Too much Dungeness Crab?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 4:07 PM

           When I was a teenager my stepfather would go crabbing off the Oregon coast and bring home fresh Dungeness crab. It was such a treat to have this fresh crab since we were a lower income family while I was growing up and could not afford to buy crab. Plus, fresh crab is always better than store bought, frozen crab. This happened for many years during the first part of the year. I was never really worried about mercury poisoning, probably because neither my family nor I knew much about it. That was up until I became pregnant with my daughter. I became pregnant in November and carried on with my pregnancy as a typical pregnancy goes. In January, my stepfather went on his routine crabbing trip and as usual brought home a tremendous amount of fresh crab. I was in pure heaven with crab delight. I started out slow and modest but increasingly developed a rampant craving for crab meat. I indulged in plush white, salty crab meat every chance I got. I remember my mother making a simple comment about maybe I shouldn't be eating so much crab because pregnant women are advised to limit seafood intake. I believe I ignored that comment and continued on with my indulgence. Eventually the crab was gone and I carried on with my pregnancy, giving birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl who strangely enough loves seafood, specifically crab as well.

            Looking back on this and now exploring the topic of mercury poisoning, perhaps I should have taken my mother more seriously and done some research regarding the topic and how safe crab is for pregnant women and children. According to "Get the Word on Seafood That's Safe to Consume", Dungeness crab contains a moderate amount of mercury and should only be consumed by pregnant or nursing women and children once a month. We rarely have crab these days. Only when we are by the coast and can pick it up fresh which only happens a couples times a year but it's still good information to have and know. I think that is extremely important to know which seafood's contain what amount of mercury. Seafood is a great part of a balanced diet and people need to know that as well as being educated about what seafood to eat, when to eat it and how much of it to eat safely.

http://grist.org/article/fish-and-tips/

 

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