I’m not a seafood eater; never have been and never will be. It’s tempting to say I am allergic because it is such an ever-present part of culture here. There are a lot of people – locals and visitors alike – who will no longer eat local seafood because of the BP oil spill. I receive emails from various organizations and groups that are very split on this issue. Some highlight the dangers while others emphasize the safety. I am throwing this out to all of you to debate…what do you think?

My thoughts and some links:

1) Not all Louisiana seafood comes from the Gulf. So your first question if you are concerned needs to be “where is this from?”

2) The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals tests seafood weekly and presents it’s results. My biggest issue with these studies is that when seafood is listed as contaminated but below the level of concern they are looking at normal consumption. What happens when this is eaten as the main food source – how does volume of consumption change this?

3) The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board has produced a Seafood Safety pamphlet that explains testing and contamination and points out that all samples tested so far in reopened waters have been found to be safe. (There are also lots of recipes for the cooks amongst you!)

4) Defenders of the Coast is very clearly stating that Gulf seafood is not safe to eat. Tomorrow night they are holding a fundraiser for their work and the LA Humane Society in New Orleans.  I voyaged with them a few months ago to Raccoon Island and found evidence that not all was well….

5) This PBS Newshour Extra from August shows how split the shrimpers are about the safety.

6) In this video released this week a shrimper talks candidly about his experiences. Notice all the boats docked behind him.


So….what do you think?