A Canny Dilemma

Fish, they say is healthy. The sea is a beautiful and pure habitat for all kind of species to live in and to be consumed by the average individual. I remember the day when eating a fish was a luxury reserved for special occasions; the costs of transporting and distributing fish were too high for the development of a reliable supply chain. Fish was consumed following a natural cycle- when holidaying by the sea or in the permanent coastal resident’s case, more frequently, depending on the weather conditions and seasonal aspects of fishing.

Recently, many medical institutions started to explore the link between fish and health benefits contained within fish and seafood- and successfully unveiling positive results! New publications are released on a monthly basis, or more frequently, each with superior conclusions and medical advances. The major benefit, and I am sure most of you would agree with me on this, is the Omega 3 oil present in most fishes and especially tuna- its contribution to overall human health and particularly cardiovascular health is countless and highly significant considering the that the world’s major cause of death is due to cardiovascular diseases. Omega 3 oil in turn, is quoted to reduce this risk by as much as 1/3 along with other established benefits such as stroke prevention, obesity, depression, cholesterol, triglycerides and the list is endless.

The food industry was quick to spot these medical studies and transform a lucrative opportunity into a mass business. Now most of the fish supply is sourced from fish farms all over the world. As you can imagine, as it is with every farm, fish bread in a confined and closely regulated space cannot possibly replicate the life of the fish freely swimming in the sea. Fish in the farm are fed artificially to grow quickly, live in a tiny ecosystem with no aquatic variety and swim in claustrophobic waters packed with other fish. This of course has quality implications and in some cases serious ramifications such as cross contamination. In any case most of the farmed fishes surely contain traces of antibiotics and metals such as mercury. Tuna especially is intoxicated with mercury whose final user is the consumer.

Canned tuna is worse of by far. Traditionally a mass product, most of the producers never paid attention to the quality of the tuna they use for canning. Very few brands offer a premium canned tuna product especially because everyone associates canned tuna with a low end product. The photographs featured in today’s article are actually an example of a high-end canned tuna product produced by a Spanish company, Ortiz. It represents one of the few options a health conscious consumer can go for. The other is to make your own tuna conserve (featured in today’s earlier article), which is not only the healthiest alternative but also really fun to do by yourself. What is more, regular canned tuna is also full of preservatives which are toxic in their own right; hence next time you buy it form the super market to splash it onto your salad do not think that you are doing yourself a favor. But now you know- choose Ortiz or DIY conserve 🙂


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