Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tuna in the News

Tuna fish is on the menu again tomorrow but this time it happens to follow a series of stories in the New York Times about high levels of mercury found in tuna sushi served at New York restaurants. The story, High Mercury Levels are Found in Tuna Sushi was published in last Wednesday's paper (January 23). Yes, I know that canned tuna (which is usually yellow tail, tongol, or skipjack) is not the same thing as the highly coveted (and very expensive) bluefin tuna. Species of tuna that are larger (like albacore) are more likely to be contaminated with higher levels of mercury. Yellowfin (239 cm) is smaller than albacore (458 cm) and skipjack (108 cm) are much smaller. Tongol tuna, sometimes labeled as "canned light tuna" is one of the smallest and can be as small as 70 cm. Still, other studies have shown that the mercury levels in canned light tuna are highly varied and can sometimes be higher than in canned albacore tuna. Personally, I think that childcare centers should do away with tuna fish. Why take the risk? Tomorrow, I will pack Caroline's lunch with salmon, which is known to have lower levels of mercury.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, February 1: Breakfast - Queen's Lace Peach (frozen last summer), ten grain hot cereal; Lunch - salmon, 100% whole grain toast, green peas, Pink Lady apple; Snacks - banana oat muffin
Childcare Center Menu, February 1: Breakfast - peaches, cream of wheat; Lunch - tuna fish, wheat pitas, cucumber, apples; Snacks - Ritz crackers, watermelon

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