You know tomalley, that soft green stuff in lobsters that my mother thinks is the best part of the critter? Turns out its kind of like your liver: filled with toxins. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a warning against eating lobster tomalley:
"In past years DPH has warned consumers against eating lobster tomalley because it can accumulate high levels of toxins such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl compounds). Recent reports from the Maine Department of Marine Resources also indicate the presence of high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin in some tomalley from lobsters in that state.
Lobster meat is safe to eat — it is only the lobster tomalley that consumers should not eat.
This year scientists are predicting an abundance of the plankton that is responsible for producing the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning, which can be fatal. There have been no cases of PSP in Massachusetts since the early 1990s."
Given that my annual consumption of lobster can be measured on one finger, I'm inclined not to worry overmuch about this warning. Canada, after all, has issued its own warning advising against consuming more than one helping of tomalley a day. PSP doesn't sound like much fun, but neither does West Nile, which has occurred more frequently in Massachusetts than paralytic shellfish poisoning. Now pardon me while I dig into this box of donuts. No tomalley in there.