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Mercury is Rising

7 years ago by

Mercury is Rising

And it isn’t your astrological friend.

Have you read about the rising levels of Mercury?! It’s something I’m surprised to hear so often — from friends, from friends’ husbands, from the government…

As a pescetarian, I eat fish. And I suppose a decent amount of it — that being one of my main source of protein and nutrients. But I’m concerned with all of this talk of mercury lately! How closely do I need to be watching my mercury levels? No sushi!? Should I get tested too? Is the government doing enough to cut emissions? Should I move to Europe where none of these things matter?

All fair questions! What’s your take on mercury?


Add yours
  • Je pense qu’il faudrait arrêter de stresser! Le mercure dans le poisson, les antibiotiques dans la viande, le mazout dans les cigarettes… sans parler de l’air pollué qu’on respire en ville! Il faut vivre et éviter de faire de la nourriture l’exutoire de toutes nos angoisses et recommencer à voir ça comme un vrai plaisir. Ce genre de discours alarmiste, on en a sur tout ce qui peut se manger. Sur ce, vive les sushis! ;)




  • Here in Italy isn’t better, as a fishetarian too, I’m worried about it.
    I’m trying my best to find no-processed fish, but it’s so hard!
    XOX, Gap.

  • Je pense que tu peux laisser tout ça de coté pour le moment et privilégier les poissons sauvages qui ne grouillent pas dans un arceau et qui ne sont pas bourrés de poudres alimentaires bizarroïdes :)


  • Every 2-3 days there is something new about food…my philosophy is eat everything that please you and try to mix and have from everything a little…
    Yael Guetta


  • I think it is important to limit your amount of foods rich in mercury, but most important is to keep a balanced meal plan. Meaning, sometimes you eat red meat, sometimes chicken, and sometimes fish. Also important to choose organic, grass fed, free range meat, and wild fish. There are many variables to consider, specially when it comes to health and nutrition. Check out this article on Chris Kresser’s webpage where he talks about mercury:
    But also as important as what you are eating, to enjoy it!

  • Thanks Daniela! I’ll definitely check out the article! xx Brie

  • I’m a vegetarian so this isn’t quite relevant as far as mercury poisoning. However, when it comes to food — & life in general — moderation is your friend. :] // ? itsCarmen.com ?

  • On the other side of the pond we hear about mercury in fish too… but those with the highest levels are often larger fish which it’s beneficial to stop fishing so intensively. Smaller fish, just a few times a week = better replenished fish stocks and safe levels of mercury… or that might just be my blasé European take on it!

  • I love fish and I eat it rarely. The reality is besides the mercury, farmed fish is more often than not fed things we should not be consuming.

    And salmon cannot be pink naturally if it is farmed so it is usually dyed.

    It’s important to be careful as we live in times when food is so abundant, it simply doesn’t make sense for it all to be ” not messed up”.

    Eat what you think is right, but have the right info and know what you’re up against:)

  • AntiGerasim December, 9 2014, 7:08 / Reply

    Eat small fish (sardines/smelt/anchovies) instead of too much salmon/tuna/halibut and get hair analysis done, if you are worried :) it’s much easier when your hair is short :)

  • it’s mostly in big fish like Tuna. I eat a lot of fish and a whole lot of sushi — it’s probably not healthy. But, I’m sure you’re fine.


  • This October I studied gastronomy in Paris and one lecture was from a French food contaminants expert from the Institut national de la recherche agronomique. The troubling bit – food contaminants are everywhere, they are inescapable. That goes for Europe just as much as anywhere else in the world. His recommendation – eat a varied diet from a variety of producers. An example: if you love tinned sardines, don’t buy the same brand every single time. Reduce your potential exposure to any one source of contaminants by varying not only your diet, but the source of your ingredients. You can also get most of your fish intake from low-mercury fish, such as salmon, shrimp, sole, and anchovies.

  • I agree moderation is best. That said, you really don’t want high mercury levels. A friend had to detox from mercury and the process doesn’t feel good, sort of similar to a bad flu for several months. But her health greatly improved afterwards. Tuna and swordfish are big culprits.

  • Its so hard to steer clear of Tuna, moderation it is! Thanks Jules – xx Brie

  • Je te rassure, pas besoin de déménager , tous ces sujets sont aussi d’actualité en France …
    Je pense qu’il faut faire attention à ce que l’on mange sans non plus devenir paranoïaque, continnuer à manger des sushis tout en faisant attention à la provenance des poissons que tu manges …
    <a href=" http://www.laparentheseenchantee.fr/2014/12/un-autre-darwin.html

  • Salut,

    Les poissons, c’est un peu mon truc (slurps ronron) donc je me permets de rajouter mon grain de sel au débat.
    Sur ce site: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/ il y a la liste des poissons verts, oranges et rouges (en gros c’est une liste pour savoir quels poissons on peut manger, en fonction de plein de criteres ecologiques et santé). Il y a meme une application, pour les mollusques qui ont l’iphone greffé au bras.

    Concernant les sushis, c’est évident que c’est mal (et pas que a cause du mercure). Et les connards qui disent “on s’en fout, tout est deja pollué alors pourquoi faire des efforts?”…je sais pas quoi leur répondre tellement l’argument est bete. Car c’est évident que 1) oui, les efforts individuels peuvent changer le monde et 2) c’est pas si compliqué que ca (ne me faites pas croire que votre vie perd tout son sens si vous ne pouvez pas manger votre sushi quotidien)


  • Sunny Side December, 10 2014, 4:20 / Reply

    Bonne question ! Si le poisson vient de la côte est (pour toi) il est peut-être ok. il suffit de demander sa provenance ou lire sur la caisse c’est obligatoire.Le souci, c’est une que je suis une fan absolue des nori (algues noires) spiruline et furikaké et genmaïcha. Maintenant je flippe, comment savoir d’où viennent les nori, le thé vert ? il y a des fermes au Chili de nori, qui devraient être intactes. c’est assez effarant en réalité, même le pauvre ours polaire a des saloperies dans sa graisse, et en plus il ne sait plus où aller ! fais le test çà vaut le coup ! Quant au saumon il doit être hyper pâle, sinon c’est l’élevage.

  • Hi Brie! Where is this fish print from? It’s really beautiful!

  • I eat lots of fish and because I have a thyroid problem I have to be very careful. My doctor recently told me to avoid fish that comes from the South Pacific because that is where waters are more contaminated with Mercury.
    I’m super glad that you’ve written this posts because I’m super concerned about this issue and my friends always laugh at me when I talk about it!!! I’m going to enjoy the comments on this post!!!

  • After reading some articles about life in NYC including Garance’s, I start to think that you girls/women in NYC are completely nuts. ok, I don’t say that everybody in new york is freak but I feel like more than in other cities – in Europe at least – there’s this urge, race for being perfect. Have the perfect glow, the perfect skin, great manicure, white teeths, blow up, be skinny, toned, have a great job, a great guy, a rich husband, juicing, coloning (eeewwww !), gluten -freeing, etc. Hey guys, do you actually live sometimes??? Breathe? I mean of course if in the USA the food process is not controlled and full of GMO and nasty proteins you will get this shit in your stomach that will be reflected in your appearance, sking and mood…

    Before I really loved NYC and dreamed to live there : everything seemed to be possible there, the energy ! Now, I realize that in France or in general in Europe I am able to live very well, get a descent pay, I got medical care, security, able to go on holidays, eat GOOD and healthy FOOD, without all this shit inside, I can grab fruits and vegetable pretty easily and still at a reasonable price… And more importantly I don’t have this pressure for looking perfect all the time, this pressure to succeed and make tons of money (in the US if I understand, the minimum services like social and health care, hospitals, education, etc. are very expensive).

    So first BREATH a bit. The stress comes fist from your crazy environment. It’s scary to some extent. New york is not a good city to live well : it’s not for old people and families with children (unless you’revery rich). It’s too fast-paced and hectic. But what for ?! So of course dear that you’re stressed !
    Fish is of course very good because it TASTES good first (not a question of diet). Don’t eat to much though because the seas are extremely polluted and the flesh of the fish can be toxic then. Especially crude ones like sushis ! But be careful from the origin of the fish too : avoid those from americas and China seas, where there are fed with proteins.

    (if you can read French, see this one from M le Monde from the former French beauty Vogue editor and now blogger and freelance writer : http://marecreation.blog.lemonde.fr/2014/11/07/dans-les-coulisses-du-special-beaute-de-m/) ,

  • Hi Sira,

    I’m a New Yorker and lived in Europe for a bit too. I agree that the mentality in Europe is more well balanced, but don’t discard NYC so fast, yes there’s all this paranoid competitive mentality going on, but there’s an energy that is amazing. And in a weird way, even though there are all these pressure to be the most amazing thing ever, nyc is the most accepting place, you can be whoever you want to be and that’s ok, there’s no need to conform and be like everyone else around you. If you don’t get brainwashed and stay true to yourself (be aware though that the trap is very alluring) you can keep that balanced mentality you enjoy, plus the magic NYC has to offer while you are here.

  • Il est vrai qu’il devient difficile de “surveiller” efficacement son alimentation. Si l’on pouvait être maraîcher dans un coin paumé jamais exposé à aucun trouble chimique, pisciculteur avec une eau saine et bien… Je pense que l’on aurait plus aucune question à se poser. Aucun stress; malheureusement (pour nos assiettes et notre santé) ce n’est pas le cas. Heureusement pour nous, nous n’aurions pas tes si belles photos.
    La seule chose à faire et de faire de son mieux pour avoir un corps et un esprit sain malgré tous les scandales sanitaires qui pullules.
    Take care

  • Le mercure, comme le plomb ou les PCB est présent aussi dans les poissons sauvages, pas que d’élevage. Ceux qui en ont le plus sont les gros prédateurs, comme le saumon, le thon car ces polluants s’accumulent le long de la chaîne trophique… C’est sûr que si tu manges des sushis tous les jours, c’est peut-être pas top pour ta santé. La solution ; manger des poissons en début de chaîne alimentaire, comme le maquereau, le hareng, les sardines. Et pour compliquer le tout, plutôt consommer des poissons pêchés en pêche durable (MSC par exemple), parce que les ressources marines ne sont pas inépuisables ! Et oui, c’est devenu un peu compliqué de manger des trucs pas trop pourris aujourd’hui, entre les pesticides, les polluants, les hormones, l’épuisement des ressources naturelles… Vaut mieux savoir comment travaille le producteur !

  • To answer two of your questions:

    1. The US government is definitely not doing enough to cut emmissions. Or to actually look at what get the FDA approval. Or to check what is allowed to be put into cosmetics or perfumes. Or… well, the list goes on.

    2. Using fish in your diet as your main source of protein and nutrients – that doesn’t sound like a good idea. Unless you live in a small village by the sea where fisherman bring in fresh fish every day – hey, wait a minute, they usually have to sell as much as possible and they don’t bring enough home to make a living… Don’t start worrying about your mercury level, start looking into the environmental issues connected to eating fish!

    Of course you can all do as you want – but your food is not just about what you put into your body…
    And yes, I belive that everybody can make a difference.

  • Well, the problem starts if you eat big fish, such as tuna or swordfish, because they grow for few years, accumulating mercury and other toxines in their bodies. Smaller fish – herrings, sardines – are a much safer option. And I agree with JK, that fish should not be the primary source of protein. Mainly because fish meat contains less protein than, let’s say, soya, sunflower seeds or nuts. Fish are a precious source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which boost our immune system. On the other hand, linen seeds or chia are a “cleaner” choice :)

  • Thanks Anna – some great alternatives :) xx Brie

  • Here is a helpful site below for everyone to use as guidance for consuming seafood, it also makes you mindful of the environmental impact of critical species on the market today.


  • I was about to mention Seafood Watch as well. Glad this website was mentioned. It’s good to be concerned about food safety with respect to oneself, but it’s also good to be concerned about food with respect to the environment.

  • Ca me parait un peu dingue de dire “arrêtez de stresser” ça veut dire “vivons polluer mangeons des hormones et des métaux lourds ce n’est pas grave !”.
    Vive l’évolution !
    Déménager en Europe ne servirait à rien, c’est la même chose !! Choisir son poisson est devenu un calvaire, d’où il provient ? Quelle est sa taille ? En êtes-vous sûre ? Puis il faut connaître sa carte géographique des poissons….ouch
    Quand au reste tout est dit plus haut ;)

  • Moi je mange ni viande ni poisson. Si c’est pas le mercure, c’est les antibiotiques, les conditions d’élevage horribles (piscine remplie de poux de mer et de déjection), la pêche intensive qui ravage l’écosystème, il y a mille raisons de ne pas en manger malheureusement!
    La carence en protéines ça n’existe pas dans les pays industrialisés (les protéines doivent constituer 15% de ton alimentation quotidienne + on fabrique nous-mêmes quasi toutes les protéines donc pas de panique).
    De plus, tous les poissons ne contiennent pas d’omega 3 et on a de l’iode dans le sel de table.
    Donc tu ne risques rien à diminuer ta conso de poisson ^^

  • Hi ! The WHO issued a statement a few months back saying that indeed the level of mercury is rather dramatically increasing in the oceans (thanks pollution), so they were saying you should not eat sea products more than twice a week, out of safety… *sigh*

  • Out shopping recently I saw a little Seafood Watch booklet on a checkout counter, I was amazed at all the new concerns. I try to eat as healthy as I can most of the time with the best products and limit processed foods. Moderation is the best but not always how it goes.
    Thanks for the post and brining new information to light.

  • La solution: Le poisson Lion ( pour l’insant…), certes difficile a trouve quand on est pas sous les tropiques!

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