As mentioned in my previous post, Clover Leaf is Re-inventing Fast food to make Canadians healthy. They gave me the chance not only to interview Chef Michael P Clive, their creative resource for their 5 healthy recipes, they let me ask them a few questions, too.

Do you know how many calories you need to cut to lose 7.5 lbs per year? Why they chose tuna as their main ingredient to improve health? What Clover Leaf fees their employees for breakfast? BananaBoy certainly had fun finding out and is now excited to hear when tuna is on the menu – he doesn’t mind which flavour it is.

Read on, eat healthy and tell your friends!

Sarah Butland: As a Canadian, I’ve been seeing so many companies say they are supporting health but taking actions proving otherwise. Do you feel you’ll be leading the way for other companies to take part in changing our diet the right way?

Clover Leaf: We hope other companies will recognize what a struggle it can be for Canadians to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a hectic world. At Clover Leaf, we believe that the more convenient, time-saving and healthy choices available for consumers to choose from, the better!  That’s why we “re-invented” fast food, taking traditional take-out favourites like burgers, pizza and tacos, and putting a healthy twist on them.  These recipes are fast, easy and delicious, but are much lower in calories and fat than traditional fast food favourites.

Sarah Butland : All of your recipes for this campaign include tuna. Why tuna? What are the benefits of this fish versus say, salmon or lobster?

Clover Leaf: Canned tuna is already in the pantry of nearly two-thirds of Canadian households. We wanted to create simple, healthy recipes that would be easy alternatives to fast food, and the versatility, convenience and accessibility of our flavoured tuna products allowed Clover Leaf to do just that.

Tuna is a rich source of lean protein, low in fat and packed full of other healthy nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium.

Although salmon is typically higher in fat than tuna, it’s the good kind of fat, loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend Canadians have a variety of fish and seafood in their diet. Our website, www.cloverleaf.ca, has hundreds of great recipes, including not only tuna, salmon and lobster dishes, but also recipes for shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels, crab, sardines and herring!

Sarah Butland:  You pride yourself on having a Thriving Workplace with fresh fruit provided every morning, filtered water systems, and employee discounts on your fish. What do you find employees best respond to and how do you suggest other companies learn from your examples?

Clover Leaf: Good health practises help both individual employees and our overall business. Clover Leaf can trace its roots as far back as 1871, with the very first and only cannery on the Fraser River in British Columbia. This long-term success would not be possible without our valued employees. Our team respects the philosophy that we “practice what we preach” by making a healthy lifestyle and smart food choices a regular part of their busy lives.

Sarah Butland: Was the idea behind adding flavour to your tuna based on getting young children to like it, or was it simply to offer more variety?

Clover Leaf: A little bit of both, with some convenience thrown in! Flavoured tuna is another step toward encouraging Canadians to include healthy seafood in their diet. Because the flavour is already mixed in with the tuna, it saves a step and allows for quick and easy recipes, such as our Spicy Tuna Pad Thai with our Spicy Peanut Satay and Spicy Thai Chili flavours, or the Original Shawarma infused with Lemon & Pepper and Garlic & Hot Pepper flavoured tunas.

Children are responding well to the new flavours too, especially in fun recipes like the Personal Naan Pizza. As seafood consumption is a part of healthy brain development and functioning, it is especially important that children get enough of this low calorie, high protein food. For full details on children’s seafood consumption, Clover Leaf encourages Canadians to follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

Sarah Butland:  Is there a reason only your light tuna is flavoured, or do you plan to offer a line with your white tuna as well?

Clover Leaf: You read our minds!  Clover Leaf will soon be launching three flavoured white tuna products: Sundried Tomato, Chipotle and Jalapeño.  Look for them on grocery store shelves starting in February of next year!

Sarah Butland: Your website has a lot of tips and information about getting healthy and maintaining good health, including recipes and links to other websites. Has this always been something Clover Leaf has focused on, along with quality fish?

Clover Leaf: Absolutely.  We at Clover Leaf have always believed that a healthy active lifestyle, including healthy eating is the key to a longer, happier life.  We pride ourselves in providing our consumers and customers with a wealth of information that can help them to do just that.

Sarah Butland:  What advice do you have for children/adults who are hesitant to try seafood?

Clover Leaf: Seafood and fish play a crucial role in human health, including reducing the risk of heart disease while improving brain development and normal functioning. In order to get these and the many other benefits, why not start with one of Clover Leaf’s Re-Invent Fast Food recipes?  By replacing a fast-food cheeseburger with the Captain Burger with Bacon and Cheese, you’ll save calories and fat while getting the many benefits of tuna, not to mention how delicious it is!

Sarah Butland: You’ve dealt with Chef Michael P Clive previously on the Take 5 campaign. Since he has a musical background, has he written a jingle for your company yet?

Clover Leaf: No. But we love Michael’s passion for cooking and entertaining!

Sarah Butland: What was the inspiration for the easy open cans? When were they first introduced?

Clover Leaf: The stiff metal “Easy Open” lids with the pull ring have been around for more than a decade, though most canned seafood products do not have this feature.  However, within the past couple of years Clover Leaf has introduced “Easy Peel” lids on all of our Flavoured Tuna and Tuna Salad Kit products.  The easy peel lids are foil – somewhat like what you’d find on a yogurt container.  The pull tabs on these lids allow anyone to open these delicious products quickly and easily.  Clover Leaf is the only canned seafood brand in Canada to offer this convenience.

Sarah Butland: Is there anything else you’d like Canadians to take away from this campaign?

Clover Leaf: Much of the fast food out there is low on nutrition and high in fat, calories, and sodium – and it’s often served in very large portions. By replacing those fast food favourites with Clover Leaf’s ‘Reinvent Fast Food’ recipes, you can lose weight and get the heart-healthy benefits of fish. Remember – you can lose up to 7.5 pounds in the course of a year if you eliminate just 500 calories from your diet every week!

Major thanks to Clover Leaf for their effort and support in encouraging Canadians to make the healthy choice, whenever possible.  And thanks to them for asking me to share this information with all of you.

And, of course, thank you for reading!

Sarah Butland

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