Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is Tuna the Wonderfish?

While I was working out this morning at my gym, I saw the above sign on the wall.  I don't know about you, but I don't really think about tuna very often.  Sure, I order it when I go out for sushi and I love a good tuna fish sandwich, but I certainly don't think of it as "the wonderfish".  In fact, I would debate that.  There are lots of other special fish in the oceans that do pretty cool things, like those that fly, flouders with the eyes that migrate around their bodies, FOUS's (fish of unusual size), etc.  Plus, have you seen a tuna?  

  They're ugly little suckers!

As it turns out, there is such a thing as the Tuna Council and with the support of all the different tuna companies, they are kicking off a big tuna promotion.  There is a quirky website with a strange woman talking about tuna and then lots of recipes (some really good ones).  I guess tuna sales dropped off in the last 5 years and this is an effort to reinvent tuna.  As part of their efforts, we should be seeing signs like the one above all around us soon.   

Personally, I think this is what "killed" tuna:

I have a hard time eating food out of a pouch.  Why?  Because it looks awfully similar to this:
I love my cat (more than what is socially considered normal), but I don't want to eat her food-in-a-pouch.
What will be interesting to me is whether these signs will be around for long.  I'm not a food lawyer, but I've been around the industry long enough to know that the Federal Trade Commission isn't very receptive to signs promoting weight loss without a reminder that it's about eating fewer calories.  Plus, I don't think I've ever seen a clinical trial on "The Tuna Diet".  Given the concerns about mercury in tuna, I don't foresee seeing one.   

I think Mr. Mom had the best slogan all those years ago...  

"Schooner Tuna.  The tuna with a heart." 

For more info on the Tuna Council and their efforts, check out this New York Times article.


  1. I visited a tuna market once in Sri Lanka (whilst on our honeymoon go figure!!). It was the most hideous experience of my life at the time (I hadn't given birth yet). I agree. Tuna are indeed ugly munters.

  2. Aren't they also overfished??? I get the pork council, the chicken council, the licorice council, etc. - they are trying to get people to eat more stuff that you can just make (or grow on a farm...). But aren't Tuna for the most part caught out in the ocean or penned in the ocean? So if they are successful, won't they just drive the price up (which I get is good for them, but it will also result in replacement foods...). As to the cat thing - that's just weird and now I can never eat food out of a pouch again. Thanks for that...

  3. Good points! Their website says the following:

    -Bluefin tuna – the focus of vigorous conservation efforts – is not used in commercial canned and pouch tuna products. America’s tuna companies support the U.S. and global calls for a moratorium on fishing blue fin in the Mediterranean.
    • Skipjack tuna stocks, used to make light tuna, are among the healthiest and most carefully managed in the world.
    • The majority of Albacore stocks are generally healthy and well managed. However, albacore from the north Atlantic requires stronger management measures to return them to a healthier, more sustainable state. Only about 10% of commercial albacore tuna is sourced from these stocks and is done so in compliance with current conservation measures.

    I did some digging around and couldn't find much that contradicts this. I will dig deeper into it when I have more time.

    If there is such a thing as the licorice council, I want to work there. Speaking of licorice, you can buy that in a pouch and it is yummy. I think it's the meat-fish-in-a-pouch that I have trouble with.

    And Zjoosh...fish market on your honeymoon? So hot!

  4. Ahhh...well glad that's clear in the marketing with a giant fist and the word "Tuna" on it...

  5. Hahaha, the comparison between pouch tuna and cat food is so, so apt. I pretty much lost it there!

    I'm not sure how tuna would be a "wonderfish", unless it's the Omega 3s, but... I dunno. I'm not much of a fish-eater, so, yeah.