A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.


By Nina Pajak

Before I got pregnant, I knew a few things about what not to eat while waiting the nine months of the arrival of my family’s new addition. What I thought I was in for:

  • No alcohol (except for it’s okay to have a little red wine every so often)
  • No unpasteurized cheese
  • No sushi
  • Limited caffeine
  • No cigarettes (irrelevant)

Now that I am pregnant, here is what I know:

  • No alcohol (except for seriously, no alcohol, because I simply do not possess the mental fortitude to have a glass of red wine once in a blue moon and not suffer weeks of paranoia and regret)
  • No unpasteurized cheese (I prefer the “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy when it comes to many dishes)
  • No sushi
  • No smoked fish
  • No cured meats
  • No deli meats
  • No deli salads
  • No tuna
  • Limited fish
  • Except not no fish
  • No rare meat
  • But definitely, you need meat
  • No diet soda
  • No fake sugar altogether
  • But sugarless gum is okay to battle heartburn
  • Watch your sugar intake
  • Keep your iron up
  • Don’t get too fat
  • But get a little fat
  • No hot dogs
  • Only nitrite-free bacon
  • No hot tubs
  • Manicures are hotly debated (Lalalalala I’m not listening, I’m not listening)
  • No medicine but Tylenol
  • Some people think peanuts and peanut butter are dangerous, but as far as I’m concerned they can all go to h-e-double-hockey-sticks (I have to start spelling it like that now, to practice for motherhood)

And the list goes on, but beyond that I begin verging on nervous breakdown and can no longer heed any advice. Except that now, more crap’s been piled on top of us. Two articles recently brought to my attention have possibly pushed me over the brink entirely.

First, a study out of UC San Francisco found that doctors, while generally vigilant in warning patients about the biggies, have been negligent in talking to pregnant ladies about allllll the myriad poisons we encounter over which we have precious little control: pesticides, mercury, phthalates, and other chemicals I cannot pronounce.

Then, environmental group Oceana released a report that 39% of fish in the NYC area is mislabeled, and often we are served or purchase fish believing it to be one type when it is another. Maybe this sounds innocuous enough if you can’t taste the difference, but think of the mercury levels! Think of the children! Of course, the fishmongers say the restaurants are mislabeling, and the restaurants blame the suppliers for duping them. You can’t win. Unless, of course, you stick to lobster.

Anyway, I think it’s about time to break out the old hermetically-sealed bubble and wait out the rest of this pregnancy. BPA-free, of course.


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