I believe that tinned tuna is one of the most popular 'healthy' lunches people will steer towards. When I worked in a busy office environment, more often than not, at lunch time I would hear the cracking sound of a tin of tuna being opened, then strained and generously piled onto a bowl of salad or some bread. Seems reasonable, it's a healthy protein packed lunch. But there's tuna, then there's TUNA. We are often led to believe that it's a healthy lunch, but what are we actually buying? Is it filled with oil or brine? Are there any additives or flavours? Where is this tuna sourced from? What happens if we consume too much canned tuna? These are questions that came to mind as I watched a dear friend have tinned tuna Everyday.
There has been some hype about the mercury content in fish, particularly tinned tuna. To be honest, you would have to consume a lot of tuna to see the nasty side effects (tingling sensation in arms/legs and loss of balance, mood changes); but if you have a small can a day with a well balanced diet, there is not much chance of that happening if you purchase fish that has been caught in seas where there is little contamination. Most of the tinned fish on our supermarket shelves are sourced from fish that is close the equator - like Thailand and China; around the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. The fish caught in this area has the high mercury content compared to the fish caught in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic Ocean. Fish from these regions are 'cleaner' so to speak. They contain less contaminants, and in general their produce tastes better (maybe there are better quality food sources for the fish in these seas).
While it may seem tiresome to check for the country of origin of the canned fish you purchase, it really is worth the extra effort. The problem is good quality fish is not usually readily available at your local grocery store. Sometimes only speciality stores stock them. My favourite is Capriccio, Delicius and Consorcio (divine!). All these products source their seafood from the Mediterranean; the fish is meaty and superb. The olive oil used is exceptional. However Capriccio tuna slices in the glass jars are my ultimate favourite. If you live in Melbourne, try Leo's Supermarket, Terra Madre or some Italian Deli's.
It's now time to make some brown rice noodles and crack open a jar of tuna! Yum....
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.