Is Seafood Safe When You're Expecting?

Is Seafood Safe When You're Expecting?

Most clients are cautious about avoiding listeria, cutting out deli products such as cold meats and soft cheeses, re-heated meals and unpasteurised dairy…but what about Seafood?

The top 5 most consumed seafood in Australia are Prawns, canned tuna, crumbed and battered fish, squid and fresh salmon but most of that fish isn’t sourced from Australian waters.

The latest statistics show that 66% of Australia sea food consumption is imported

A few years ago, I made the mistake of buying prawns from Vietnam, which on eating were very poor quality this resulted in being much more vigilant to buy Australian seafood

Australia imports huge quantities of seafood from Asia, particularly prawns and tuna. Apart from the devastating environmental impact that this overfishing is causing, resulting in the loss of 38% of world mangroves; detergents and antibiotics are used extensively in an attempt to reduce out breaks of disease.

Unfortunately, even some Australian farmed salmon has detrimental environmental impacts with untreated waste discharged into the ocean, mass escapes, diseases and parasites and the use of toxic chemicals all increasing potential health risks

Fish feed is also often particularly poor, akin to when land based animals such as sheep and cows fed grains. It is made up of

  • Fish meal from wild sources (12-14%)
  • Land Based crops (soy bean oil, canola oil and most likely to be GMO)
  • “Alternative proteins” such as maize, soybeans, “chicken industry by-product) – this particularly makes me cringe

Originally a great source of Omega 3 the profile of the farmed salmon is a third of the amount in wild Salmon.

Researchers from 2006 to the present day have stated that “the increase in PCB’s, dioxins and chlorinated pesticides in farmed salmon may reduce the net health benefits derived from the consumption of farmed salmon”

So maybe a tin of wild caught Salmon in moderation may be a better option than the farmed. Unfortunately, Marine fish are the primary source of human exposure to mercury

So, what’s the impact on the developing baby?

Mercury can cross the placenta and have severe negative effects to foetal brains, binding directly to chromosomes and interfering with copying, and in particular effects the cerebellum, which is the centre for posture, balance and co-ordination

But it’s not all doom and gloom- small amounts of seafood are fine, concentrating on

  • Anchovies
  • Wild sardines (just make sure to check the label)
  • Herring
  • Oysters

Smaller oily fish are a great source of omega 3 and do not have the same concentration of toxins and heavy metals inherent in larger species of fish.

Most importantly though – always ask questions. Where is this food sourced? Where is the country of origin? And how is it sourced?

I for one want to be fully informed where my food comes from and particularly when it is to protect the future of your amazing baby

Jacky Dixon
[email protected]