The Big Journey Every Little Tuna Takes to Your Table

published Apr 19, 2017
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(Image credit: Mike Lowery)

A couple of years ago, if you wanted to know exactly where your meats and fish, fruits and vegetables came from, your shopping options were limited to local farmers’ markets or the kind of grocery store that also sells yoga mats and novelty T-shirts about kale. That’s no longer the case. Knowing the provenance of what you’re putting into your cart — and onto your plate — has become increasingly important, and even the biggest chains have expanded their selections of organic, sustainable, and ecologically sound products.

But if you want to see one of the best (and perhaps most surprising) examples of sustainability, wheel your cart down the tuna aisle.

The trek the fish make from sea to store is a big one, touching many ecological and economical systems along the way. And it’s our opinion that taking the social and environmental responsibility of asking a few questions about that process makes that tuna taste all the better. When you do a little digging on Bumble Bee®, for example, you learn they’re a participant in the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF): a global partnership of scientists, the tuna industry, and the World Wildlife Fund. Beyond its commitment to preserving our shared aquatic resources, Bumble Bee® is also focused on reducing its environmental footprint at every stage of its supply chain.

That can of Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore you just picked up is more than just an easy way to add more protein and omega-3s into your diet: It can also tell you everything about that tuna’s trip from the ocean to your table. Bumble Bee®’s Trace My Catch tool details every step in the catch-to-can process, including the location where those tuna (or clams or sardines or salmon, depending on which can you’re currently holding) were caught, the method used to fish them, and the location where they were processed and canned.

Best of all, Trace My Catch references the ISSF’s Status of Stocks info, which reports fishing levels in that location relative to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). Why is that important? Because maintaining fishing levels below the MSY means that the fish population will be able to replenish its numbers to compensate for the amount of fish that were caught. Basically it ensures that a species in a particular part of the ocean isn’t being overfished, which is why those numbers and acronyms are incredibly important to Bumble Bee® and its partners in the ISSF.

So yeah, because Bumble Bee® is transparent about its fishing practices and the sources of its seafood, it’s cool if you have tuna and one of those kale T-shirts.

This post is sponsored by Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore and was created by the Kitchn Creative Studio.
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