You Won’t Believe What Scientists Are Finding In The Fish We Eat

I'm not sure I can eat fish anymore. First, there was this news about the rapidly declining fish populations. Now, another doozy: UC Davis issued a report stating that a quarter of fish sampled in California were contaminated with synthetic fibers (read: plastic) in their guts. If you just sighed a breath of relief because you live elsewhere, I'm sorry to tell you that this is not a California-only problem by any means. (This website reports that plastic contamination is basically ubiquitous, stretching from Maine and Alaska to Antarctica.)
Photographed by Janelle Jones.
Interestingly, the report points to clothing and makeup as the culprits for fish contamination; plastic microbeads are likely being leaked from home laundry and sewage treatment plants. The California State Assembly recently passed a bill that will restrict the sale of "personal care products containing microbeads," but even if signed by the governor, the legislation will not go into effect until 2020. While scientists were careful to point out that all this plastic would only be ingested if you were to eat the whole fish (as with anchovies), it is not clear whether plastic transfers from the fish's gut into the meat. This is currently being studied. Sigh. I don't know what to eat anymore without feeling sad/guilty/suspicious/like I am the worst human being ever. Maybe I'll just call it a day and chook it out.

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