If findings by scientists are anything to go by, the legendary Obokun fish, along with other fish in its ilk that are considered delicacies (especially when trying to get to a man’s heart through the stomach) will soon be taboo. For decades, nutritionists have stressed the value of fish. Especially the fatty kinds when it comes to the balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6, fatty acids that they contain in large measure. Now, the outlook for the fish is grin. According to recent findings: “While the amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 that oily fish contains is good for our brains, the mercury it also contains is not. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that was once used in making felt hats and gave hatters their reputation for madness.
It can also cause cancer and reproductive abnormalities, its effects ranging from headaches, irritability, fatigue, depression and inability to concentrate. To pregnant women exposed to sufficiently high levels; giving births to deformed babies as happened in Minamata, Japan, half a century ago is a possibility.
“Thanks to the burning of fossil fuels and the incineration of waste, mercury is now wide spread in the oceans where it is deposited by rain, at concentration that becomes greater the higher up the food chain you go for. Bigger fish that eat others, tuna, sword fish, sharks —have even more of it, as do dolphins and whales.” The report goes on to reveal that more than 40 states in the U.S. have issued health ‘advisories’ about fish and a while back, California sued three tuna canning companies for failing to give ‘clear and reasonable’ warning before exposing people to known carcinogens or reproductive toxins. Enough to put you off that well-prepared bowl of ‘Amala’ and the steaming ‘Obokun’ fish begging to be eaten? Not really, says the report. It has kindly told us how much fish we should eat. Between one and four portions of oily fish a week for men and boys. However, females of child-bearings age should eat no more than two portions a week. They should not eat marlins, shark (that is so wide spread here especially the smoked variety) or sword fish nor should children. Men and women who don’t want more babies should eat only a portion a week! In case you’re a bit confused, a portion is 140 grams, but you also need to distinguish between fresh and tinned tuna, because there are recommended limits on eating fresh although you can eat as much tinned as you like because the oil has been squeezed out…. These reports are nothing but water off a duck’s back to the throngs of ‘consumers’ that crowd thousands of eateries all over the country. What is their problem with the claim that “500 billion carriers bags and other plastic wastes don’t just miraculously vanish every year, most end up as a kind of ground up microscopic filth in the oceans and find their way into the food chain via lug-worms and barnacles that fish consume? A trip to the oil polluted rivers in the oil-rich parts of the country would convince any scientists that the average Nigerian stomach has steel! And this is without the cast-off from millions of pure ‘water’ consumed every month.