By Candice Krieger
June 8, 2009
Far be it for me to question the ethical, and admirable, decision of one of the food industry’s most accomplished chiefs. But news over the weekend that Pret A Manger co-founder Julian Metcalfe’s is removing the chain’s tuna and cucumber sandwich from the shelves has, I admit, left me a little concerned.
Mr Metcalfe, shocked by a film outlining the dangers of intensive fishing methods, will remove all tuna sandwiches from the 150 shops across the UK. The chain is also taking premium bluefin tuna out of its sushi boxes and its sister chain Itsu.
While of course his intentions are commendable – supermarkets have already followed suit banning bluefin from their fish counters – I just hope Mr Metcalfe will be replacing the tuna offerings. I am still mourning the loss of the tuna nicoise wrap, which was taken away so suddenly more than a year ago.
This morning, I asked one of the staff in my local Pret if she could confirm that the tuna and cucumber sandwich - a staple part of my working week - was definitely going (it really is very tasty – probably because of the large amount of mayonnaise). Her response: “Yes, but we will still be selling the tuna baguette. It’s one of our best sellers.” Well yes, that and because it is made using skipjack tuna, caught by ‘dolphin-friendly’ pole and line not net, kind Pret lady.
Also safe to eat is yellowfin tuna and albacore – if caught by line from the south Atlantic and south Pacific – and Alaskan salmon. But to be on the safe side, I think I will stick to egg and cress, and hope they remove the crayfish from the smoked salmon and crayfish salad.
And to the tuna and cucumber sandwich – thank you, it has been a fulfilling, and mercurific few years.