by Craig Weatherby
We think our artisanal albacore tuna is the tops, but it’s gratifying to have our opinion affirmed by an independent source!
Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer features an eye-opening article on canned tuna by noted area chef and food writer Aliza Green.
Ms. Green has been chef at a number of Philadelphia-area restaurants and is the author of several cookbooks, including “Starting with Ingredients: Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Cook” (Running Press, 2006).
She researched the various types and grades of canned tuna and then sampled and compared 19 different brands.
They ranged from cheap, national supermarket brands of chunk light tuna to hand-filleted, hand-packed, sashimi-grade, single-cooked albacore loins… just like ours.
Her findings and taste test elevated the very kind of tuna we sell: certified-sustainable, hand troll-caught, North Pacific albacore tuna that's smaller in size for optimal purity, and cooked just once for best taste and nutritional value.
We thought you’d be interested in some key quotes from Ms. Green’s article, which appeared under the heading, “What to Look For.”
You’ll see our italicized comments in brackets, following the quoted excerpts:
“No additives. Most inexpensive canned tuna contains two ingredients that turn the fish into sponges… soy (often listed as vegetable broth containing soy) and sodium pyrophosphate. You may be paying less money, but what you're getting is less tuna and more additives” (Green A 2009).
[Vital Choice tuna is additive-free, and comes packed in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt, or simply in its own juices with no added salt.
“Cooked only once. To get that tuna in the can, large operations freeze the fish on board, fillet it on shore, cook the fillets, freeze again, defrost, and finally cook it once again in the can. It's no wonder much of the flavor and heart-healthy omega-3 oils are lost. America's artisanal canneries cook their tuna once in the can, maintaining flavor, meaty texture, juiciness, and omega-3 oils” (Green A 2009).
[Vital Choice artisanal albacore is cooked just once, in the can.]
“Low mercury. With tuna at the top of the food chain, mercury is a concern… a study by Oregon State University's Seafood Laboratory showed that ‘troll-, bait-, and line-caught albacore off the West Coast of the U.S. had lower levels (of mercury)... Larger, older albacore from deeper waters will be higher in mercury...” (Green A 2009).
[Fisherman Paul Hill catches Vital Choice albacore in the mid-Pacific ocean, far off the Northwest coast. To ensure optimal purity, Paul sets aside smaller, younger fish under 12 pounds for Vital Choice.]
“High omega-3 oils. Because line-caught albacore swim in the cold waters of the North Pacific feeding on anchovies and sardines, they contain 10 times as much omega-3 oils as other tuna - 2.6 grams per 2-ounce (56-gram) portion” (Green A 2009).
[Vital Choice North Pacific albacore is very rich in omega-3s... to be exact, it provides 1,727mg of omega-3s per 2 oz serving, including 432mg EPA and 1,311mg DHA]
“Line-caught, American. Our tuna-canning industry grew out of the Pacific sardine fishery in Monterey, California… By 1954, America had become the world's largest producer and consumer of canned tuna” (Green A 2009).
[Vital Choice albacore tuna is line-caught from a small boat by American fisherman Paul Hill, who is our neighbor in Bellingham, Washington.]
“Species of tuna. Seafood Watch, a program of Monterey Bay Aquarium, recommends British Columbia or West Coast American or Hawaiian pole and troll albacore as a best choice—the only canned tuna to get its green light” (Green A 2009).
[Vital Choice tuna is American troll-caught albacore… recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.]
Click here to see the full Vital Choice Albacore selection.
- Green A. Tuna, packed in questions: Draining some useful knowledge out of those cans. Philadelphia Inquirer, June 25, 2009 http://www.philly.com/philly/restaurants/20090625_Tuna__packed_in_questions.html