by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats
Tags: .

As we reported earlier, Jeremy Piven left a Broadway production in late December due to a diagnosis of mercury poisoning. We could only speculate that a diet heavy on fish was the root cause — and now the actor himself has confirmed as such. As FOX News reports,

“And the truth is, Piven could not have gotten out of the play without a real diagnosis for insurance purposes. He says that years of being a fish eating vegetarian was enough to do the trick and act as a catalyst.”

So Piven is  a pesco-vegetarian. What makes that dangerous in today’s world is the crazy amounts of mercury often found in large game fish like Tuna, Swordfish, and Cod. And if you’re someone with Piven’s wallet, hitting up sushi a couple times a week might just be a part of the lifestyle. Back in January of 2008, the NY Times ran an investigation that found 5 out of 20 random stores and restaurants in NYC had tuna with mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. “No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” said one expert.

Thankfully, it look like Piven is recovering nicely — most likely by subscribing to a full vegetarian diet. For more information on mercury and fish, check out Oceana’s info on the topic.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Misty Snatchwrath

    Sorry, Jeremy. If you eat fish then you ain’t no vegetarian. So stop calling yourself one.

  • kelly g.

    He says that years of being a fish eating vegetarian was enough to do the trick and act as a catalyst.

    There is no such thing as a “fish eating vegetarian” – either you eat meat or you don’t. Fish is meat, not a vegetable. Ergo, Piven is a carnivore.

  • Chloe

    He’s not a carnivoire… he’s an omnivore. But you’re right, he definitely is not a herbivore/vegetarian!

  • kelly g.

    He’s not a carnivoire… he’s an omnivore.

    Duh, my bad. You’re totally right, Chloe :)

  • VeggieTart

    Can I please smack the next moron who calls himself/herself a pesco-vegetarian? There’s no such thing. Just say the only flesh you eat is fish and stop looking for freaking labels where none exist.

  • Stephanie

    I’m with veggietart. I’m so sick of 2 things:

    1- People offering me fish or saying “not even fish?” when i tell people i am VEGAN. Then when I correct them they say “well some vegetarians eat fish” grrrr

    2- People saying that people get uppity cause they are elitist and just want claims to “labels”.

    I guess I’m just a stickler for COMMON SENSE!@!@!

    I’m glad he admitted it and ditched animals all together.

  • Erin Cathleen

    Stephanie, I feel your pain! I’m trying to get one of my favorite local brunch haunts to change their menu, because there is tuna in their “vegetarian Cobb salad.” ?!? I hear that “not even fish?” line far too often myself. Enough already! Posh Spice is one of those pesky pseudo-veggies, too. Either commit all the way or stop calling yourself vegetarian!

    Geeeez. P

  • Doll

    I am a ‘Pesco-Vegetarian’ myself (although I prefer the term ‘Pescatarian’ as the other term is an oxymoron!

    I do realise fish has dangerous mercury levels but I do not eat a lot of it on a weekly basis. Perhaps three times at most!

  • anon

    Ummm… “fish eating vegetarian”????

    Since when do fish grow in fields?

  • alex

    you guys are all stupid get over yourselves. like doll says the right term is pescatarian some people get it wrong like all of you

  • j

    …..who gave humans permission to a) eat animals?
    b) eat out of the sea? c)eat from the earth? aren’t humans just ‘ransacking’ the earth and doing the same thing in essence in the three mentioned instances? a plant has a life cycle.