You ever meet people who say they only eat “clean meat” like fish? What makes meat clean, I don’t know. All of it seems pretty bloody and gross. “Clean meat” seems to be more of a judgement on the perceived unhealthiness of other kinds of meat than pollution – microbial or otherwise.
Taking a broader look at the idea of cleanliness, it is a lot harder to control the diet of a wild animal than farmed, and to control for environmental pollution for one that lives in the water than on land. Case in point – people, especially pregnant women, are advised to limit their consumption of fish from the San Francisco Bay due to the mercury levels in seafood. That sort of warning is unheard of for other types of food – terrestrial meat, and, of course, plants.
Turns out there is a lot of plastic garbage in the ocean. Not surprising considering how much plastic waste people generate. From the giant patches of floating plastic debris in the ocean to the tiny particles that are found in every part of every ocean, we’ve done a tremendous job of fucking it up.
The next question to the amount of plastic in the ocean is what happens to it? It turns out that fish may actually like eating it (washingtonpost.com/…/54159ee8-8cc6-11e7-91d5-ab4e4bb76a3a_story). In this study, anchovies were found to exhibit feeding behavior in the presence of plastic-scented water, as in they wanted to eat plastic. It isn’t clear if they prefer plastic to actual food, but nonetheless, they have been found to eat it in the wild. As the amount of plastic garbage increases, that is also likely to become more common.
Why does this matter? Well, think about it this way, would you eat plastic? Probably not, so why would you want your food to eat it? And sure, you don’t want to eat cow food, but you think a steak is pretty damn tasty. The bigger question is what happens to the fish after eating plastic? While plastic doesn’t seem to directly kill animals from ingestion, it does seem to be toxic and impair them. Similar to a lot of other toxic substances, the toxins in plastic tend to be fat-soluble, and bio-accumulate. Which means, it increases in concentration up the food chain, and you, dear human, are at the top of that. Seriously, if you want clean meat, eat a plant.