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Today is May 2

World Tuna Day

TUNA FACTS

When it comes to healthy eating, canned tuna has it all. It is rich in protein, low in fat and calories and is an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids which help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Who eats canned tuna and why? The following statistics provide an up-to-date look at the market for canned tuna in the United States:

  • The European Union, the United States and Japan are the largest consumers of canned tuna, using about 51 percent, 31 percent and 6 percent, respectively, of the world’s canned tuna products.
  • Tuna in all forms represents more than one-third of the total fish and seafood segment in the U.S. and more than half of the finfish segment.
  • Canned tuna is the second most popular seafood product in the U.S. after shrimp.

In the U.S., Americans eat about 1 billion pounds of canned and pouched tuna a year. Only coffee and sugar exceed canned tuna in sales per foot of shelf space in the grocery store.

In 2007, Americans ate 2.7 pounds of canned tuna per capita.

  • .Americans eat more tuna in the summertime – nearly 30 percent of tuna eating occasions are during the summer. Consumption is lowest in October, November and December.
  • Most canned and pouched tuna comes from skipjack and albacore tuna. Approximately 70% of the canned and pouched tuna Americans enjoy is skipjack (or some small amount of yellowfin). About 30% is albacore – otherwise known as white tuna.
  • Stocks of skipjack tuna – source of 60% of the global annual tuna catch – are considered by scientists and industry experts to be strong and sustainability fished worldwide.
  • Bluefin tuna – the focus of vigorous conservation efforts – is not used in commercial canned and pouched tuna products. America’s tuna companies actively participate in bluefin conservation initiatives.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends eating up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury – including tuna.
  • A diet rich in fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like canned tuna, can curb or prevent cognitive decline, dementia, depression, neuropsychiatric disorders, asthma and inflammatory disorders.
  • Unopened canned tuna has a recommended shelf-life of up to four years, provided that the product has been stored under normal conditions and is not damaged. Pouched tuna has a shelf-life of three years.

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New 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Reveal Americans of All Ages Need to Eat More Seafood

Washington, DC –  The United States Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) highlight the benefits of eating seafood beginning at around age 6 months and continuing through all stages of life. The latest DGA recommend Americans of all ages—particularly kids and pregnant women—eat seafood at least twice weekly, a goal that 94% of children and 80% of adults currently do not meet.

Versatile and convenient, seafood provides numerous health benefits throughout the entire life span. The DGA encourage that adults and children eat seafood 2-3 times each week for the following benefits:

  • Seafood consumed regularly during pregnancy can help with brain development in babies.
  • Seafood starting at around age 6 months provides critical nutrients like iron, omega-3s and choline that support brain development and immunity for babies and toddlers. Additionally, starting seafood early can also help shape lifelong taste preferences, as well as healthful food choices.
  • For adults, seafood provides protein, calcium and vitamin D, which help strengthen bones and maintain muscle mass.

“The biggest takeaway for me from the updated Guidelines is to start serving seafood early,” said Rima Kleiner, MS, RD, registered dietitian with the National Fisheries Institute. “Learning to love seafood as a child is the gift that keeps on giving because of its lifetime of health benefits. Now, we need to get to work inspiring people with delicious ideas for how to eat more fish.”

USDA recommends families start simple when working toward meeting the new Dietary Guidelines by merely keeping seafood on hand. “Seafood, such as canned salmon, tuna or crab and frozen fish, is quick and easy to prepare,” USDA advises, a point particularly relevant during the pandemic when grocery runs may be fewer and farther between.

Another resource for family-friendly seafood meal ideas is NFI’s award-winning Dish on Fish blog and the newly-launched free e-cookbook, “Everyday Seafood,” which contains 53 original, kid-approved and easy-to-cook seafood recipes. “Because of the pandemic, more Americans are eating at home and trying recipes and dishes they may not have made in the past, including fish,” said Kleiner. “We hope to build on this momentum by offering tips, tricks and recipes designed for all levels of home cooks, types of cooking appliances and taste preferences. There are so many paths by which people can meet the DGA recommendation of 2-3 seafood meals per week.”

For more information visit https://aboutseafood.com/

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Fire Day

The dos and don’ts of fire pits

Many homeowners relish any opportunity to retreat to their back yards, where they can put up their feet and relax in the great outdoors. That retreat-like escape is made even more relaxing when sitting around a fire pit.

Fire pits can be found in millions of suburban backyards across the globe. Fire pits have become so popular that a 2016 survey of landscape architects conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects revealed they were the most sought after outdoor design element. Fire pits remain wildly popular a half decade after that survey. Homeowners who are only now joining the fire pit revolution can keep these dos and don’ts in mind as they plan their summer s’mores sessions.

DO keep the fire pit a safe distance away from the home. Fire pits should be located a safe distance from the home at all times, but especially when they’re in use. Home design experts recommend keeping fire pits a minimum of 10 to 20 feet away from a house or other structure, such as a shed or a detached garage. The further away the fire is from houses and other structures, the less likely those structures are to catch on fire.

DON’T place the fire pit beneath trees or next to shrubs. Though fire pits should be kept safe distances away from a house and other structures, it’s important that they’re not placed beneath trees or next to shrubs. Shrubs and low hanging branches can easily catch embers and be lit ablaze, so make sure fire pits are not placed in locations that increase that risk.

DO clean out seasonal debris. It can be tempting to let seasonal debris resting inside the fire pit burn away during the season’s first s’mores session. But burning debris poses a serious safety risk, as embers can easily be blown out of the fire pit and catch nearby trees or shrubs or even a home on fire. The National Fire Protection Association advises homeowners that embers blowing from a backyard fire pose the same threat to homes as if they are from a wildfire.

DON’T let fire pits burn near flammable materials. Store firewood piles a safe distance away from the fire pit while it’s in operation. It may be convenient to keep firewood right next to the fire pit while the fire is burning, but that increases the risk that embers will land on firewood and start a fire outside of the pit.

DO check the weather report prior to starting the fire. Windy weather increases the risk of embers blowing around and potentially landing on the house, other structures around the property or trees. If the weather report is calling for gusting winds, burn a fire on another night.

DON’T leave a fire pit fire burning. Unattended recreational fires are illegal and incredibly dangerous. Homeowners should never leave fire pit fires burning unattended or allow fires to slowly die out overnight. Always extinguish the fire before going inside and stop adding wood to the fire roughly one hour before you plan to go inside. Water or sand can be poured on ashes to extinguish the fire. Once homeowners are confident a fire has been extinguished, ashes can be spread around to ensure there are no hot spots still burning. If there are, start the extinguishing process over again.

A night around the fire pit is a summertime tradition in many households. Safety must be as much a part of such traditions as s’mores.