Friday, October 16, 2015

Sustainable Canned Tuna Taste Test

Canned tuna used to be a very inexpensive source of protein, but it isn’t necessarily anymore. The price varies depending upon where it comes from and how it’s caught. For the purposes of this review, I reviewed only sustainably caught white albacore tuna, mostly brands available at the supermarket. Generally domestic brands are more expensive than imported. 

I don’t see much difference between chunk and solid, since it is always served broken up anyway. I only tried solid or water packed, not oil packed tuna which in my opinion is always tastier. I taste tested the tun drained, straight from the can. But my preferred way to serve it is in a tuna salad with mayonnaise, lemon, relish, celery and green or red onion. 

1. American Tuna $5.99 A
This pole caught Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainable tuna is packed, and one would assume caught, in Oregon. It’s tested low in mercury, the cans are bpa-free, claims to be turtle safe and dolphin safe and is 6 rather than 5 ounces. 

Excellent, oily and rich with good flavor and texture  

2. Safe Catch $4.50 B+
This brand has a bpa-free can, it’s packed and one can assume caught, in Thailand. It’s tested and claims to be the lowest in mercury. It claims to be turtle safe and dophin safe.

Fine, good flavor and texture

3. Wild Planet $4.50 B+
This tuna is sustainably pole and line caught, caught in the North Pacific and in New Zealand. It claims to be turtle safe and dophin safe. 

Fine, good flavor and texture

4. Crown Prince $3.99 B-
This product of Thailand is Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainably wild caught, dophin safe and the cans are bpa-free.

A bit salty, but otherwise fine

5. 365 (Whole Foods house brand) $1.99 C
This pole and line caught tuna claims to be dolphin safe and is processed and packed, and one would assume caught, in Thailand. I mistakenly purchased salt free, but I seasoned it with salt. 

A bit tinny flavor


The American Tuna was really the most delicious. In a tuna salad will it make a difference? Maybe a little, but more likely in other dishes like a Salad Niçoise. Meanwhile you can often purchase fresh fish, even albacore, at the same or less than the price of canned fish. So I'd only recommend buying canned tuna if you really prefer it or for the convenience factor. 

Which canned tuna do you buy, and why? Leave a comment and let me know!

Disclaimer: I was provided as  of the Safe Catch tuna and purchased the other brands for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.