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Old 01-26-2008, 01:14 PM   #1
Don_Modesto
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Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi
By: Nicole Belle on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 7:30 PM - PST

I'm really bummed by this because I'm a huge sushi fan. But the NY Times ran an investigative piece (reg. req'd) on the dangerously high levels of mercury in tuna used in 20 Manhattan sushi bars and restaurants. Just six pieces of this sushi a week would exceed levels set by the EPA:

Sushi from 5 of the 20 places had mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. The sushi was bought by The New York Times in October.

Unfortunately, the NY Times doesn't really go into how that mercury got into the tuna in the first place.

To understand how mercury contaminates fish, consider the mercury cycle. It begins with mercury being emitted to the atmosphere by sources such as coal-burning power plants. The mercury washes out of the air with precipitation and comes down on land and water.

Here's the perfect example of how de-regulation and embracing of conservative free market principles are completely unsustainable: we're now poisoning our food, and ourselves. But don't tell that to Rick Berman, who sent out a press release demanding that the NY Times retract the article.

"Yellow(fin) journalism like this does a great disservice to ordinary consumers," added Martosko. "Study after study shows that the documented health benefits of eating fish far outweigh any hypothetical risks. I know the Times is losing money and cutting costs, but maybe they shouldn't have cut back on their scientific research budget."

Yeah, I'm going to trust a lobbyist funded by Phillip Morris for all my healthful diet choices. Newsweek's Sharon Begley takes apart Berman point by point.

So when the Center for Consumer Freedom sent me (and probably scores of other reporters) a press release slamming yesterday's New York Times story chronicling the high mercury levels the newspaper found in tuna sushi served in New York City restaurants and sold in upscale stores, I didn't reflexively think, "oh, this is the group jump-started with a pile of money from a tobacco giant." I didn't think, "this is the group whose leader promised said tobacco company, Philip Morris, ‘to unite the restaurant and hospitality industries in a campaign to defend their consumers and marketing programs against attacks from anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-meat, etc. activists.'" I didn't automatically recall the Washington Post editorial citing "documents showing that Coca-Cola, Wendy's, Tyson Foods, Cargill and Outback Steakhouse are among [founder Rick] Berman's largest donors." I didn't automatically recall that Berman had, as the Post reported, "accused Mothers Against Drunk Driving a. . . of ‘junk science, intimidation tactics, and even threats of violence to push their radical agenda.'" (I found those references only later.)

She actually gets into the science part to show that once again, free market principles to Berman means that consumers should have the right to allow companies to do their work unfettered by the concern that they may be poisoning the populace.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:51 PM   #2
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

I don't eat sushi - every now and again in Japan a whole town gets sick -- just cook the stuff! I have gotten more than an evil eye in Japan for putting sushi on the BBQ

Nor do I eat shellfish as most is caught near the shore where all the pollution is.

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Old 01-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

another reason to become a vegetarian!

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Old 01-26-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
Chris Parkerson
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

heretics, the lot of you.
didn't you know thatceatingvraw fish prepared by authentic Japanese hands improves your sashimi nage?
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
Aikibu
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

I am a life long Surfer and have lived, played, and fished in the ocean almost my entire life.

I gave up eating sushi about five years ago.

Factory Fishing with huge purse seine boats equipped with modern sonar, spotter planes and other high tech systems are wiping out entire species of fish and destroying the main protein source for much of the third world.

The Blue Fin Tuna Catch has collapsed...

If something is not done within the next 5 years your sushi will be nothing more than factory farmed salmon and shell fish or perhaps

Soylent Green.

WIlliam Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-26-2008 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:36 PM   #6
Howard Popkin
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Hey Don,

I guarantee the sushi that you ate at my house was fine.

Or at least fresher then any restaurant

How is this one ????

See you soon,

Howie
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
Aikibu
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

As Aikido teaches we are all connected like it or not. Everything you eat,buy or do effects our small planet.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-27-2008 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #8
Aikibu
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
Hey Don,

I guarantee the sushi that you ate at my house was fine.

Or at least fresher then any restaurant

How is this one ????

See you soon,

Howie
You tested it for mercury content before you ate it? Good Man.

William Hazen
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:10 PM   #9
roadster
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
another reason to become a vegetarian!
Sure, so I can die of E-coli poisoning from tainted greens.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
Howard Popkin
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

It was the famous wasabi test

Enjoy !

Howard
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
Don_Modesto
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
Hey Don,

How is this one ????
Jealous, I am.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:44 AM   #12
CarrieP
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

William's got a point regarding the overfishing of the tuna, salmon, and other big fish used for sushi. One may choose to curb his or her sushi consumption based on that information.

The mercury scare, however, is overblown.

To clear up a few things:

1. Here's a counterpoint to the Times article that is not nearly so alarmist. http://www.slate.com/id/2182823/

2. The mercury thing is not unique to New York tuna sushi. Most big saltwater fish have somewhat elevated levels of mercury. Here's what the FDA says about eating fish.

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html

Summary: 6 ounces of tuna per week, 12 ounces of "fish that are lower in mercury." So, sushi once per week would be just fine under these guidelines.

3. The only people who really need to worry about adverse health effects of mercury are kids and pregnant women. And, from a couple of sources I've looked at, including the Slate.com article above, even that is up for debate.

Full disclosure: I just went out for sushi Sunday night. But not in New York.

Last edited by CarrieP : 01-29-2008 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Live healthy, eat right, die anyway...

I used to have a button I wore on my jacket that said this. It's not that I don't care about this stuff but the number of sources from which we are getting various toxins is so staggering and the likelihood that we are going to actually make the changes needed to stop it is so small that I figure I'll eat my sushi on those occasions that present themselves... I'd worry if I was eating it every day but I only eat once or twice a month. The air I breath is likely to kill me before the sushi does.

Our society's inability to make any decisions which might interfere with short term profits simply make the whole thing laughable. We spend multi billions on marketing products which make us less healthy and the spend another fortune on the treatment of all the ailments that result. We refuse to accept that we need to change. We refuse to put our money into prevention and attacking the root causes of our illnesses because making ourselves ill is such good business. So I don't see anything changing soon and I'll at least focus on killing myself with products that make me happy.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
Marc Abrams
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

I use to think that my sensitivity towards temperature changes was due to me getting older. NOW I KNOW! Eating sushi has turned me into a human thermometer

Marc Pass Me The Toro Abrams
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:35 AM   #15
Aikibu
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Live healthy, eat right, die anyway...

I used to have a button I wore on my jacket that said this. It's not that I don't care about this stuff but the number of sources from which we are getting various toxins is so staggering and the likelihood that we are going to actually make the changes needed to stop it is so small that I figure I'll eat my sushi on those occasions that present themselves... I'd worry if I was eating it every day but I only eat once or twice a month. The air I breath is likely to kill me before the sushi does.

Our society's inability to make any decisions which might interfere with short term profits simply make the whole thing laughable. We spend multi billions on marketing products which make us less healthy and the spend another fortune on the treatment of all the ailments that result. We refuse to accept that we need to change. We refuse to put our money into prevention and attacking the root causes of our illnesses because making ourselves ill is such good business. So I don't see anything changing soon and I'll at least focus on killing myself with products that make me happy.
Cool with me George everyone has the right to live the way they want.

That is not my point....I reached a point in my life where I realized the so called choices given to me by these products may directly affect someone else in the world ( or Momma Earth) in an adverse way when I use them.

I am just trying to educate myself and be more conscientious of the "choices" I make

Martial Awareness is a bitch...

I can enjoy life without Toro just fine along with Hummers, new electronic gadgets, McMansions...Blah Blah Blah

I am certainly not perfect at it but the responsiblity to make these choices is all mine.

A good example is my daily commuting vehicle...

A 2007 Vespa GTS 250. A good "choice" I think.

Ciao Baby!

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-29-2008 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:50 PM   #16
Howard Popkin
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

I am very into the environment, specifically because I want there to be MORE Giant tuna for me to catch and eat

But seriously, we must take care of the planet, but each to his/her own.

Howard (I hope I catch the toro to serve to Marc) Popkin
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:03 PM   #17
Aikibu
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

Quote:
Howard Popkin wrote: View Post
I am very into the environment, specifically because I want there to be MORE Giant tuna for me to catch and eat

But seriously, we must take care of the planet, but each to his/her own.

Howard (I hope I catch the toro to serve to Marc) Popkin
In the 60's when I was a small boy my father took me on a Tuna Charter down just South of Cabo San Lucas. We went out of San Diego and it took a while to get down there. I still vividly remember all the men with thier poles hooking blue fin as fast as they could put the lines in the water...

I want those days to come back too along with millions of teeming Game Fish... Abalone...Lobster...Oysters...Clams...

Point Dume State Beach is right across Pacific Coast Highway from my house. The entire area was declared a State Park with limited commercial and sport fishing about 10 years ago. When I snorkel there now I see Kelp Forests swarming with fish along with Seals,Dolphins, and the California Brown Pelican (almost went extinct in the 60's due to DDT.) just like in the days of my youth....

It can be done...One small action at a time.

William Hazen
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:34 PM   #18
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

William Hazen,

I am with you on this. This is why I make the choice (or try to) I make.

The ironic thing is this. When you spend all of your adult life learning how to prefect the art of killing and then teaching it to others, then watching it happen, well it really makes me think hard about the subject. At least it did me.

I have also had this same discussion with other fellow Rangers, and some (certainly not all), have reached the same conclusion.

It really makes you think about the choices you make, how they might impact things on a grander scale.

I am certainly not preaching a right or wrong way, or trying to instill a sense of guilt in anyone. that is not the point. Choice is important and having people make there own choices is what is most important. I sit in judgement over no man. You can probably also find many things that I do as well, that are not good choices!

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