Is your tuna sandwich bad for the environment?

More canned tuna is consumed in the United States than in any other country in the world. Unfortunately, the vast majority of tuna sold in the American market fails to meet fundamental sustainability standards, according to Greenpeace’s 2015 Canned Tuna shopping guide, their first-ever U.S. canned tuna ranking.

The ranking looked at 14 well-known U.S. national and private label supermarket brands to evaluate their sourcing policies and practices, including whether the fishing method used to catch their tuna harms other marine life, whether they avoid shark finning, and whether they can trace their products back to the sea. In addition, it examined how equitable and socially responsible are the brands.

The ranking concluded that most brands do not have adequate measures in place to address sustainability and human welfare and labor issues.

“Consumers should know that many canned tuna brands are contributing to ocean destruction at an alarming rate,” says Greenpeace Seafood Markets Lead Graham Forbes. “However, the silver lining here is that other companies are stepping up to provide ocean-safe options for their customers.”

So how can you become a savvier grocery store shopper? Here are a few tips to ensure your tuna is sustainable:

  • Think beyond the label. “Dolphin safe” does not necessarily mean ocean safe. Turtles, sharks and other vulnerable ocean life are collateral damage in tuna fisheries that supply the U.S. market. To find out how your favorite brand measures up, how to decode the labeling on your cans of tuna, or to sign a petition asking brands to change their practices, visit
  • Consumer demand can make a difference. Talk to your local grocer about stocking shelves with brands that have a comprehensive approach to sustainable and equitable products.

You may not often look down at your lunch and wonder what had to happen for it to get to your plate, but your consumer choices do have an impact on both the environment and the workforce involved in production. By becoming a more informed consumer, you can ensure your kitchen is friendlier to both.


This article was provided by State Point Media,