Canned TUNA - what's the deal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pros:
excellent source of essential fatty acids, omega-3's etc.
cheap
widely available
delicious (to me)
easy to prepare / incorporate into quick meals
fits easily into a low-carb diet
TF compatible (traditional foods)
you're supposed to eat a lot of fish
don't have to cook it
highly portable (a little can, etc.)
helps me continue to avoid supplements (e.g., fish oil)

Cons:
to sum it up, anything that is so toxic you can only eat it once a month when pregnant or nursing isn't something I want to be eating at all. (note: the kind I buy is "dolphin safe" so this isn't necessarily a con)


So... I love tuna fish salad. Recently I have been eating A LOT of it. Yesterday I ate 1.5 cups of tuna fish salad made with real mayonnaise, lots of celery and onion. The day before I ate 1 cup. The day before that I ate 1 cup. I didn't have any today because I ran out. I feel great. I think the healthy fats and high protein in it give me lots of energy and I swear I can see a difference in my skin when I eat lots of fish, which sadly isn't very often because frankly it's a huge hassle.

I know the "light" tuna is supposed to be lower in mercury so I get that. I also have been getting tongkol tuna from Trader Joe's.

I'm not pregnant or nursing. But... still I wonder... how much of an ostrich am I being about this? And I don't want to pull a Jeremy Piven and end up with mercury poisoning either, kwim?
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#2 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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I totally get you. I'm pregnant AND nursing, and am trying to avoid the stuff... but its just SO darn good!! Of course, what really boggles my mind is how much of it WIC gives you when your nursing - 1 can a week!! Mostly I make mine up with mayo, celery, onion, parsley and spike and eat it on whole wheat toast... mmm mmm mmm!!!
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#3 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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I'm not sure. I'd think the Environmental Working Group would have a good discussion and guidelines though.
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#4 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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Another problem with canned tuna...the cans are lined with BPA which is known to leach at high temps (like when they are canning the food).

This year I tried something different. I bought local wild caught tuna, had the fish market de-skin, de-bone and fillet it for me. I cut it up into big slabs, stuffed it in 1/2 pint canning jars, added a teaspoon of salt and pressure cooked it. Granted canning jar lids have BPA in them too but at least my food isn't touching them.

Here are the instructions for canning tuna: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he188w.htm

Mama to DS (6/07) h20homebirth.gif, DD (6/09) h20homebirth.gif, and DD (07/12) homebirth.jpg..

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#5 of 7 Old 03-31-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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Unfortuantly dogmom, most of us don't live where we can get local wild caught tuna at a reasonable price ever... But believe me, if I could do that I almost certainly would. How much did you figure it ended up costing you per jar?
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#6 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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The canned wild salmon from Trader Joes is reasonable, too. It is great with some mayo and avocado. I personally eat tuna once a week, sardines once a week, canned salmon once a week, and salmon fillet once a week. I love fish and I need the omegas.

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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#7 of 7 Old 04-01-2009, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess the species of tuna makes a huge difference. Any tuna you'd ever get in "steak" or sushi form (e.g., bluefin, yellowfin) is going to have a heck of a lot more mercury than canned tuna (skipjack). And I know that chunk light tuna has less than albacore. Also, tuna caught via longlining is going to be larger, and therefore have more mercury compared to tuna caught via gillnetting or trolling, which catches smaller (younger) fish. Bottom line: I think it's safe to say that store-bought "chunk light" canned tuna has the absulute lowest amount of mercury in it you can find for tuna anywhere.

I mean, ugh. ALL fish is hazardous to your health these days. There's no such thing as toxin-free fish anymore. It all has some mercury in it - even wild Alaskan salmon etc. - not to mention dioxin, PCBs, etc. But study after study STILL show that people who eat fish are better off .... those fats are just too good for you. I am not someone who believes in supplements and I find it highly questionable that a store-bought supplement is going to be toxin-free either, so we're back to square 1.

Oooh here's a truly horrifying link. According to this calculator, this past week I've eaten 400% over my EPA safe limit for mercury. Move over, Jeremy Piven. Gah. But my hair and skin are radiant.

Scroll down to see the calculator:
http://www.gotmercury.org/article.php?list=type&type=75
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