Growing up, I remember tuna salad sandwiches being a staple in our lunch rotation. My mom made an amazing tuna salad with canned tuna, diced celery, and mayonnaise. Tuna has always been seen as a cheap and easy protein source, but unfortunately, the methods for fishing tuna have not always been the most sustainable. Here are things I consider when making my go-to tuna salad!
Choose Sustainable Tuna
I was really turned off from tuna after learning how most tuna is caught and the other marine life that's often caught and discarded with it. Then I discovered Wild Planet Foods, a company that produces premium quality canned fish using sustainable fishing methods. They essentially catch their tuna the old-fashioned way – using a pole and line. You can watch their Founder and President, Bill Carvalho, explain more here. It's reassuring to me to know that other marine life isn't being harmed, because an important part of sustainability is maintaining the ecosystem in the ocean. Other things you can do to protect the ocean from climate change include eating more plant-based foods and avoiding single-use plastic. A diet heavily based in plants with the addition of fish, eggs, and other animal foods in moderation is good for your health and the health of our planet.
Choose Nutritious Tuna
At Wild Planet Foods, they believe it's important for people to eat both sustainably and nutritiously. Tuna and other canned fish are such an underrated nutritional powerhouse. It's a dense source of protein. Because they only have 1-2 ingredients, the fish being the main one, one small can of Wild Planet Wild Tuna provides more than 30 grams of protein. While tuna is a lean (low fat) fish, their products are full of omega-3 fats. These fats are beneficial for heart health, brain function, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Nutritious Seafood Options
While salmon is a fatty fish rich with omega-3, Wild Planet also carries mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. If you're not sure what to do with these smaller fish, start by adding them to pasta with some garlic, oil, and roasted vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, especially fatty fish, at least two times per week to help meet omega-3 needs. Getting your omega-3's from actual food has been shown to be more beneficial than taking fish oil supplements, and it tastes a lot better too. I love that Wild Planet Foods makes meeting the AHA’s omega-3 requirement more affordable. Fish is often seen as a more expensive protein source than chicken, beef, or eggs, but their products are affordable and have a long shelf-life, making them a pantry staple in our house.
My Go-to Tuna Salad Recipe
I love making tuna salad with Wild Planet Wild Yellowtail Fillets for an easy lunch or weeknight dinner when I'm tight on time. This abundant North Pacific fish is similar to tuna, although not a tuna species. It’s sustainably caught with single-species purse seine methods, which virtually eliminate by-catch of other species while also benefiting the overall marine ecosystem. Check out my go-to recipe for Veggie Packed Tuna Salad Toast.