I normally don’t read the Los Angeles Times‘ business page. But yesterday I was struck by the front photo: a gentleman hunched over – nose first – a pile of tuna on a steel surface.

It turns out he was inspecting tuna, which seems logical. It also turns out he was doing it in San Diego, home to a number of tuna giants, despite the vanishing of our once-famous fishing fleet.

The story’s about tuna companies’ efforts to get people excited about a product stung by mercury health concerns and the perception that the food is simply boring. (A perception that I had no idea existed.)

Here’s a sample:

Canned tuna producers are promoting the fish as a low-fat protein, laden in omega-3 fatty acids that are believed to benefit the heart. They’re trotting out new advertising. And they’re moving beyond the can, offering products in foil pouches, including steaks and flavored fillets, available near the tuna cans.

“Tuna doesn’t always equal sandwich,” said John Signorino, chief executive of San Diego-based Chicken of the Sea International. “This can be a dinner food.”

The effort is starting to rejuvenate business at Chicken of the Sea and its rivals Del Monte Foods Co. of San Francisco and Bumble Bee Foods of San Diego.

Read the entire story here. (Unfortunately, I can’t find the photo online.)


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