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I have just spent the day at the Fancy Food Show in New York City. Whew! A bit overwhelming I must say. Two huge convention floors filled with all kinds of food and much of it really good for you. Certainly if not the largest collection of olive oils under one roof ever, it was more than enough to satisfy even the most discriminating chef.
There was so much to report on and I was sad to only have a single day because I could have brought you reports of fantastic healthy and natural foods but I was only able to spend significant time with a few vendors. I will say that I saw ingredients and meals of fantastic quality but there were a few really innovative ones that stood out and I'll give you reports of them in the next week or so.
Today I want to tell you about William Carvalho. He and I spent time talking about his deep roots in fishing. Mr. Carvalho told me of his concerns, as he raised his children, about the mercury content of the tuna he and his family were eating. Mind you, these concerns were about an industry in which he has made his living for 20 years or so. (Read more about this in a Dr. Tim column: "One fish, Two fish, Mercury in Your Fish.") He says that he was worried about "playing roulette with my canned tuna."
He and his colleagues formed a company and named it Wild Planet to distribute canned tuna supplied by Carvalho fisheries. He tells me that they use younger tuna so that there's less time for the accumulation of mercury in the flesh of the fish. Every day's canning run is tested and he reports that he has "never had a problem" because of this approach. At the same time he is committed to sustainable seafood and the future of fish and fishing.
Given his long history with fish this comes as no surprise. He told me of canning tuna as a kid in his grandmother's kitchen in mason jars. Sure, this could be sales hype, but I don't think so -- he's clearly committed to the product. And it's a great product.
I tasted the albacore and it was really good. A six ounce can contains six ounces of fish because he doesn't add the 2 ounces of water that the major canners do. Tight and dense because it is packed using the natural juices and oils from the fish (read that Omega 3 fats), the fish has a great tuna flavor. Don't get me wrong, this is a canned tuna but it's a great canned tuna.
Again, because of the canning process you get 6 ounces of fish instead of 4 ounces. The product does cost more by the can and if you factor cost per ounce it is more expensive than the major brands. But you get what I see as better flavor, sustainable fishing, lower mercury content and a much higher Omega 3 fat content. A two ounce serving has 250 milligrams (mg) of sodium but he has a low-sodium tuna at only 100 mg per serving.
You can find the product at Amazon.com, www.safetuna.com and in specialty stores nationwide.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
July 9, 2007