The view outside of Gulf Shore Plantation Condominiums in Gulf Shores, AL
If you’ve read Living Large for any length of time, you know we’ve done a lot to adjust our lifestyle to help the environment and with food, our own health. We eat at home much more often than we did in the city and when I can get it, I’ve been buying organic meat, produce, eggs and milk for years now.
Some weeks before I left for a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama last week, a story came out from Al Jazeera about deformities being found in some Gulf of Mexico seafood. Although unknown, the implication being that it is caused by the 2010 oil spill. Of course, the story was alarming.
I did some research into the issue and found a lot of information, none of it able to disprove the contention by scientists the government has hired that the seafood is safe. The contention is between some environmentalists and scientists saying the Gulf Coast, like Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill, will need years of study to determine the full impact.
The FDA allows things into our food that we would find repulsive. Pink slime, for example, that ground up mixture of beef trimmings and ammonia in some ground meat products. The FDA also allows for a certain amount of insect parts in any processed food.
What they don’t allow are sick animals of any kind and especially not seafood.
Once one wades through the hype of the article by Al Jazeera, while raising questions about the full environmental impact of the spill, it doesn’t prove a thing but making the seafood unappetizing. What the article fails to mention is that any seafood found with illness today, just as it was prior to 2010, cannot enter our food system and even the article admits that the fish and shellfish found with problems make up a very small portion of the seafood caught.
It’s also true that the seafood coming from the Gulf is the most tested in the system.
I looked back at an article I did several years ago on how seafood is ultimately affected by anything anyone puts into the water, from pesticides in the Heartland that run down the Mississippi to the trash taken out to sea and dumped.
There are chemicals in all of our food, from factory farmed meats to the processed food we eat at restaurants. Our own bodies contain a huge amount of chemicals already that is naturally filtered. There’s no escaping it unless we do not eat anything.
So, here’s how I approached seafood on my trip: I ate lots of it.