Tuna Alternative for Health Conscious People

August 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

I am a self admitted tuna addict- but during my pregnancy last year, I became a little alarmed about the news I was hearing about mercury levels in my tuna and how it could affect my baby.  I had always thought I doing something good for my body- but my doctor cautioned me about eating too much tuna and advised me to keep it to a maximum 1-2 servings per week and to avoid Albacore Tuna (I was probably eating 4-5 servings a week).  

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services & the US Environmental Protection Agency, “some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.”

Ok, so what is an expecting or nursing mom who wants their tuna salad to do?  While in Oregon last week, I sampled Oregon’s Choice Albacore Tuna.  I had heard their fishing methods target younger fish from abundant stock that contain significant lower levels of mercury.  I will say their albacore tuna is the freshest and best tasting canned tuna I have found anywhere.  But putting that aside, they are family owned and utilize sustainable fishing methods.  Their hook and line Albacore fishery is now certified as eco-friendly by the Marine Stewardship Council (www.msc.org) via the American Albacore Fishing Association.

According to Oregon’s Choice; the longer the fish has been in the ocean, the more time it has to accumulate mercury. The fish they catch have not had the time to accumulate mercury as compared to the large amounts of mercury found in the large old  fish favored by major canners. The younger fish swim closer to the surface of the water, which is where they fish; while the older fish swim closer to the ocean floor. More information about very low levels of mercury in Albacore can be found at the American Albacore Fishermens Association. 

Here are a couple some other good reasons to try their Albacore Tuna:

There are 2450 mg. of Omega-3 Fatty Acids per 55 gram serving of our albacore tuna as opposed to leading commercial tuna companies that have Omega-3 content of 450 mg. per 55 gram serving.

The fish are harvested using hook and line methods that result in little or no bycatch. No nets are used in their dolphin-free fishery.

If you live on the West Coast, there are a number of food stores that carry their tuna.  However, you can also order from their Website.  The 6 oz. can of the Gourmet Albacore Tuna Lightly Salted is just over $4 plus shipping (but you actually get 6 full oz of tuna unlike the main commercial tuna companies) and you buy them in cases of 12 or 24.  

I recommend you try this recipe from the site that was emailed to them from a happy customer:


1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind 

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon liquid red pepper seasoning

1 ripe avocado

2 cans Oregon’s Choice Gourmet Albacore Albacore tuna, drained

1 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch squares

1/2 of 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Whisk together lime rind and juice, olive oil, honey, cumin, salt and red pepper seasoning in medium size bowl until blended.  Pit and peel avocado; cube.  Add to dressing; toss to prevent discoloring.  Flake tuna into bowl with the avocado and dressing.  Add red pepper, water chestnuts and cilantro to tuna; toss to combine.  Serve chilled over bed of lettuce or use as a sandwich filling.


Entry filed under: Eco Baby, Eco Dining. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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