In one of the more disturbing articles of recent memory (or at least since I woke up this morning), the New York Times revealed that mercury levels are “cray cray high” in raw tuna sampled from twenty different Manhattan eateries. Okay, maybe they didn’t say “cray cray,” but they did use the equally alarmist phrase, “mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market.” Cue the dramatic organ music.
Yes, apparently mercury and tuna are a match made in heaven, and the more expensive the fish, the higher the mercury. That’s because high-end tuna tends to come from fat fish, and fat fish tend to have consumed more mercury by virtue of being FAT. The good news is that the crappy stuff in the supermarket is probably the safest of the bunch, but the luxurious sashimi one might find at Nobu (or Nobu Next Door, which was cited in the article) could have higher mercury levels. Oy. It should be noted that yellowtail and albacore don’t carry the same threat.
Of course, a random sampling of Manhattan restaurants does not necessarily mean the results are the same countrywide. Experts in the article say it’s a high probability that mercury levels are similar elsewhere, but then again, that could just be the opinion of one man. Truth be told, this could be just one of those Chicken Little exposés, and while that may be the case, for now, consider me RATTLED.
And yet… I still really want some sushi for lunch now. ARGH.
• High Mercury Levels Are Found In Tuna Sushi [New York Times]