114: Do We Need to Worry about Radiation and Mercury in Seafood?

Do we Need to Worry About Radiation and Mercury in our Seafood?

You’ve heard the saying, “Know your farmer”? Today’s podcast episode is all about getting to know your fisherman too!

As a self-proclaimed seafood addict, I’m very interested in what our guest Randy Hartnell has to say about hot topics like mercury in seafood, sustainable fishing, farmed vs. wild seafood, and how to know which seafood is actually safe to eat. (Please don’t ruin it for me Randy!)

Meet Randy Hartnell, Seafood Expert

Seafood is truly Randy’s lifelong passion. A simple summer job led him to become a career salmon and herring fisherman in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. Now he puts his knowledge of all things seafood to work by curating the best quality fish and seafood from all over the world for his company, Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics.

We buy most of our fish and seafood from Vital Choice now, and I warn you … the quality makes it hard to ever buy anything else!

But Really, Is There Mercury in Seafood?

Especially since the disaster at Fukishima, many people suspect seafood of being less than healthy and can’t help but wonder what contaminants might be hidden in seafood. To add to the confusion, loose labeling guidelines and the whole farmed vs. wild debate make the seafood world difficult for the average consumer to navigate.

Seafood certainly isn’t cheap, so of course we want to choose carefully and be sure we’re getting what’s on the label. Vital Choice is one great way to be sure the fish and seafood your family is eating is fresh, safe, and sustainable.

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • why Randy traded grad school for a career as a fisherman
  • how a summer job turned into a sustainable seafood company
  • the health benefits of consuming seafood (and why there’s nothing else like it)
  • what omega-3 and DHA are and why they’re so important to health
  • when you should (and should not) be concerned about mercury in seafood
  • the reasons why farmed fish isn’t sustainable or eco-friendly
  • differences between wild caught and farmed seafood, and which to choose
  • if canned salmon is healthy or just a cheap shortcut
  • how most restaurants and grocery stores source fish (and why we can do better)
  • reasons why fish might taste “fishy” … and why it’s not supposed to!
  • the role of selenium in the body and the interesting relationship it has with mercury
  • how Vitamin D levels vary in different types of salmon
  • whether or not the Fukishima disaster affected the seafood supply
  • why Randy tests their seafood for radiation and mercury (and what resulted)
  • how to choose which seafood to try first (yum!)
  • and more!

Resources We Mention

Go to VitalChoice.com/WellnessMama and use the code WELLNESS10 and get 10% off!

Andrew Stoll, The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Anti-depression Diet and Brain Program (2001)

Dr. Michael Crawford and Omega-3 Brain Evolution

Omega-3 Facts and Sources

The Importance of Omega-3 Fish Oil (& the Best Way to Get It)

Seafood Guide for Healthy Mom and Baby

The Problems with Fish Farming

Astaxanthin supplement

Do you ever worried about radiation or mercury in seafood? What else would you ask a seafood expert like Randy Hartnell?

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by The Good Kitchen. Have you ever wished you could have delicious and healthy meals on the table in mere minutes? The Good Kitchen answers that problem. And they don’t just send you the ingredients like some delivery services. They send you fully prepared, chef-quality meals (including healthy school lunches) right to your door. They use grass-fed and pastured meats and source the best fresh produce as well. You can check them out at wellnessmama.com/go/goodkitchen.

This episode is also brought to you by Primal Kitchen. (We just have all the good kitchens today!) My friend, Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple founded it and The Primal Kitchen is now my source for some of my favorite kitchen staples. After years and years of making my own mayo, Primal Kitchen answered the need by making a storebought mayo with healthy fats. If you haven’t tried their delicious avocado oil mayo (especially the chipotle mayo!) you are seriously missing out. You can check them out at primalblueprint.com and if you use the code WELLNESSMAMA you get 10% off any order.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Most dangerous is the mercury you inject into your/your childrens bloodstream, bypassing your natural detox systems (ingesting). Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin, and contrary to popular opinion, is still contained in vaccines. Most flu vaccines, some Dtap combinations and others list thimerosal on the label, and even if it’s not listed on the label is allowed by the FDA in trace amounts (see movie by same name). I’ve heard it’s also in the Vitmin K shot all newborns receive upon emerging from the womb, which is combined with high levels of aluminum when they get the Hep B shot right after that (because ya never know when those babies are going to start being promiscuous or sharing needles-joking of course..:but seriously, why do newborns need Hep B shots if their Mom’s don’t have Hep B?). For more info check is The World Mercury Project.

    • My bad, Vitamin K shot contains aluminum (which some believe is just as bad if not worse than mercury).

  2. What a great podcast! I’m a seafood/fish eater and I’m glad to know about Vital Choice. The podcast was very informative. I’m placing an order today!

  3. I not only worry about mercury, but also the amount of deadly radiation we are getting in anything from the Pacific Ocean since Fukushima. I WILL not consume anything from there ever again. Japan and even the US, has not and is not being honest about the amounts of radiation and toxic contaminants in our oceans and ESPECIALLY about this disaster. I also would be suspect about anyone who profits from seafood and their total disclosure about these topics, no offense intended.

    • If you listen to the podcast Randy goes into this in-depth. Made me feel more comfortable, as long as you buy the right fish. The podcast was excellent – one I’ll have to listen to more than once.

  4. I haven’t had seafood since the Fukushima disaster happened. It’s not safe to eat any seafood, even seafood from Alaska. Radiation knows no boundaries and it’s been detected in AK. I don’t know if there is a safe source out there? I’m still trying to find one.

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