Seafood Eco-Certifications

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Hy-Vee’s goal is to provide seafood that is not only safe for our customers but also is harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term sustainability while minimizing damage to the environment. Seafood buyers and suppliers prefer to source seafood from third-party-certified facilities for a variety of environmentally and socially responsible policy reasons. The three eco-certification programs detailed below are the most commonly accepted under Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy. These certifications have been benchmarked to the Seafood Watch standard that makes up the foundation of the policy and have been found to be equivalent to a Yellow ‘Good Alternative’ at a minimum.

These certifications are:

  1. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
    • For wild fisheries only
    • Eligible species are: all wild-caught species
  2. The MSC standards were developed through consultation with the fishing industry, scientists, conservation groups, experts and stakeholders. These standards detail the requirements for fisheries to be certified as sustainable and for businesses to trade in certified seafood. Fisheries and seafood businesses voluntarily seek certification against the relevant standards. These standards meet international best practice guidelines for certification and eco-labeling.

  3. Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
    • For farmed species only
    • Eligible species are: shrimp, pangasius (swai), bivalves
  4. The ASC’s primary role is to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, which were developed by the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues. ASC works with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and food-service companies, scientists, conservation groups and consumers to recognize and reward responsible aquaculture through the ASC aquaculture certification program and seafood label. Their hope is to provide the best environmental and social choice when buying seafood and to contribute to transforming seafood markets towards sustainability.

  5. Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Administered by the Global Aquaculture Alliance
    • For farmed species only
    • Eligible species are: shrimp (2-star, 3-star or 4-star certified), pangasius (swai), mussels
  6. BAP standards encompass the entire aquaculture production chain, including farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills. All standards address every key element of responsible aquaculture, including environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability. The seafood processing plant standards are benchmarked against the latest Global Food Safety Initiative food safety requirements. A market development team actively promotes the BAP program to retailers and food-service operators worldwide on behalf of BAP-certified facilities.

Responsible Choice Shrimp with Blue Moon Glaze

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz Blue Moon beer
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • juice of ½ lemon 8 oz Responsible Choice raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • steamed rice or quinoa, for serving

All you do:

  1. Saute garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add beer and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in honey, sriracha and lemon juice; simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  5. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Tip: If the sauce hasn’t thickened enough after the shrimp has cooked, remove the shrimp to a separate bowl and reduce the liquid until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Seafood Watch Upgrades Louisiana Wild Shrimp from Red “Avoid” to Yellow “Good Alternative”

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Last month, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program removed Louisiana shrimp caught with otter trawls from its “Avoid” list. The Seafood Watch program now lists Louisiana shrimp the same as it does nearly all other Gulf of Mexico shrimp caught using otter trawls – as a Yellow, “Good Alternative.”

Seafood Watch had recommended in 2013 that consumers avoid the wild shrimp caught by Louisiana fishers because of the state law banning the enforcement of turtle-excluder devices on all shrimp trawls. Often referred to as TEDs, the devices create an opening in shrimp nets to allow trapped turtles to escape before they drown. There are five species of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, and all are protected under the Endangered Species Act. They are loggerhead, green, Kemp’s Ridley, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill on July 1 repealing a 1987 state law that prohibited Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents from enforcing federal turtle-excluder device regulations. The Louisiana House approved the bill last month 100-0. This change prompted the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to upgrade Louisiana shrimp caught with otter trawls as a “Good Alternative.”

You’ll find Wild Gulf peeled and deveined Responsible Choice shrimp and other shrimp varieties in our weekly ads throughout the month of August. Just ask your friendly Hy-Vee Seafood team for more information.

Responsible Choice Gulf Shrimp, Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Serves 4.
Shrimp Watermelon Feta Salad
All you need:

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 pound Responsible Choice cooked peeled and deveined Gulf shrimp with tails on
  • ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups spring mix
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 oz crumbled feta cheese

All you do:

  1. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey and jalapeno pepper in a large bowl. Add shrimp, onion and mint; toss well. Add watermelon, tossing very gently; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix greens together and divide among 4 serving plates; top with shrimp mixture and chopped avocado. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.

Hy-Vee-backed bill to combat illegal fishing passes U.S. House

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

Legislation designed to crack down on illegal fishing that threatens seafood sustainability in some U.S. waters has cleared an important hurdle but faces another before becoming law.

Hy-Vee is among a contingent of retailers, environmental groups and industry leaders supporting House File 774: the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015.

The measure passed on a voice vote July 27 and now heads for consideration in the United States Senate.

The bipartisan legislation is designed to:

  • Strengthen enforcement by building domestic capacity for monitoring and identifying illegal fishing.
  • Create stiffer penalties for vessels caught illegally fishing in U.S. waters
  • Implement legislation needed for the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Port States Measures Agreement, an international treaty to close ports to foreign vessels engaged in illegal fishing and help prevent illicitly caught seafood from entering legitimate seafood markets. Fourteen of a required 25 countries must ratify the agreement, which the United States Senate approved in April 2014.

To learn more about ways to address illegal fishing, visit FishWise’s Traceability & IUU Fishing Resources.

Responsible Choice Seafood + Wine: A Winning Combination

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

Cooking Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood with wine can add a new dimension to the fish, enhancing flavors and adding new ones.

When I cook seafood with wine, I suggest to look for wine that cuts through the richness of the fish or one that has complementary flavors. Remember, it’s only the alcohol content that diminishes when cooking, not the flavor of the wine. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t drink the wine, don’t cook with it. It’s best to avoid wines that are labeled as cooking wine because they are often salty and can incorporate some different herbs and spices that will make your attempts at more adventurous cuisine fall flat.

For Responsible Choice Shrimp Risotto, a Spanish Albarino is a great match. It has notes of ripe apples, apricots and peach aromas. This wine is rich, mellow and well-balanced. The fully rounded aftertaste of this Spanish wine is off dry on the palate with juicy fruit flavors, clean acidity, and a long mineral finish. One of my favorites is Burgans Albarino, which is the name of the hill where the winery Bodegas Martin Codax is located in Spain. It is open to the Ria de Arousa, the sea coming inside the land and offers seafood, like oysters, mussels, and shrimp. This wine is now rated 91 points by Wine Spectator. Cheers!

Shrimp Risotto with Peas and Parmesan

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine, divided
  • 3 cups seafood stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined (16 – 20 count) Responsible Choice wild-caught Gulf shrimp
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced and 1 wedged
  • Lemon thyme, for garnish

All you do:

  1. For the risotto, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter for 3 minutes. Add rice, cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup white wine and 1 cup stock. Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Gradually stir in the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup.
  3. Once liquid is incorporated and rice is el dente, fold in the Parmesan and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until shrimp are done.
  4. To sauté shrimp, heat remaining tablespoon oil and remaining tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp. Season with lemon pepper seasoning and a little salt. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with remaining 1/4 cup wine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon and continue to cook for another minute.
  6. To serving, place a bed of risotto on each plate. Top each with 6 to 8 shrimp. Garnish with thyme and a lemon wedge.

Seared Responsible Choice Scallops with Corn Tomato Salad

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:Scallop Corn Tomato Salad

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 Responsible Choice sea scallops, small side muscle removed, patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ears sweet corn, slightly charred on grill, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and small diced
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp garlic-flavored olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 2 cups baby arugula

All you do:

  1. To make the scallops, heat 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 Responsible Choice sea scallops to the pan, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the 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.
  3. To make the corn tomato salad, cut corn off the cob and place in a bowl.
  4. Add cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, thyme, olive oil and lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. To plate, drizzle balsamic glaze on a serving platter and top with baby arugula, corn salad and finish with the seared scallops.
    Serve immediately.

What is the Warm Blob?

by John Rohrs | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching an expanse of extraordinarily warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could affect marine life. The warm spot – coined the “Warm Blob” by meteorologists – appeared nearly two years ago. The longer it stays, the greater impact it will have on ocean life from jellyfish to salmon, researchers say.

The water in the Warm Blob is about five degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the typical ocean temperature. Marine animals from Mexico to Alaska are impacted and it may be altering weather across the continent.

Although five degrees may not seem like a lot, the concern stems from the fact that the Warm Blob has grown from a small patch of water to 500 miles across, and is the largest and longest-lasting temperature difference on record.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly what caused the blob, but they think it may have links to the California drought. The temperature change also has caused creatures from tropical and temperate zones to wander north into places where they’re not usually found, and others that normally stay far out at sea have ventured closer to the coast, according to a Seattle Times article.

Changes in sea surface temperature can alter marine ecosystems. For example, variations in ocean temperature will affect what species of plants, animals and microbes are present in a location, change migration and breeding patterns, and threaten sensitive ocean life such as corals. Also, because the oceans continuously interact with the atmosphere, sea surface temperature can also have profound effects on global climate. Increases in sea surface temperature have led to an increase in the amount of water vapor over the oceans, increasing the risk of heavy rain and snow. Changes in sea surface temperature can also shift storm tracks, contributing to droughts in some places.

To read more about the Warm Blob phenomenon, click on this recent article from Discovery:

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Tempura Cod with Cilantro Lime Yogurt

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

Serves 4

All you need:Tempura Cod Cilantro Lime Yogurt

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 (5.3 oz each) containers Hy-Vee plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups Hy-Vee club soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 (5 oz. each) Responsible Choice cod fillets, patted dry
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pound assorted seasonal vegetables, such as squash, portabella mushrooms and green beans, sliced into strips, patted dry if necessary
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish, optional
  • Thinly sliced radish for garnish, optional

All you do:

  1. Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven or deep fryer.
  2. To make the yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, lime juice, lime zest and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To prepare the tempura batter, whisk cake flour, club soda, beaten eggs and cayenne until just combined. Let rest for 2 minutes.
  4. To fry the fish, dredge each piece of fish in batter and let excess drip off. Carefully place in hot oil and fry for about 4 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Season with salt immediately after removing fish from hot oil. For best results, fry in batches and keep warm on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a warm oven.
  5. To fry vegetables, dredge vegetable in batter and let excess drip off. Carefully place in hot oil and fry until lightly golden brown. Season with salt immediately after removing vegetables from hot oil. For best results, fry in batches and keep warm on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a warm oven.
  6. Discard leftover batter.
  7. Serve fried cod and vegetables with yogurt sauce and lime wedges and garnish with cilantro and thinly sliced radishes, if desired.

Chef’s note: To make this a beer batter, simply replace the club soda with your favorite beer. Tempura is a light, Japanese dish of battered fish, vegetables or seafood. Frying is typically done in a wok, using chop sticks to move the food around. Don’t forget to serve the crispy bits alongside of the fish. I suggest serving this light seasonal dish with a buttery Chardonnay, such as Butter from JAM Cellars, or a good lager.

Seafood Documentaries You May Want To See

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Videos | Leave a comment

As a reader of Seafoodies, we know you care about responsibly sourced seafood. Hy-Vee works with FishWise to ensure that all efforts are supporting conservation through environmentally responsible business practices. Education is a large piece of our efforts. Hy-Vee strives to educate their employees and customers about seafood quality, safety and sustainability.

When you have time to enjoy a documentary, we recommend the following to expand your knowledge about the problems and challenges of our beautiful ocean ecosystems.

  1. Empty Oceans, Empty Nets
    According to, Empty Oceans, Empty Nets explores the marine fisheries crisis and the pioneering efforts of fishermen, scientists and communities to sustain and restore these fisheries and our oceans. An ongoing international debate surrounds the complex problems and how best to solve them. Understanding why some fisheries are thriving while some are in most serious decline may be the key to averting an impending food crisis.

  2. The Last Ocean
    This film received many accolades throughout the industry. The film’s synopsis from the website: “The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Californian ecologist David Ainley has been traveling to the Ross Sea to study this unique ecosystem for more than 30 years. He has written scientific papers describing it as a “living laboratory.” Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea and is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in restaurants around the world.

    Please read about Hy-Vee’s Ross Sea pledge and decision to discontinue Chilean sea bass.

  3. The Breach
    The website says, “When fishing guide and filmmaker Mark Titus learns why wild salmon populations plummeted in his native Pacific Northwest, he embarks on a journey to discover where the fish have gone and what might bring them back. Along the way, Titus unravels a trail of human hubris, historical amnesia and potential tragedy looming in Alaska – all conspiring to end the most sustainable wild food left on the planet.”

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