Have you read the headlines?
“28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely fried”
“Holy Fukushima — Radiation From Japan Is Already Killing N. Americans”
“West Coast Radiation 500% Normal”
There have been several times my husband and I have even avoided our favorite restaurants for fear of radioactive roe or toxic tunafish.
I’ve been a talk radio fiend and health writer for years now – and the potential danger of chemicals and radiation in sushi is NO news.
Frankly, the filthiness of our oceans worldwide is a topic worth researching. So I have.
And here’s the short list of some of the fascinating research I’ve found.
Why We’re Scared of Toxic Pacific Fish…
While there’s always been concerns over consuming fish from our polluted oceans, the problem has been magnified following the category 9 tsunami that hit Japan’s coast a few years ago.
In March of 2011, an earthquake in Japan caused a tsunami to hit it’s coast.
This resulted in the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant
It also amounted to the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.
In order to cool the reactors at Fukushima off, water was poured onto them.
That water eventually seeped back into the ground nearby… and thereby into the Pacific Ocean.
Understandably, people are now feeling a little sheepish about their sashimi…
Overreactions To The Fukushima Pollution…
Radioactive isotopes found in bluefin tuna as well as several other Pacific fish are a serious deal.
In fact, a good friend of mine just literally purchased a Geiger counter to use in our favorite restaurants.
It’s been three whole years since Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown- and it’s probably about that time where we’d see three-headed halibut making it’s way into our fishing nets.
Physicians and health experts are conducting tests to see how radioactive fish just may be.
But many of these initial tests aren’t showing anything worth the above-mentioned headlines.
Many believe that the death of sea lions that was so popular in the news was actually due to malnutrition.
And the fish with the bleeding gills that you may have read about?
This appears to be caused from a virus the causes hemorrhaging in seabirds.
The Truth About Fukushima Radiation in Pacific Fish…
While water tested at the Fukushima nuclear plant showed almost five times MORE radiation than was originally reported…
There doesn’t appear to have been an equally detrimental effect on wildlife in the area.
There are three radioactive isotopes that are most commonly found in organisms affected by Fukushima.
Strontium-90, Cesium-137 and Cesium-134.
Cesium-137 is considered the deadliest byproduct of nuclear fission from either a power plant or a bomb.
These radioactive isotopes are linked to bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and even leukemia.
Strontium-90 has been found in some tests conducted on Pacific Fish that migrate to the coast of Canada, as well as radioactive Cesium.
But while the highest level of Cesium that is approved for consumption is a level of “100”, the highest level of Cesium that has been shown is actually not in fish – but in the seaweed we use to wrap fish, melt into soups, or crunch as a salty, fishy snack.
That’s right: seaweed has been shown to have elevated Cesium-137 levels in 100% of all samples tested… but not yet enough to stop consuming.
Other fish that have been tested with exceedingly high levels of radiation include anchovies, halibut, mackerel, sardines, cod, shark and monk fish.
What Can We Do To Enjoy Sushi Without Getting Sick?
While government food agencies are supposedly monitoring fish that could be affected by Fukushima pollution and making sure that the public does NOT consume radioactive Pacific fish; many are saying that the industry is too big and the agencies too lax.
Therefore many people have sworn off sushi altogether.
That’s totally okay… my husband is a cancer survivor and I totally agree that it’s better safe than sorry.
However, here’s are a few really fascinating counter-points to consider…
Many writers and researchers who’ve shed light on the Fukushima fallout have noted that you would get 20 TIMES more radiation from eating one banana than from ‘toxic tuna’.
That’s right – bananas have a naturally occurring potassium isotope.
But you don’t hear people talking about radioactive bananas.
Other foods with radioactive elements include potatoes, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, or even Brazil nuts – which have 100 TIMES the radioactivity of “toxic” Pacific Bluefin Tuna.
You’re definitely more likely to obtain radiation from unsuspecting foods like the above, a dental x-ray, or even going through the airport scanners.
What You Really Should Be Worried About In Fish…
It’s pretty easy for journalists, talk radio hosts, new outlets, and bloggers to blow Fukushima Fallout fears… well… ‘out of the water’.
But no matter how you choose to read this article; there IS one nasty toxin we should be worried about in our fish.
You know – the red stuff in thermometers that your grandpa probably used to play with like it was silly putty?
It’s caused by power plants and other factories which pepper coastlines worldwide.
The Biodiversity Research Institude says about mercury-laden fish that, “smaller traces of the toxic metal may be enough to cause restricted brain development or other health problems for humans who eat them.”
The National Wildlife Foundation even states that mercury can “adversely alter the neurological and reproductive systems of humans and wildlife.”
About 70 percent of fish contains low levels of mercury; such as cod, salmon, herring and sardines.
At present, fish with the highest mercury content are these:
HIGH MERCURY FISH:
- Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
- Sea Bass (Chilean)*
- Tuna (Canned Albacore)
- Tuna (Yellowfin)*
REALLY HIGH MERCURY FISH:
- Mackerel (king)
- Orange Roughy
- Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)
I’ll keep researching and reading.
But for the time being – I’m much more worried about mercury in fish than radiation.
Which is good, because there’s nothing I love more than a seaweed-wrapped cucumber roll with Wu-Long Tea.
Wu-Long is Pesticide and Chemical-FREE.
Plus it’s great to detoxify your body and cleanse stubborn body fat that’s stored in your cells.