These days there’s a lot of fishy fear-mongering about the alleged risks of mercury in seafood. The underlying question is: How much fish is safe to eat? Our popular seafood calculator at HowMuchFish.com has provided many consumers with science-based information answering this question. And today we’re releasing the HowMuchFish iPhone app, so that you can access this information while on the go or eating out.
The HowMuchFish iPhone app allows users to calculate the nutritional value and hypothetical concerns of 24 seafood species, representing 98 percent of the commercial seafood Americans eat. Using data from the USDA, EPA, and FDA, our calculator includes figures for calories, omega-3s, iron, selenium, and other key beneficial nutrients found abundantly in seafood.
It’s true that mercury is found in trace amounts from seafood, but the risks are minuscule and are far outweighed by the benefits. Not that you’d know that by listening to animal rights groups such as the “Physicians Committee” for Responsible Medicine, who play up the risks in hopes that you won’t eat any fish at all.
There’s not a single case of mercury poisoning in the US due to commercially bought seafood in the entire medical literature. Our calculator uses federal data to show how, for example, a 150-pound person would have to eat 15 pounds of calamari, 7.5 pounds of salmon, or 23.3 pounds of flounder a week in order to be at a level of consumption associated with health problems related to mercury. Meanwhile, a single six-ounce serving of wild salmon provides 145 percent of the daily need of selenium, 86 percent of the daily protein need, and a whopping 626 percent of the daily need for omega-3s.
There’s a reason why more and more experts are saying that current seafood guidelines are outdated: The risks are hypothetical, but the benefits—especially for pregnant women and young children—are undeniable. (Recent research in The Lancet discovered that pregnant women who ate the most fish had kids with the best IQ-test scores.)
Download the HowMuchFish iPhone app today (for free!), and be sure to “like” us on Facebook.