Why troll-caught

albacore is

good for you

There are more reasons for eating our albacore than its great taste!
Selenium/Mercury ratio - New Study!

Omega-3 and essential fatty acids

Low mercury

Diabetes control

Nice Words:

"Just a note to advise you that the case of tuna arrived on time as specified when I brought up the tracking number, AND the cans in perfect condition.

This must be my third or fourth case of tuna and I have never been disappointed.  In fact it is so good I could never go back to buying the canned tuna in the supermarket, regardless of brand name."

— Jeanne from PA

Selenium/Mercury ratio - New Study!
As you’ve gone through our site, you’ve most likely noticed all our references to the low mercury found in troll-caught albacore. This has been an important issue in our industry, as there has been a lot of media attention on mercury and its possible effects. So, like other troll-fishers, we’ve made sure to emphasize the low mercury content of troll-caught albacore.

As it turns out, mercury levels in fish might not be an issue after all.

Drs. Raymond and Ralston of the University of North Dakota have published an interesting study about the role selenium plays in neutralizing mercury. The very short story, as I understand it, is that selenium reacts with mercury and neutralizes its effects. Albacore and other tunas have high levels of selenium, enough to counteract any mercury in the fish.

Before posting this information, we searched the Internet and found articles which report favorably on this study, as well as earlier studies that seem compatible with its conclusions.We’d really like it if selenium could cure the mercury-in-fish controversy. Until then, we’ll continue promoting our troll-caught albacore as low mercury and hope that soon it becomes a non-issue.

Below are some links to information about selenium and mercury, as well as a very brief distillation of Drs. Raymond and Ralston’s report in Q&A format. As we find additional information supporting or disproving their conclusions, we’ll add them to the section below so you’ll know what we know.

Published study Mercury: selenium interactions and health implications by Laura J Raymond, PhD; Nicholas VC Ralston, PhD. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA.

Click here for a Power Point presentation summarizing results of mercury/selenium ratio research by Dr. Laura Raymond and Dr. Ralston. If you need a Power Point reader, click here.

Another presentation of their material at the Center for All Toxic Metals at the University of North Dakota

Brief Q&A about Selenium/Mercury:

If mercury is such an issue, and albacore tuna has mercury, why aren’t lifelong eaters of albacore tuna brain dead?
Tunas have a high level of selenium, which binds with mercury and makes it unavailable to cause harm to the body. When there is more selenium than mercury (like in tuna), the selenium not needed to bind with the mercury is available to bind with mercury from other sources.

What is selenium & why do I care?
Selenium is a trace mineral that is critical to fetus and infant development. Adults need it too.

Where can I find it?
Globally, plants are the major source of selenium. Some meats and seafood also have it. The amount of selenium in meat depends upon the plants the animal ate. Albacore tuna is very high in selenium. Fish are among the richest sources of nutritional selenium in the American diet.

What if I am selenium deficient?
People who live in the USA are rarely selenium deficient as many grains they eat come from selenium-rich areas of the Midwest and that grain is distributed throughout the country.

Do freshwater fish have selenium?
That varies; depending upon the amount of selenium in the soil surrounding the water the fish live in.

What about those studies saying we need to limit the amount of tuna we eat?
Those studies (1950’s - ?) did not take into account the selenium present in tuna because that information wasn’t known until 2006, when Dr. Raymond and Dr. Ralston finished their selenium/mercury ratio research. They found that the important issue is the ratio of selenium to mercury, not just the mercury level.Our tuna has low mercury levels anyway, but we are glad to find that its selenium is so high in relation to the mercury that there is a lot of selenium left over to handle mercury taken in from other sources.

Omega-3 and essential fatty acids
According to many health authorities, the Western diet has an imbalance of essential fatty acids, being much too high in Omega-6 oils and much too low in Omega-3 oils. This imbalance leads to many serious physical problems.

Troll-caught albacore are younger and have a high percentage of Omega-3s. Our method of canning albacore, cooking it in its own oils and juices, retains these higher levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids (EFAs) in each can of albacore will vary somewhat, as individual fish have different levels of EFAs. In general, however, researchers have found smaller and fatter troll-caught albacore have more EFA than the larger long-lined fish.

One excellent book about essential fatty acids is The Omega Diet by Dr. Artemis Simopoulos and Jo Robinson. Dr. Simopoulous was nutritional adviser to the Office of Consumer Affairs at the White House and is the editor in chief of World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Dr. Simopoulos states the following:

Tuna, Albacore Grams of Fatty Acid per 100 grams
Omega 6 0.3g
Alpha-Linolenic Acid 0.2g
EPA 0.3g
DHA 1.0g
— from The Omega Diet, pg 352

Jo Robinson, co-author of The Omega Diet, specifically mentions seeking out fatter fish, as the fatter the fish the higher the EFAs. When comparing fish, look for the fish with the lowest grams of Omega 6 and highest LNA, EPA, and DHA.

Mercury Levels in Fish
Mercury in the environment and in fish is a serious issue, and the information circulating around the media is sometimes inaccurate and confusing.

One of the major confusion factors in the discussion is just identifying what kind of fish we’re talking about.

When you see the phrase 'albacore/white tuna', what does it mean to you?

To big corporate canners, ‘albacore/white tuna’ usually means larger, older, higher-mercury, long-lined albacore caught by foreign fishing fleets.

To small U.S. custom canners, ‘albacore/white tuna’ is usually (ours always is) smaller, younger, lower-mercury, coastal troll-caught albacore caught by U.S. fishermen.

The FDA does not differentiate between larger and smaller albacore. It tests the long-lined 'albacore/white tuna' and considers the results applicable to troll-caught albacore. When the FDA issues a mercury warning and suggests limited intake of albacore, it is basing these warnings on tests of the larger fish. Our smaller fish just get sucked into the maelstrom, leaving an inaccurate perception of high mercury content.

But there’s a bright spot on the horizon.

Dr. Michael Morrissey of Oregon State University Seafood Research Laboratory recently completed a study that clarifies some of the differences between troll-caught and long-line albacore. After studying smaller troll-caught albacore, Dr. Morrissey concluded that troll-caught albacore are significantly lower in mercury content. Click here to see his report.

In fact, troll-caught albacore mercury levels are similar to that of ‘light tuna’ which the FDA lists as safe.

Click here to read an article Judy wrote for a local newsletter, where she more thoroughly addresses the following points:
1. Mercury does NOT ‘stay in our tissues for the rest of our lives.’ It flushes out.
2. All ‘albacore/white tunas' are not the same; mercury content varies greatly.
3. New FDA data is inadequate; new studies are in progress.
4. Even mercury crusader Dr. Hightower says prudent eating of tuna is okay.

Learn more - click a link below.
Another misconception is that, once ingested, mercury stays in our tissues for the rest of our lives. This is not true. The body flushes it out over time. A graph showing dropping mercury levels in blood is at the bottom of the Hightower study.

FDA Data (need Acrobat PDF Reader): Sources and Variations of Mercury in Tuna

FDA Consumption Recommendations: Draft Advisory

Seychelles Study: Science Daily News Release: No Detectable Risk From Mercury In Seafood, Study Shows

Article in ScienceDaily: Commercial Fish: Eat Up, Despite Low Levels Of Mercury

Diabetics and Diabetes Control

Rick Mendosa’s diabetes website provides extensive information about diabetes. You may find especially helpful the Glycemic Index and the Glycemic Load Index. These indexes show how quickly many foods enter the blood stream and how they impact blood sugar levels.

We were tickled when Rick recently added Pelican’s Choice albacore in his “My Favorite Low Carb and Low GI Foods,” LUNCH section (about 3/4 of the way down a long page). His mention is a real honor as he is very discriminating. Thank you, Rick!

Nice Words:

“I just wanted to say thank you for making such an integrity-filled, real, and tasty tuna!

“I have tried other ‘home-canned” tunas, but yours is by far the best. The first time I tried your tuna, I gobbled an entire can in one sitting before I could stop myself!”

— Hannah
from Tacoma