Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood is 100% responsibly sourced

by Jason Pride | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

In 2011, Hy-Vee ambitiously committed to sourcing our fresh and frozen seafood from environmentally responsible sources and to improving the traceability of our seafood by the end of 2015. In keeping with our sustainability mission to promote the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment, we recognized our responsibility to work with others to improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture.

To better achieve this goal, we partnered with FishWise, an environmental nonprofit that promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems and the people that depend on them through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

We are proud to announce that as of December 2015, 100% of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced. This is a 38% increase from when we publicly announced the responsible sourcing commitment in January 2014.

“When we hold ourselves accountable, we force ourselves to be great,” said Nate Stewart, former vice president of perishables and current senior vice president of Hy-Vee’s northern region. “Our customers are smart, and we have to earn their trust every day. We owe it to them to uphold our standards and provide them with what they deserve, which is safe and sustainable seafood.”

Hy-Vee has transitioned 4.9 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources since the partnership with FishWise began in 2011. Here are some of the important sourcing transitions we have made over the past five years:

  • Salmon: All of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label farmed salmon is responsibly sourced and is Seafood Watch Green- or Yellow-rated. We also offer Green-rated wild Alaskan salmon.
  • Shrimp: By engaging in certification strengthening and encouraging shrimp farmers to improve, we were able to source 100% of our fresh and private label frozen farmed shrimp from responsible sources.
  • King Crab: In 2012, Hy-Vee transitioned sourcing to 100% Alaskan king crab and started the highly successful annual Alaskan king crab leg promotion.
  • Yellowfin Tuna: Hy-Vee’s transition to handline fisheries and MSC-certified fisheries for imported yellowfin tuna resulted in 100% responsibly sourcing of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label tuna.

Being an industry leader in sustainable seafood means extending our work beyond our direct procurement and engaging with other major retailers, environmental and social NGOs and industry to address the issue of traceability and illegal fishing in global seafood supply chains. In support of legal and traceable seafood in the United States, we publicly supported the passage of federal legislation that addresses illegal fishing and cracks down on human trafficking. Following the FDA’s recent approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon, we reaffirmed our stance against GE seafood and promised our customers that GE seafood has no place in our stores. Hy-Vee will continue to strive to deliver high quality, responsibly sourced seafood to our customers. We will continue to participate in the leading conversations that are helping to drive improvements industry-wide. When you purchase Hy-Vee seafood, you are supporting best practices that will help to ensure a healthy supply of seafood for generations to come.

New Year, New You: Boost Your Immune System and Overall Health with Responsible Choice Seafood

by Mike Linde | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Hello, Seafoodies! Each New Year, many people make resolutions to get healthy and eat better. Hy-Vee takes pride in helping customers achieve their health and wellness goals. Our in-store dietitians offer many services that can help you.

Eating seafood can truly make a substantial improvement in overall health. Generally, seafood is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a wide range of health benefits that come from the vast stockpiles of minerals, vitamins and organic compounds it contains. Choosing Responsible Choice seafood items ensures that you are consuming the best possible option when it comes to seafood items.

Here are six great health benefits of consuming seafood this year:

  1. Weight Loss – If you compare serving sizes, seafood offers some of the lowest calories per serving. Low in calories and high in protein – you’ll get more health benefits with fewer calories by consuming seafood.
  2. Protein Content – Protein intake ensures proper metabolic activity, tissue repair, cellular growth and a wide variety of necessary aspects of health. Proteins are some of the most essential parts of our diets and seafood is a very strong source.
  3. Heart Health – Packed with omega 3s and low amounts of omega 6 fatty acids, seafood can help greatly reduce cholesterol and reduce the overall strain on the cardiovascular system as a whole. Look for Responsible Choice seafood items such as salmon, cod, barramundi and many more.
  4. Wound Healing – Seafood high in zinc, such as oysters, can quicken wound healing rates and is also important for proper growth and development of children and young adults, as well as the maintenance of bodily function for people of all ages.
  5. Blood Circulation – Iron is a key component in the formation of red blood cells in the body, and is the primary defense against anemia. Iron is common in seafood and is highest in oysters and shrimp. Iron ultimately helps bodies function efficiently and boosts the overall metabolic rate.
  6. Immune Function – Properly feeding the immune system boosts its fighting power. Seafood high in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and other minerals can have a positive effect on your immune system and help keep you healthy.

Stop by your Hy-Vee and ask your store’s dietitian for help in developing a plan to incorporate Responsible Choice seafood into your diet to live a happier, healthier you. Healthy you, healthy oceans; now that is a Responsible Choice!

Recipe spotlight: Responsible Choice Crab Gnocchi

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:

  • 2 (16 oz each) pkg gnocchi
  • 1 pound Responsible Choice fresh crab meat, picked
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz Havarti cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and place in a 9-by-13-inch pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Stir in crab meat.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat, and whisk in flour. Whisk in lemon zest, garlic and milk until smooth and warmed through.
  4. Stirring constantly, add Gruyere cheese, Havarti cheese, 1/4 cup parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over gnocchi and crab and mix until incorporated.
  5. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over gnocchi.
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until edges are bubbly. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parsley before serving.

Responsible Choice, Fair Trade Tuna

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Fair Trade Certified logoThis month Hy-Vee is proud to promote our Responsible Choice Natural Blue Frozen Handline Caught Yellowfin Tuna Steaks. What sets this apart from similar products is the fact it is Fair Trade Certified.

Hy-Vee partnered with Anova Seafood to supply our Natural Blue Brand Tuna Steaks. Anova’s product is the first tuna steak in the world to be Fair Trade Certified. This is another great step toward seafood sustainability throughout the industry.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a simple way to make every purchase matter. When consumers purchase a product with the Fair Trade Certified™ label, they know the fishermen and workers in the production process received a fair contract for their hard work. These contracts provide better prices and wages, safer working conditions and environmental protection. The communities also receive premiums to assist with community development, helping with necessary projects like education, health care and clean water.

How will fishermen and fisheries benefit from Fair Trade practices?

  • More Resilient Livelihoods in Coastal Communities: Fair Trade standards ensure safe working and living conditions and equitable prices.
  • Greater Access to Capital: Fishermen can use Fair Trade Premiums to invest in projects that improve the welfare of the community.
  • Enhanced Environmental Stewardship: Fair Trade criteria include responsible resource management and ecosystem protection.

For additional information on this Fair Trade program, read more on the program’s website.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Oysters Rockefeller with Kale and Goat Cheese

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

Serves 6 (2 oysters each).

All you need:

  • Rock salt
  • 12 fresh Responsible Choice oysters, on the half shell
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (4 oz) pkg Hy-Vee herbs & garlic goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee panko bread crumbs, divided
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tabasco sauce, optional

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Spread enough rock salt in a baking pan to cover the bottom evenly. Arrange oysters in the salt to steady them; set aside.
  3. In a sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil until shimmering. Sauté kale for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Season with salt. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in goat cheese.
  4. Top each oyster with 1 teaspoon filling and sprinkle each oyster with 1/2 teaspoon panko bread crumbs.
  5. Bake 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and Tabasco, if desired.

Seared Responsible Choice Scallops with Chimichurri

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:
ScallopsSeared Scallop Chimichurri Pineapple

  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 Responsible Choice sea scallops, small side muscle removed, patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup lightly packed chopped Italian parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp chile pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 3 tbsp sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices grilled pineapple

All you do:

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear scallops for 1 minute on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.


  1. Place parsley, garlic, chile flakes, oregano, thyme, shallot, vinegar and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and pulse until well chopped. Slowly pour in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chimichurri should be roughly chopped. Set aside.
  2. To serve, lay 4 slices of grilled pineapple on large plate, top with seared scallops and drizzle with chimichurri sauce. Serve immediately.

Alaska Crab Sale: Eat Like a King!

by Mike Linde | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Hello, Seafoodies! Last week Hy-Vee kicked off the annual crab sale, the absolute best time of the year to pick up some of Alaska’s most prized and sustainable resource. Alaska crab fisheries are one of the best managed wild fisheries in the world. As a result, all Alaska crab sold by Hy-Vee is labeled with our Responsible Choice logo.

King crab is measured by the number of king crab legs, excluding claws, it would take to reach 10 pounds of meat. For example, 6- to 9-count king crab legs would take between six and nine crab legs to weigh 10 pounds. That is more than one pound per leg. Wow!

In Alaska, crab is king! No other shellfish in the world projects a more elegant image or offers such widespread appeal than Alaska King Crab. Harvested from the icy waters of Alaska, this shellfish is always sweet, succulent and flavorful. It is also nutritious, low in fat and is unmatched for its natural rich flavor and tender texture. The largest and most impressive of all the crabs caught in the world, Alaska King Crab lends itself to a variety of attractive plate presentations from appetizers, chowders and soups to main course entrees. You and your guests are going to love it!

Celebrate the holidays this year with Responsible Choice Alaska King Crab and eat like a king!

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Spicy Quinoa Crab Cakes

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

Responsible Choice Spicy Quinoa Crab Cakes

All you need:


  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sugar

Crab Cake:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Egg Beaters egg substitute
  • 8 oz Responsible Choice fresh crab meat
  • ½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • Chipotle mayonnaise or sriracha mayonnaise, for serving.

All you do:

  1. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil; set aside.
  2. To make seasoning, combine black pepper, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper and sugar; set aside.
  3. Combine water, and quinoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Drain. Cool.
  4. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and egg substitute. Stir in 1½ teaspoons of seasoning mixture.
  5. Combine crab, quinoa, breadcrumbs, garlic, red bell pepper, celery and green onion in bowl. Fold in yogurt mixture.
  6. Form into 2- to 3-ounce patties. Place on prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat broiler to high. Sprinkle remaining ½ teaspoon seasoning on top of crab cakes. Spray top of crab cake with canola oil spray and bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown. Flip crab cakes over and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  8. Serve with chipotle mayo or sriracha mayo, if desired.

Seafood Waste: In Numbers

by Kenan Judge | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

It’s a hard number to stomach, but nearly half of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year. Most of the waste stems from consumers, while additional waste is due to bycatch – catching unintended species of fish, turtles and other creatures and discarding them. A smaller percentage is lost in distribution and retail operations.

These findings come from new research by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), published in the November issue of Global Environmental Change.

“Food waste in general is a source of concern at Hy-Vee,” said Pat Hensley, senior vice president of governmental affairs. “We’re continuously working to combat the issue. Our focus is on working with our suppliers and employees to match supply and demand and to identify other methods of reducing shrink. Given the value of seafood, both economically and a source of healthy protein, anything we can do to reduce waste is time well invested.”

Hy-Vee is not alone in its concerns about the sustainability of the world’s seafood resources. In the U.S. and around the world, people are being advised to eat more seafood, but overfishing, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of fish for other purposes besides human consumption threaten the global seafood supply.

The Johns Hopkins study analyzed the seafood waste issue by focusing on the amount of seafood lost annually at each stage of the food supply chain and at the consumer level. It found that the amount wasted each year is roughly 2.3 billion pounds. Of that waste, the study found that 330 million pounds are lost in distribution and retail, 573 million pounds are lost when commercial fishers catch the wrong species of fish and then discard it (bycatch) and a staggering 1.3 billion pounds are lost at the consumer level.

For more information, you can read details of the study here: and here

Recipe Spotlight: Linguini with Responsible Choice Alaska Snow Crab in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Linguini with Responsible Choice Alaska Snow Crab in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
Serves 4 (1 cup each).

All you need:

  • 1 pound box Hy-Vee linguini
  • 1 tbsp Hy-Vee olive oil
  • 4 oz Hy-Vee double smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Hy-Vee unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 pounds shell on Responsible Choice Alaska Snow Crab Clusters, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shredded Hy-Vee Parmesan cheese

All you do:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and boil until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water; set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat; add bacon and cook until browned and crisp. Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon and allow to drain; set aside.
  3. Return sauté pan to medium heat and add butter, garlic and shallot and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Increase heat to high and add crab and wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until crab is bright red and heated through and sauce is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add pasta, reserved cooking liquid, reserved bacon, parsley, chives, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and juice and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer pasta to a serving dish and top with Parmesan cheese.
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