Gulf Seafood Safe?

Marine scientists now say Gulf fish “absolutely safe” to eat. Fish are “absolutely safe” so long as they were alive when caught, said George Crozier, executive director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. “It’s going to take time for them to accumulate any of the toxins” from the oil spill or dispersants, he said.

Jane Lubchenco, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said laboratory testing of 1,200 seafood samples from Gulf waters had turned up no signs of oil contamination.

Neil Sass, retired state toxicologist for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said, “We’re going to have to keep monitoring — random sampling to look for oil byproducts that might be in the tissue.”

Unbelievably, some are saying smell is to be the ultimate test. If fish are eating any of the oil they are going to taste and smell like it.

Think Before You Eat
All crustaceans (shellfish) are scavengers, which were created to keep our oceans clean. They’re living garbage disposals, consuming the waters refuse. Shrimp consume: decaying animal parts such as clams, worms, fish, snails and plant debris. Many species are cannibalistic. Lobsters eat other crustaceans: mussels, crabs, clams and sea urchins.  Adult crabs eat everything.

Ben is proud of his catch–a fish with fins and scales.

How much of the oil pollutants will crustaceans consume? We don’t know. Local shrimp, before the Gulf oil spill, was thought of as safer and fresher as long as it’s caught wild. If you think that imported shrimp is the answer to the Gulf spill, think again. Imported shrimp is usually “farmed.” Farmed shrimp are grown in little ponds, swimming in their own feces. Imported shrimp are often fed with lower level protein feed and fish meal levels (and who knows what else). Crowded shrimp are sick shrimp, receiving daily doses of antibiotics. Seventy-five percent of farmed shrimp is from Asia (mostly Thailand). Imported shrimp are rarely inspected and are raised in a chemical cocktail, many illegal in the U.S.

On average, each person in the U.S. eats about 4 pounds of shrimp a year. More if you eat at Red Lobster, known for its “Endless Shrimp.” Red Lobster is no friend of local shrimpers, as it doesn’t purchase U.S. shrimp. Red Lobster buys 5 percent of the world’s shrimp and is Bangladesh’s biggest costumer.

Father Knows Best
For centuries, Kosher dietary laws prohibit the eating of fish without BOTH scales and fins. That eliminates a number of seafood: all shellfish (lobster, crabs, mussels, shrimp, clams, oysters), catfish, eels, sharks, sturgeons, squid, swordfish, just to name a few.

Long before the Gulf oil spill, Leviticus 11:9 set the standard, “These you may eat of all that live in water; anything in water, whether in the seas or in the streams, that has fins and scales–these you may eat.”

It’s taken scientists years to discover why the Lawgiver limited fish consumption. Today, we know that fish with scales AND fins are equipped with a digestive system limiting the absorption of poisons and toxins from the waters into their flesh. Fish without fins and scales are often toxic as they’re scavengers (bottom feeders), eating the decaying refuse from the ocean floor. This is compounded by the recent Gulf oil spill. No one is absolutely sure of the ultimate toxins being absorbed by the Gulf fish.

Adding insult to injury, Louisiana State University fish toxicologist Kevin Klinow found the dispersants for the oil used in the Gulf increase the amount of toxins the fish absorb and then, once exposed, makes it harder for the fish to get rid of the toxins through normal biological processes.

If ever there was a time when it’s wise to avoid fish without fins and scales, it’s now.

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