Canned tuna has always been one of my favorite survival foods: It tastes good, stores for ages and you can eat it straight out of the can without cooking. It packs a lot of protein and calories when in sunflower oil, and it goes along nicely with staples such as rice and pasta.
When times were hard back in Argentina and we really couldn’t afford all that much, some rice along with a bit of vegetables and tuna made for a nice meal.
It was only later on that I learned about how fish can accumulate mercury and that it can be bad for you when ate in excess. We never ate that much because it was always mixed with something else, but especially for pregnant women and children, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of tuna intake. In general it is not recommended to eat more than a can (about 130gr) per week.
What about other fish food and seafood? In general, the longer the animal lives, and the higher it is on the food chain, the more mercury it has accumulated.
This website will give you a good idea of how much seafood is a safe amount:
Tuna has high levels of mercury compared to cod and salmon for example, so it’s a good idea to go for those when possible. Every now and then canned salmon can be found. When you come across a good deal for it, consider stocking up.
Taking care not to eat too much of it and being informed about which fish have more mercury will allow us to keep a safe, balanced diet.