31 May 2006

Fishy Business

As a youngster (saying "youngster" makes me sound like an oldster) in Oregon, though I was living in a Pacific state, I somehow didn't eat much fish other than fish sticks. Now, I'm not sure that fish sticks are in fact fish, in much the same way that I'm not sure balogna is really meat. So I really didn't eat fish at all, except perhaps the stray clam in the delicious clam chowder from Mo's.

Therefore, it wasn't until I was in Japan as a teenager that I was exposed to fish and subsequently learned to like and even love it. But now, living in landlocked (yes, we have The Lake, but I think most fish from Lake Michigan are not edible?) Chicago AND with all the recent brouhaha about mercury levels in fish and the threat they pose to pregnant women in particular, it's hard to know if we should eat fish at all.

Well, today's New York Times has saved the day with the following list. I am shamelessly copying it and pasting it here, as I'm concerned that it will become on off-limits item for all but the paying customer in a week or so. Let's enjoy fish!

Fish Guide

Published: May 31, 2006
These fish can be eaten once a week by adults, according to an assessment of contaminant levels by Environmental Defense. Those marked with an asterisk can be eaten more than once a week.


ARCTIC CHAR, color added
*BLACK COD (Sable, Butterfish on West Coast)
*BLACK SEA BASS Younger children no more than four times a month
*HAKE (white, silver and red)
HAKE (Chilean, Cape and Argentine)
*HALIBUT (Pacific only) Older children 3 times a month, younger children twice
*MACKEREL (Atlantic or Boston only)
MAHI-MAHI Younger children 3 times a month
*PACIFIC SAND DAB (yellowtail flounder)
*SALMON (Pacific)
*SOLE (gray, petrale, rex, yellowfin)
SOLE (Dover; English or lemon, older children 3 times a month, younger children twice)


CATFISH (domestic)
STRIPED BASS (rockfish)
*TROUT (rainbow); TROUT (steelhead)


*CLAMS (northern quahogs)
CLAMS (Atlantic surf, butter, Manila, ocean quahog, Pacific geoduck, Pacific littleneck and soft-shell)
*CRAB (Dungeness, snow) Dungeness: younger children once a week
CRAB (Florida stone, Jonah, king)
*CRAYFISH (United States)
*LOBSTER (American) Children 2 to 4 times a month
*MUSSELS (farmed blue; wild blue, children 2 to 3 times a month)
MUSSELS (New Zealand green, Mediterranean)
OYSTERS (farmed Eastern and Pacific)
*SCALLOPS (bay; Northeast, Canadian sea)
*SHRIMP (wild American pink, white, brown)
SHRIMP (spot prawns and northern shrimp)
*SPINY LOBSTER (Caribbean, United States, and Australia)

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