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Dear Dr. vybe: Would it Kill Me if I Eat a Fish I Caught in the Delaware?


Dear Dr. vybe,


I’m a huge fishing fanatic – and the fact that I live so close to the Delaware River is one of my favorite things about residing in South Philly! I’m also a big fan of eating local; I get all of my locally sourced meats from Primal Supply and all of my fresh produce from the Italian Market.

 So why shouldn’t I eat my freshly caught fish? I know where it came from and how it got to my plate, after all. Moshulu probably gets their fish from the same river, right?

 But there’s still that nagging voice in my head saying that it might not be the best idea. Please shed some light for me, Doc. Will eating my local river fish kill me?

Hungry for Advice

Dear Hungry for Advice,

I first want to say that you should be proud of your catch—but if you want it straight, I strongly suggest you hold off on warming up the grill. Just because a fish is edible doesn’t mean you should eat it.

City fish can contain contaminants from numerous sources like pesticides, sewage, and trash. Not cleaning and cooking the fish properly can be extremely hazardous for your health. If you do decide to cook the fish, be sure to remove the skin, fat, and internal organs where the pollutants accumulate and avoid frying the fish as that tends to seal in any dangerous chemicals. Also bear in mind that these warnings are extra important for pregnant women and young children.

With that said, something tells me that the nearby restaurants probably don’t source their seafood from the river, despite the convenience. As for your home-cooked meals, don’t make this a regular practice. Eating locally is a great thing to do, but it shouldn’t come with so many risks.

If your pride got the best of you and you made a nautical dish anyway, take note of your nearest vybe. If you start to feel like you made the wrong decision (read: nausea, vomiting, cramping), we’ll be here to get you back on track—no appointment necessary.

Making a Reservation at Moshulu Now