Mercury Levels in Fish

By now you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat too much fish because it’s high in mercury.  But like many people, you might also be wondering, what does mercury do to me and why is it found in fish?

Here’s the deal:

Mercury is a metal that exists naturally in the environment.  But we humans do things that negatively impact the environment, such as factory farming, burning coal, and using mercury in manufacturing.  This increases the amount mercury that flows through the air, water, and soil.

When in water, mercury changes its form and becomes methylmercury. Fishies absorb this mercury just like we often inhale bad chemicals when we breath in oxygen.

All fish and shellfish have some level of mercury, but it’s typically not a huge deal because fish also have so many health benefits.   However, if you eat fish ALL the time, or choose varieties that are higher in mercury (see chart below) it can be potentially harmful.

The good news is, mercury will leave the body over time in the urine, feces, and breast milk.  The bad news is if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding that mercury could have detrimental effects on your little one.

Mercury can also have nevetive effects on us grown ups.  Remember when Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a Broadway show?  Yeah, mercury poisoning is a real thing so read up below and be in the know…

fish_mercury

Chart from Canton Becker

NOTE: Mercury is only an issue with wild caught fish even so, this option is WAY better than farm raised fish.  Fish that are farmed are fed a completely unnatural diet, including dyes to make their flesh appear more vibrant and they are kept in confined spaces where they can’t get enough exercise.

Always, always, always avoid farm raised fish!!!

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Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

By Quinn

I’ve found that some of the most delicious food is often the simplest.  This easy and elegant fish recipe hardly has anything to it – the only thing you need is some super fresh wild caught fish.  From there, it’s about observing your each filet as it cooks in order to bring it to prepare it perfectly.

If time is your issue, put your excuses away sister because this whole meal takes no more than 10-minutes of preparation and it tastes like a $30 dish from a fancy NYC restaurant.  

Don’t sweat if your fish is slightly over or under cooked the first time you make it. It will be better the second time.  Promise.  That’s how you learn to cook.  It’s all about trial and error.

Just making the effort to put a homemade meal on the table is an incredible act of self care.

And love, well, that’s always delicious.

chilean sea bass 2

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass
Servings: 2
Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 filets of Wild Caught Chilean Sea Bass
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 a lemon or lime (optional)

 Directions

Take your fish out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, even if it’s just out for a few minutes, that’s great.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat with 1-2 tablespoons on extra virgin olive oil.  The amount that you use depends on the size of your skillet since the oil will spread out.  If you’re using a smaller pan, you can use less oil.  Larger pan, more oil.

Generously salt the fish on both sides, but of course you want more on the non-skin side.

When the oil is hot, but not smoking put in the fish, skin side up.  Allow it to cook for about 3-6 minutes.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish.

Just be very aware.  Watch as the color changes.  It will go from cloudy to solid. When it is 90% cooked through, flip it over and cook the skin side for 1-2 minutes.

I love the skin, there are so many good fats in there but if it’s soggy, it doesn’t takes so good, so you want to cook it just a bit.

At the end, squeeze 1/2 a lemon or lime over both filets.  Best served immediately.

We recommend pairing this with a simple salad like THIS ONE or a great veggie dish like THESE.

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