Let’s Talk About Fish.

Actually, we’ll just use fish – one in particular – to illustrate how really, honestly hard it is to establish a healthy diet.

We all know we’re supposed to be eating more fish.  Up until about a decade ago I thought that should be easy.  Tuna is everywhere.  Canned tuna is cheap, tasty and versatile.  I love tuna salad.

Then I read all about how tuna is loaded with mercury.  Reckoning that I am not smart enough to sacrifice the brain-function I’d lose digesting quicksilver, I backed off the tuna.

Lately, I’d convinced myself it’s OK.  The mercury content can’t be that  high – the FDA wouldn’t let them sell it to us, right?  Wrong.  But at least it’s actually tuna, right?  Wrong.  Apparently, nearly 6 out of ten servings of “tuna” are not so much tuna.  Grocery store “tuna” is the most reliable.  Only 18% of that appears to be fake.  The worst is “tuna” from sushi restaurants.  Nearly three out of four of those are serving fake “tuna.”

Aww, maaaaan!  Seriously, how bad can it get?  But this fake tuna, this escolar, it’s still good stuff, right?  Sure.  If you’re having trouble going to the bathroom.  Seriously.  Maybe they could start marketing “tuna” as “high-fiber.”  (Yes, I understand the difference between food that causes this nasty side-effect and food that is high in fiber.  I was making a funny.)

My – very serious – question here is, “Why the hell does the government let people sell “tuna” that isn’t TUNA?” It’s mostly a rhetorical question.  I’m pretty sure I know the answers.  First, we don’t want to fund the FDA well enough to actually inspect our food and help keep us safe.  Second, the FDA (and a whole lot of regulatory agencies) are in a constant legal war with the extreme money Big Ag brings to the table, and you and I don’t get a seat at that table.  And third, we kind of don’t want  the truth about stuff like this.  If we (and I mean the collective “we”) wanted better regulation we could get it.

So, in brief, don’t order the “white tuna.”  Unless your bowels need a little push.

This blog post helps illustrate the problem so many of us have with trying to find food that not only tastes good, but is good.  You can drive yourself to distraction with this stuff.  Please read the link.  You’ll be glad you did.

Then follow Pollan’s advice.  Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Thank you for reading, as always!

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