The Times tested the mercury levels in tuna sushi served at twenty different city stores and restaurants this week. At most of them, mercury levels exceeded those set by the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday, New York’s Tim Murphy set out to see who in the city was still buying tuna sushi, and why.
6 p.m.: Whole Foods, Chelsea
Rebecca, a redheaded Web editor, is picking up salmon sushi. She’d noticed that the Times report found the highest mercury levels in tuna from Blue Ribbon and the lowest levels at Fairway. “People who eat high-class sushi are more at risk for poisoning than people like me who eat ghetto sushi from Whole Foods,” she said with some satisfaction.
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What do diners do when Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me, is sitting at the next table? “They’ll either watch what I’m eating,” says Spurlock, “or they’ll start to make excuses for what they’re eating.” No need for apologies, it turns out; though he hasn’t eaten a Big Mac since the film (he’s currently finishing shooting a second documentary), Spurlock enjoys a burger as much as the next guy. This week he and his wife, who just “spawned and swam across the river” to Park Slope, were especially indulgent. “You’re supposed to gain sympathy weight when your wife is pregnant, but I’ve put on more weight since we’ve had the kid.” So where did he pack on the pounds this week?
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