When I first began stocking up on food specifically for food storage, adding cans of tuna to my stash was a budget-friendly move. My family enjoyed occasional tuna sandwiches, and I grew up loving a good, old-fashioned tuna casserole.
However, over the years, tuna began getting one black eye after another. First, reports of mercury contamination in tuna and issues with dolphins caught in the nets of tuna fishermen worried tuna lovers. More recently, concerns about radiation contamination from Fukushima affecting tuna in the Pacific Ocean have made eating tuna feel risky. This has left moms like me wondering: Is tuna safe for my family?
On the other hand, even in the midst of all this tuna drama, there’s been a rise in popularity of sushi restaurants, and they certainly serve tuna. Raw, no less! Upscale restaurants regularly offer seared tuna, ahi tuna, and other tuna dishes. How can a tuna fish sandwich made by Mom have “Death!” written all over it, but a Spicy Tuna Roll is perfectly acceptable?
Tuna is a healthy addition to your food storage pantry
Since my original plan to have a few dozen cans of tuna in my pantry for long-term storage was at stake, I’ve done some research to find out more about tuna. Ultimately, that led me to learn that at least one company is making a significant effort to deliver fresh-tasting tuna, with mercury levels near zero — Safe Catch.
But first, here are a few reasons why I’ve stubbornly insisted that tuna is a healthy addition to everyday meals as well as your food storage pantry:
- Tuna contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve both depression and cognitive decline. One group of researchers discovered that it only takes 9 servings of canned albacore tuna a month to provide an average daily dose of 500 mg of essential omega-3 acids.
- Tuna contains a form of selenium, selenoneine, that protects the red blood cells of tuna from free radical damage. In the body of the fish, selenoneine also binds with mercury compounds and protects the fish from mercury-related problems! That’s amazing!
In the human body, it’s very possible that we, too, receive similar protection from antioxidants when we eat tuna.
- Tuna is an excellent source of vitamin B3, B6, and B12. It also contains a good amount of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and choline, along with various minerals and a very healthy dose of protein.
- Canned tuna is a super-easy and convenient food to have on the shelf for quick meals and snacks. The pop-top feature on most cans makes it an excellent addition to any emergency kit.
- Tuna is typically budget-friendly and is a versatile form of protein to add to a wide variety of recipes.
Still, there are a few concerns and some surprising answers
Although canned tuna, usually albacore and skipjack, is recommended because of its high levels of omega-3s, attention still needs to be paid to the level of mercury that may be consumed. Safe Catch tuna is the only brand that tests every single fish for mercury levels. They’ve developed the very first technology capable of screening each fish for purity and the levels that Safe Catch has set for safety are stricter than those set by the Environmental Working Group and Consumer Report’s “Low Mercury” limits.
Even as I was sampling some cans of Safe Catch, thoughtfully provided for me by the company, I knew that radiation was going to be a concern, so I asked about it. Here is what I learned, first hand:
Safe Catch just received their radiation testing. Their Safe Catch Wild Elite Tuna tested for zero levels of radiation. The Safe Catch Wild Albacore Tuna tested for 0.46 Bq/kg which is 232 times less radiation than what the average banana contains. The testing was done by a third party lab.
As I was researching everything-I-ever-wanted-to-know about tuna, I learned that most tuna is pre-cooked before being canned. This allows the very best nutrients, including omega-3s, to drain away during the processing. Then, the tuna is rehydrated with phosphates, GMO vegetable broth, soy, water or other fillers. Safe Catch has none of those added, so it’s no wonder that it tasted and smelled fresher than any canned tuna I’ve ever tried. Instead, Safe Catch tuna is raw packed and then cooked. It’s free of additives, is non-GMO, BPA-free and isn’t packed in either oil or water.
So how does Safe Catch taste?
The Safe Catch tuna that I sampled was fresh tasting, without a fishy smell. In fact, I had some leftover tuna mixture, stored it in the fridge, and promptly forgot about it. Typical. About a week later I saw a blue and white container in the back of the fridge and braced myself. Whatever was inside couldn’t possibly still be good.
I was amazed to find out that the container held what was left of my tuna fish salad, and it smelled as fresh as the day I opened the can. Pretty impressive.
Safe Catch tuna comes in 3 different varieties: Wild Skipjack, Wild Albacore, and Wild Albacore with no salt added. It retails for about $3-5 per can. It’s found in stores nationwide (store locator) and can be purchased online.
If you’ve held off buying canned tuna because of the well-publicized issues the tuna industry has had, Safe Catch might be the best way to re-introduce tuna into your everyday meals and food storage pantry.
Tuna from The World’s Healthiest Foods
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