Health authorities are always telling us to eat more seafood, especially for heart-healthy Omega 3s. But they also warn against ingesting too much mercury, which is often found in omega-rich fish like tuna. The solution to this dilemma? Wild Planet Seafood, a seafood company based in California that’s committed to sustain-ably catching tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies that contain less mercury.
Wild Planet Seafood has been around since 2001. They’re committed to producing wild seafood sourced only from fisheries that practice sustainable fishing methods. That means catching tuna only with poles and lines, which ensures there’s no unnecessary ‘bycatch’ of birds, sea turtles, and other marine life. Other fishing methods like longline and purse-seine fishing used by large conventional tuna companies catch and waste millions of pounds of fish, turtles and birds. Wild Planet’s eco-friendly practices have earned them the designation of a “go-to” eco-brand and a #1 rating by Greenpeace.
Wild Planet also catches smaller Albacore and Skipjack tuna that has less mercury than bigger fish. Then they hand pack the tuna within hours of catching and add no water or filler. It’s just tuna or tuna and sea salt. The ‘juices’ you find when you open a can or pouch of Wild Planet tuna are natural juices from the fish and they suggest not draining the fish before using.
Our editors at Realfoodtraveler tried two Wild Planet products:
Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna– The company packages this tuna in 5-ounce or 7.50-ounce (family-sized) cans or in individual, 3-ounch pouches that don’t require refrigeration. The single-serving pouches are perfect for travel, school or work. They can easily be stashed in your gym bag for a protein-rich snack. A single serving (3 oz) of Wild Planet Albacore Tuna supplies 20 g of protein, 1,062 mg of EPA and DHA Omega 3, yet contains only 130 calories.
But how does Wild Planet Albacore Tuna taste? We found Wild Planet tuna has a clean flavor that’s not overly fishy with a firm texture. Because it’s Albacore, the ‘white meat’ of fish, the tuna can be a little dry, so be sure not to drain the tuna of the natural juices that come in the can or pouch. We made tuna salad with it, adding mayonnaise and pickle relish, and it made for a satisfying sandwich. (Wild Planet also offers Albacore Tuna packed with extra virgin olive oil. We didn’t sample this product, but we suspect adding a bit of EVOO would solve the slightly dry texture of the albacore. )
You can get Wild Planet Albacore Tuna with or without sea salt. Since tuna is naturally a salty product, we didn’t find much difference between the two products. Both were delicious.
Wild Planet Sockeye Salmon– We also tried Wild Planet Sockeye Salmon in 6-ounce cans. (The cans Wild Planet uses are BPA-free.) This is salmon that’s sustain-
ably caught in Alaska and is not frozen before being canned. The only thing they add to the salmon is sea salt.
We again made sandwiches with the salmon, adding mayo and pickle relish and serving it with crunchy lettuce on a good, grainy bread. The flavor was mild, slightly salty and quite delicious. In fact, I liked the Wild Planet salmon salad even better than their tuna. Next, we’re going to try making salmon cakes with Wild Planet Sockeye Salmon.
Real bottom line: If you’re a fan of tuna, you need to be concerned about ingesting too much mercury. And, as a citizen of the planet, you should be concerned about how fish are caught and try to consume fish that’s sustain-ably caught so that our fisheries stay healthy. With Wild Planet Albacore Tuna and Sockeye Salmon you can be assured you’re getting healthful seafood that’s both good for you and good for the planet. – Bobbie Hasselbring, Editor realfoodtraveler.com