Another Reason Not to Eat Tuna?

published Jan 23, 2008
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

It keeps happening: discoveries like the one reported on the front page of today’s New York Times (High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi) keep telling us that eating tuna just isn’t a great idea.

After being pregnant last year, I all but completely removed it from my diet. But lately, there are some interesting “lower” and “lowest” mercury options out there, which Burrows’s article neglects to discuss. Read on…

For reference, the tuna tested as part of today’s article in the Times peaked at 1.4ppm (purchased at Gourmet Garage). At the Fancy Food Show, we met a few companies working with “safer” tuna, all of whom can beat these numbers.

First, an option for raw, sushi-grade tuna, is Kona Kampachi, a Hawaiian Yellowtail that is raised in the open ocean off the Kona Coast of Hawaii “without depleting wild fisheries or harming the ocean environment,” and Kona Kampachi is apparently “free of detectable mercury.” Now, of course there’s the issue of shipping the product from Hawaii to the rest of us, but I’m not going to get into that in this post.

We also met the folks from Wild Planet, a tuna company based in Northern California. They claim to produce “the finest wild seafood only from fisheries that are sustainable and free of wasteful by-catch and habitat destruction” and their canned tuna has, they say, the lowest mercury content in the industry (0.15ppm, on average). This is great news for the tuna-sandwich addicted.

This is a topic we’ll keep covering, and look for a full review of the Kona Kompachi in the coming week.