Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

Mercury from Coal Plants and a Way to Spice up your Dinner



June 15, 2008 – Comments (13) | RELATED TICKERS: AN

Leave it to my wife to find random food health facts. And this one is a real winner. Several weeks ago, madcowmonkey wrote a blog about mercury in coal processing: It's not as if enough energy at a ... We were discussing how horrible mercury is as a neurotoxin, and the fact that a number of studies suggest that the mercury in the air near coal plants and the mercury that is in vaccines is a contributor to autism.

One concern of mine is that a new generation of coal plants is going to be installed before alternative renewable energy options can take hold. But regardless of new plants there are several dozen coal power plants all across the US and there are lots of people living near them.

All these people should start eating Mexican and Chinese food, because cilantro has been found to be one of the few substances that removes mercury and other heavy metals from the body! It is so cool. There is a great article at then end.

If you are not a huge fan of Mexican or Chinese food in general, might I suggest to simple alternatives that I love. A very simple guacamole of just avocados, salt, pepper, lime juice and lots of fresh chopped cilantro. It is so good just like that. Or the next time you make rice, make the cooking liquid half water and half coconut milk and add a huge handful of chopped cilantro at the end right before you serve it.

The article follows below. Check out the bold sections. Good stuff :)
Nutrients & Health: Staying Healthy in a Toxic Environment
By Laura LaValle, RD, LD

We live in an environment that continues to dump toxins into our air, water, and food. A growing body of evidence has shown the negative impact of different classes of toxins on human health. Are we being affected, is no longer a useful question. What to do about it is.

I'm a dietitian at LMI, working in partnership with clinicians that really understand the role of environmental toxins in a number of health conditions. I've seen patients with conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol significantly improve their health by taking steps to help rid their bodies of toxins.

My first advice to anyone concerned about the potential impact of toxins on their metabolism would be to find a professional clinician knowledgeable in integrative or functional medicine. S/he can measure the levels of toxic chemicals in your body, design a safe and controlled detox program, and closely monitor your health during this entire process.

Unfortunately, there's almost no way to completely avoid exposure to environmental toxins. Even the residents of pristine rural communities who tested their blood for its "body burden" of industrial chemicals were stunned at the unpleasant results. They found mercury, bisphenol A, phthalates, PFOA, PDBE's, and several more.

So what can you do right now to safeguard your family's health? You can reduce your exposure to some of these chemicals by selecting clothing and furniture without fire retardants, using stainless steel cookware instead of non-stick, and heating and microwaving in glass and ceramic rather than plastic. But how do you avoid pollutants you don't even know are there. Unfortunately, you can't.

But you can choose to eat foods that are known to enhance your body's ability to remove toxins. Today I'm beginning with a familiar herb that's a "detox superstar" -- cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley. Most of us are familiar with cilantro as it's used in Mexican foods -- but it's also an ingredient in some Asian dishes like Vietnamese soups.

Cilantro has been shown to help the body eliminate heavy metals, and it's one of the few substances known to be effective in removing mercury. We've known for years that heavy metals like lead and mercury are neurotoxins, and particularly dangerous to human health. They interfere with our thyroid hormones and other important metabolic enzymes, and cause a lot of free radical damage.

Cilantro appears to actually change the chemical properties of these minerals. It's also exceptionally rich in phytonutrients. Finally, it contains important trace minerals like iron, magnesium, and the manganese used in one of the very best enzymes your body makes for detoxification and free radical neutralization!

Cilantro has a sharp pungent flavor. Some people enjoy its taste all on its own, but I prefer it chopped up in salads, salad dressings, salsas, soups, etc. You can also make an "alternative pesto" -- substitute cilantro for basil and your favorite nuts and seeds for pine nuts -- pistachios, sunflower seeds, and/or cashews are great choices.

[Ed. Note: Laura B. LaValle, RD, LD is presently the director of dietetics nutrition at LaValle Metabolic Institute (formerly part of Living Longer Institute). She offers personal nutritional counseling at LMI for clients who need help with their diet in relation to illness or disease. Laura also provides educational services in the areas of health promotion, wellness, and disease prevention.]

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 15, 2008 at 10:09 PM, Tastylunch (28.67) wrote:

Cilantro does that? did not know that. I'm gonna add that to the Victory  garden

I knew Rosemary is supposedly good for Alzheimer's and brain function. 

I tell you what worries me about mercury is CFL's . Most consumers don't know that they contain mercury and they treat them like incandescents (throw them away in their trash). 

thx for the info Binv (what's your name about anyway?been meaning to ask) 

Report this comment
#2) On June 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM, SpookySabra (< 20) wrote:

Nice info!  I am already growing cilantro in my garden and had no idea of these benefits.  Can't wait to share with my husband.

Report this comment
#3) On June 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

One of my best friends is Mexican and he uses cilantro like crazy. He makes this really good dish with shrimp that you load up with tortilla chips and suck down with dos equis. Nothing is better for the Saturday late lunch early dinner all nighter. I think there was also a study about the latino community and how they have a lower chance for colon cancer. I always thought it was because of the salsa with tomato chunks, but I bet the cilantro has a little something to do with it. It is interesting how different herbs help the body.

I do a bunch of salmon fishing here in Lake Michigan and the only bad part is that the fish can be toxic if you eat too much. Mercury is the main toxin, but I am sure there are others. Well now I have the cryptonite to that garbage. Thanks binv. I will try to get the recipe for the shrimp sauce dip salsa.

Report this comment
#4) On June 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM, vicpicks (< 20) wrote:

Great! I just had Thai rice with lots of cilantro in it tonight. Just sweating helps remove toxins from your body, too. So eat hot salsa with cilantro (Dos equis, opitional), or even a hot sauna...and enjoy a wonderful self-toxification treatment.


Report this comment
#5) On June 16, 2008 at 6:19 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:


Yeah, there are so many cool plants that do so much good for you (and taste good to boot). Amesome! But that is an excellent point about the CFLs. We took our burned out ones to a recycling center this weekend. And you're right, I bet most people don't know they need to do that.

As far as my screen name, binv is sort of like a shortened version of "be invested" and 271828 is the first 6 digits of e, which is the coolest number ever and one that is particualary relevant to investing. As you can tell, I am pretty much a geek on many levels, including math :)

Thanks Tasty :)


Thanks! Absolutely, my pleasure!


Yeah, Mexican food is so good. And it really is the cilantro and garlic. I could eat both all day long. Fortunately my wife likes them too, so our breath at least cancels eachother out :)

Mercury and heavy metals are a huge problem in almost all farm-raised fish and in a big portion of wild ones too. Going out for sushi is one of my favorite things and I really have to watch myself and moderate my intake now. But from now on, a day of sushi will be accompanied by a night of salsa with lots of cilantro!

Yeah man, that recipe sounds great.! Post it when you find it.


Thanks! Yeah, Thai rice is so awesome. That is the beauty of of Thai food, it tastes so good and makes you sweat at the same time. I had a friend from Thailand in my dorm at college, and during study night he would make a rice porridge with lots of cilantro. And we would put this clear hot sauce on top right before he served it (I have no idea what it was). But man, I never tasted anything that hurt so good :)

Hot salsa. Yes. Dos Equis, mandatory :) Thanks vicpicks.

Report this comment
#6) On June 16, 2008 at 10:48 AM, bellard (97.11) wrote:

"One concern of mine is that a new generation of coal plants is going to be installed before alternative renewable energy options can take hold"


This has been a concern of mine for years. The biggest problem I see is from environmentalist who only focus on global warming and CO2 pollution. We are getting stuck in this difficult issue, so the polluters can still produce REAL pollution - nox, sox, and worst of all mercury.

I have written about just taxing nox, sox, and mercury - and forget about co2. If you tax the real pollutants, we will see the older most polluting  pulv. coal plants, rebuilt as NG plants, and allow for geothermal, solar, micro-turbine, fuel cell plants to take the load of electric generation....

Report this comment
#7) On June 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:


Thanks. Yep, we are speaking the same language. I hope we can make progress on this front in the coming years. I would love to reduction in all of those things, or elimination altogether via renewables.

Report this comment
#8) On June 16, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Tastylunch (28.67) wrote:


right on man, that's a really excellent name. 

Report this comment
#9) On June 16, 2008 at 7:20 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks man, I really appreciate that!

Report this comment
#10) On June 18, 2008 at 10:30 AM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

I am still waiting on the recipe, but I forgot to mention how fun it is to put in related tickers:) NIce. Now I need to go check out the picks.

Report this comment
#11) On June 18, 2008 at 10:43 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks man. Yeah, that is fun :) I have no idea what the tickers are, they just fit :)

Also thanks for the banter on my ORA pitch, that was fun too. Pitches defintitely should be entertaining or educational (perferably both). I tried to go for both in my RSTI pitch :)

Report this comment
#12) On June 18, 2008 at 2:07 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

I actually picked that stock and then went searching for who else might have picked it. Low and behold you were there with a good pitch and I couldn't pass up the "was" piece. Nice reply btw:) I put up 2 other Geothermal stocks that day as well. It doesn't look like any of my new picks are going to treat me right for the beginning. Oh well.

I noticed the start of Eulers number in there. That is too rational of an explanation for having a irrational number in your sn:) I taught HS mathematics for 2 years, so forgive the horrible knowledge of mathematics and its contents. 

Report this comment
#13) On June 18, 2008 at 9:32 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks man. Yep, anytime I get to throw in a little Slaughterhouse 5 it is a good day :) Yeah, ORA has made me 15 points so far, but HTM has done only about 3. However, I fully expect that to change. I love geothermal (not quite as much as solar thermal) and it is going to be huge.

Yeah, thanks for noticing euler's number man. Accually I am a very irrational guy trying to pass myself off as rational :). That is awesome that you taught high school math! There are not enough math teachers around. Very cool.

So both your comments and Tasty's comments inspired me to write a post about e. Check it out and let me know what you think! I really started geeking out writing it, so it is a bit much :)

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners