Published on March 29th, 2012 | by Jessi Stafford


Deepwater Horizon Oil Found in Food

Thought we were over the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill already?

Researchers say, “Uh, uh.” It turns out, there are still people probing around down there, trying to shore up the implications of the 2010 disaster. All those people that said, “Oh, it’s okay, this oil stuff won’t get into our food.” They were wrong.

A study led by East Carolina University, with compadres from the University of Maryland, Oregon State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Geological Survey, (but not any universities from Louisiana, Alabama, Florida or Mississippi?) confirmed that  oil has affected the Gulf’s ecosystem not only during the blowout, but is also still entering the food system.

Yes, that leaky well has been capped. And yes, everyone said that after it was capped, our food was safe.


On the contrary, researchers are saying we probably should’ve been a little more careful before we jumped right back into consuming Gulf seafood. (Another great reason to go full-on vegetarian):

For months after the explosion, crude oil gushed into the water. A new study confirms oil from the Macondo well made it into the ocean’s food chain through the tiniest of organisms, zooplankton. They serve as food for baby fish and shrimp and act as conduits for the movement of oil contamination and pollutants into the food chain.”

But is it really a big deal?

Well, local businesses in the Gulf had been reporting shortages of supply in seafood availability. So there’s one issue. But it’s yet to be determined what the implications will be for ingesting trace amounts of oil-contaminated baby fish and shrimp. I mean, by all means, go ahead and risk it.

Louisiana, where I live, seems to think all is well on the industry front. Others are saying that not only our health, but the health of Gulf animals is of concern.

So maybe we should hold out on the scampi and scallops until the all-clear is really transparent and not dimmed by traces of oil.

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons users Deepwater Horizon Response and lsgcp

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About the Author

Social media strategist and writer. Passionate about food policy, education and women's issues. Has written for Vegan Mainstream, The Next Great Generation, Dig Magazine (Baton Rouge), BlogCritics , and occasionally for Vegansaurus . Will accept payments in coffee and/or tofu scramble upon request. Graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism.

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