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How Tuna Came to Be One of America’s Healthiest and Convenient Foods

How Tuna Came to Be One of America’s Healthiest and Convenient Foods

Tuna has become one of the most popular and convenient foods to eat in the United States, but it wasn't always that way.

At the turn of the 20th century, no tuna of any kind was eaten in the U.S. In fact, seafood in general wasn't nearly as popular as it is today. It's estimated by the U.S.D.A. that the average American ate seven pounds of fish per year in 1910, compared to 60 pounds of beef, 60 pounds of pork, and 15 pounds of chicken.

Two Innovations Changed the Game for Tuna

With tuna weighing around 40 pounds, it was difficult for fishermen to catch the fish. But new technology allowed for larger fish to be caught by easier means, and a new way of removing the excess oil found in these types of fish was also a game-changer.

This kept the taste and smell of seawater out of the fish, allowing food manufacturers to can a product that was closer to chicken than seafood.

Early marketing for canned tuna boasted that it tasted like chicken, and in fact, one of the first mass producers of tuna named itself exactly that in 1914: Chicken of the Sea.

The popularity of Canned Tuna Caught on Quickly

The affordable price of tuna along with its many health benefits and versatility (it's good in sandwiches, salads, casseroles, and more) caused production and sales to rise as the years and decades went on—sales actually rose year-by-year for nearly 90 years.

In 1950, tuna eclipsed salmon as America's most popular fish, and in 1989, U.S.D.A. statistics showed that around four pounds of tuna was being consumed annually by Americans, and no other fish was even at half of a pound.

Popularity slowed a bit due to mercury concerns in some canned tuna along with the emergence of different preparations of tuna as part of the sushi craze in the 1990s until today.

FinerFin has produced a healthy tuna that is also safe for you and your family. And with several different flavors and recipes, we offer plenty of variety to give you meals that you'll never get tired of. So try what is sure to be your new favorite tuna today!