Catch of the day

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Food - Roz Crow­ley

ACANNED favourite, tuna is dif­fi­cult to as­sess health-wise. Fresh, it has plenty of healthy omega fatty acids, but cooked and canned, the pro­cess­ing leaves it with far less and about half the amount of vi­ta­min D. Still, there are other ben­e­fits such as potas­sium and iron, but oily fish stores mer­cury in its fat so keep away from it if preg­nant and if not, keep con­sump­tion to a few times a week.

About 26% pro­tein in tuna means we can ex­pect it to sus­tain us un­til our next meal. Use tuna with olives, cooked new pota­toes, an­chovies, toma­toes, and hard­boiled eggs for a clas­sic Ni­coise salad. Add let­tuce — lo­cal, Cos or Baby Gem — to com­plete the colour and nu­tri­tional va­ri­ety.

It can be dif­fi­cult to track sus­tain­abil­ity from the la­belling. ‘Line-caught’ sug­gests that fish­ing does not in­volve catch­ing other smaller species and avoids over­fish­ing. How­ever, nets can be used at the same time, and mul­ti­ple lines of­fer lit­tle pro­tec­tion.

Look for fish that has been caught in rel­a­tively clean Ir­ish wa­ters dur­ing a limited six-week pe­riod each year. Vac­uum packed and frozen, or canned, usu­ally in Spain, it is now pos­si­ble to find Ir­ish tuna all year.

Al­ba­core and skip­jack seem to be the least en­dan­gered species, yel­lowfin less so, while bluefin is the most at risk of over­fish­ing. Buy­ing Ir­ish means we have some con­tact with pro­duc­ers we can trust.

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