Clover Leaf Tuna Mercury Concerns
Experts agree that consistently consuming a diet of foods containing high levels of mercury can have negative effects on health. What has recently been called into question is how much mercury is contained in different species of fish and how much an average person can safely consume. Consumers who make informed choices about what types of fish they consume are able to effectively manage mercury exposure from fish while continuing to take advantage of the health benefits that fish provides (Health Canada, 2011).
Some consumers have concerns over the level of mercury that canned tuna contains. Fresh and frozen tuna has been shown to contain levels of mercury that are higher than those found in canned tuna. This is due to the species, size and age of the tuna used in canned light tuna – generally younger and smaller species such as skipjack and yellowfin (Health Canada, 2008).
Health Canada notes that most Canadians do not need to be concerned about consuming canned tuna, with the exception of children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. This specific group is recommended to limit the consumption of canned albacore tuna – a larger species of tuna also referred to as white tuna. The women specific to this group can still safely enjoy up to four Food Guide servings (75g each) of canned albacore (white) tuna per week while children can enjoy either 1 or 2 Food Guide servings (75g each) depending on age (Health Canada, 2008). There are no recommendations in place for limiting the consumption of canned light tuna.
The Health Benefits of Eating Canned Tuna
Fatty fish such as tuna are an excellent source of healthy long-chain omega-3 fats. These are fats which help maintain healthy heart function and have also been associated with reduced risk of sudden cardiac death in healthy people (Health Canada, 2011). Studies have also concluded that the omega-3 fats in fish are important for optimal development of babies’ brains and nervous systems (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2014).
Protein is the building block of the body. It is used to build new cells and repair existing ones in order to maintain healthy muscle tissue in the body. Tuna is a major source of complete protein – proteins that provide the amino acids that the body needs to survive (Tremblay, 2014).
Is Clover Leaf Canned Tuna Sustainable?
Clover Leaf tuna is not only safe and healthy, it is also sustainable. Tuna is the most popular product available from Clover Leaf; it is also the species that Clover Leaf is most heavily involved with and invested in in terms of sustainability efforts (The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family, 2014). Clover Leaf is a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global organization composed of leading scientists, members of the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization – focused on promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term health of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.
As part of a balanced diet, canned tuna is both healthy and delicious. The sustainability efforts of Clover Leaf and the ISSF are working to ensure that tuna stocks will be harvested sustainably and continue to be enjoyed as a safe and healthy source of food for generations to come.
Health Canada. (2008, February 15). Mercury in Fish - Consumption Advice: Making Informed Choices about Fish. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from Health Canada:
Health Canada. (2011, January 25). Mercury in Fish - Question and Answers - Health Benefits of Eating Fish. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from Health Canada:
The Clover Leaf Seafoods Family. (2014). Tuna Sustainability. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from Clover Leaf:
The President and Fellows of Harvard College. (2014). Fish: Friend or Foe. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from Harvard School of Public Health - The Nutrition Source:
Tremblay, L. (2014). The Effects of Canned Tuna. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from Healthy Eating: