The EPA itself has gone on record about limiting the intake of canned albacore tuna. Nearly prohibiting the product for young children and woman who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
So what does this mean for your food storage? Well, fish is an important part of any diet but dangerous mercury levels could do more harm than good. It can destroy the nervous system if the accumulations are too great. So I am going to answer two questions for you in this article.
1.) What types of canned fish can I eat that won’t cause irreparable damage to my nervous system due to mercury content.
2.) What species of canned fish are safe to store and eat.
Aside from being an absolute powerhouse of nutrition canned fish is also incredibly shelf stable. A can of wild salmon purchased today may not go out of date till 2017! On top of that, canned foods that aren’t highly acidic can last 5 year’s passed the best buy date. Beyond that you risk deterioration of the cans inner lining and direct contact with food inside and the aluminum
Results from our tuna tests, conducted at an outside lab, underscore the longheld concern for those people. We found:
- Every sample contained measurable levels of mercury, ranging from 0.018 to 0.774 parts per million. The Food and Drug Administration can take legal action to pull products containing 1 ppm or more from the market. (It never has, according to an FDA spokesman.) The EPA compiles fish advisories when state and local governments have found high contaminant levels in certain locally caught fish.
- Samples of white tuna had 0.217 to 0.774 ppm of mercury and averaged 0.427 ppm. By eating 2.5 ounces of any of the tested samples, a woman of childbearing age would exceed the daily mercury intake that the EPA considers safe.
- Samples of light tuna had 0.018 to 0.176 ppm and averaged 0.071 ppm. At that average, a woman of childbearing age eating 2.5 ounces would get less than the EPA’s limit, but for about half the tested samples, eating 5 ounces would exceed the limit.
Now let’s talk fish. Mercury build up happens overtime. Thus your bigger species will have accumulated much more mercury than smaller species.If you can imagine large predatory fish like tuna, shark and tilefish take time to grow so big. Meanwhile they are eating tons of smaller fish which also contain levels of mercury. Over time these large predators store up frightening amounts of mercury througout their bodies. I will make it easy on you with a list of dangerous fish. Not only canned but also fresh.
- Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish
- Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
Source, source, source. This is the key. Shrimp can be just as dangerous, if not more so, when yanked from dirty foreign waters that are out of any forsight. Just cuz its dehydrated or freeze dried or canned with a pretty label does not make it safe. Keep these things in mind when considering your food storage purchases going forward. I mean we are doing these things t keep our familys safe right?