-altering ability that ocean animals have. Also, land and freshwater animals are exposed to a lot more industrial mercury than ocean animals.
Most of our mercury-poisoning is from pharmaceutical and other industrial pollution. Government and industry want to blame fish-eating for our mercury woes but it is mostly a smokescreen to avoid lawsuits that would rightfully blame government and pharmaceuticals for our mercury-poisoning.