Selecting Perfect Mussels

Hy-Vee is constantly striving to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities, and the global environment. That’s why we offer Responsible Choice seafood at our Hy-Vee Seafood counters.

Our partners at J.P.’s Shellfish source Prince Edward Island (PEI) Mussels, which are rope-grown and farmed by dedicated mussel farmers who love what they do. Like any farmer, PEI Mussel farmers are the caretakers of their surrounding natural elements that provide them the opportunity to produce safe and healthy food.

Farming mussels is a detailed process that requires year-round commitment, knowledge, and patience. The farmers collect mussel seeds in the wild, sort them, grade them, place them into socks, and then bring the mussels back to the water. Farmers maintain their mussels for over a year or so until they’ve grown to market size. Once harvested, they are stripped from their socks, de-clumped, cleaned, have their beards removed, and are visually inspected. All of this is done very gently to protect this live seafood.

For more in-depth information about PEI’s rope grown blue mussels, click here.

Learn more about how to select mussels at your local Hy-Vee:

 

Anova – Swordfish

Swordfish, also named as the “Gladiator” because of its sharp bill, is a highly migratory large fish that is found in tropical and temperate waters across the globe.  Swordfish are known to use their sharp “sword” to hunt and feed on other offshore species like squid and octopus.

Anova swordfish is responsibly sourced from the warm, clear waters of the Western Central Pacific Ocean (FAO Fishing Area 71).  Our swordfish is sustainably harvested by artisanal, hand line fisherman in Vietnam.  The one man / one fish hand line method is the most responsible way to fish as it has very little impact on the environment and no by-catch of other species.

The Vietnam, hand-line swordfish fishery is rated GREEN – “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and is a Hy-Vee – Responsible Choice.

In addition, this fishery is participating in a public and credible fishery improvement project with the goal of becoming MSC certified by the end of 2019.

 

 

Aquaculture in Central Iowa

Barramundi FarmVeroBlue Farms is working to become North America’s largest land-based, indoor aquaculture company. Through its Iowa’s First Hub located in Webster City, Iowa, VeroBlue Farms is expanding its production of the barramundi fish species through a new urban farm with approximately 7.2 million pounds of production per year. VeroBlue Farms is North America’s largest land-based, indoor aquaculture company raising 5 million pounds of Barramundi a year.

Barramundi is a freshwater fish species found in tropical and semi-tropical regions ranging from the Persian Gulf to China. It can be found as far south as Australia, and as far north as India. Barramundi scored extremely high on the NuVal scoring system (mid-80s or higher), and was rated as a Green “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Barramundi is known for its firm, white and succulent flesh. It has a moist, fine-grained texture and mild flavor. This nutritious fish is low in fat and high in protein. One barramundi fillet provides the same omega-3 content as approximately 17 steaks, making this fish one of the best sources to improve heart health.Barramundi Fish

Iowa’s First Hub is a family-run operation working to provide a fresh, sustainable product from America’s heartland. Using a recirculating system from VeroBlue Farms, referred to as opposing flows technology, the system utilizes air to circulate the water in the culture tank. The system is designed to create two opposing flows of water that create compressed air being introduced on each side of the tank. Check out this YouTube video for a virtual walk-through of the farm. And because they’re raised in a self-contained environment, our barramundi have no impact on the world’s oceans. They possess all the benefits without the negatives of fish from the oceans, such as mercury, PCBs, dioxins and other contaminants.

At Hy-Vee, we are proud to support one of Iowa’s aquaculture leaders providing farm-to-table seafood. It is exciting that the operation is located in one of our very own Hy-Vee communities, right in the heart of our home state. The fish are grown in an environmentally friendly and sustainable setting which allows us to consistently offer our customers a high-quality and fresh product year-round.

A True Alaskan Delicacy

In Alaska, Tanner crab – or Bairdi snow crab, as the industry calls it – is a one-of-kind shellfish that’s simple yet distinctive, with delicately sweet, snow-white flesh that explains its tremendous value and widespread popularity.  The trademark big bright orange clusters guarantee a memorable presentation. It is much larger and packs a much sweeter, richer flavor than its cousin, the Opilio snow crab. Many Alaska fisherman believe Bairdi crab is the best-tasting of all the Alaskan crab species.

The Bairdi crab has always been harvested from the same areas in the Bering Sea off Alaska. It is targeted along with Opilio snow crab using traps and pots. The crab is then identified and separated as Opilio and Bairdi. One quick way to determine difference is its eye color. Bairdi crab has red eyes and Opilio has green eyes.

For years Bairdi was not marketed in the U.S. because of low quotas and competition with the Opilio snow crab. Thanks to careful management practices, increased awareness and new quotas, customers can now find Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Bairdi snow crab plentiful and featured in their local Hy-Vee stores.

Arctic Circle Salmon

The Copper River and Bristol Bay are world-class Alaska salmon fisheries. This week, your local Hy-Vee is featuring keta salmon from a fishery north of the Arctic Circle.

The species has experienced a surge in population in recent years with stable water conditions and water levels. This has produced larger harvest quotas and lower retail prices for customers, making keta salmon grow in popularity.

Fed by the pristine waters of the Noatak, Selawik and Kobuk Rivers, the nutrient-rich Kotzebue Sound provides an ideal habitat for ocean-caught keta. The Arctic keta fishery located here is integral to the community of Kotzebue, largely comprised of the Inupiat people, who have inhabited the region of Kotzebue since at least the 15th century. Kotzebue residents depend on subsistence fishing for their personal use and commercial fishing for income. Fishing has traditionally been the lifeblood of the community, and salmon are revered as a most precious resource.

 

Hy-Vee has partnered with Copper River Seafoods to help support the community and livelihood of the native residents by promoting this sustainable resource of wild keta salmon.

Arctic keta salmon are distinguished by their exceptionally high-quality taste, bright color, firm texture and high omega-3 fat content.  It’s the ideal salmon for those who prefer a milder flavor salmon and will complement any marinade or sauce. This salmon is great for grilling or cooking over a fire. It’s also great for smoking and serving cold in salads, sandwiches, dips and spreads.

Stop at your local Hy-Vee and try some of the finest keta salmon Alaska can provide. Every purchase will help support the fishermen of Kotzebue and their community.

Photo credit: Alsaka Seafood Marketing Institute & Copper River Seafood

Seafood Summer

The American Heart Association recommends that we eat seafood at least twice a week. Seafood is a protein option that is packed with nutrients that may impact your health in a positive way – and it tastes great, too! Eating seafood may help manage your blood sugars, lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure. So, what’s in seafood that gives it all this power? Omega-3 which is the healthy fat that we want to be consuming in our diet. Having a diet rich in omega-3 helps manage weight and lower triglycerides. Fatty fish such as salmon will help lower cholesterol by increasing HDL levels in the blood. Seafood also contains many essential vitamins including A, E, D and C.

If you or a family member haven’t found a favorite fish, try it in something like fish tacos! Everyone loves tacos and it is an easy way to incorporate seafood in your weekly diet. Look below for a healthy fish taco recipe featuring our Hy-Vee seafood of the month: Rainforest Tilapia. Look for other Responsible Choice seafood at your local Hy-Vee.

 

Fish Tacos

All you need:

For the fish:
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
4 Hy-Vee Rainforest Tilapia filets
1 tbsp oil
1 package La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Small Tortillas
Red cabbage, shredded, if desired
Avocado, diced, if desired

For the Chipotle Lime Cream Sauce:
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup Bolthouse Farms Sweet Heat Sriracha Yogurt Dressing
1 tbsp lime juice

Suggested toppings:
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced radish
Shredded romaine lettuce

All you do:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Sprinkle both sides of each fish fillet evenly with the seasoning.
  2. Prepare Chipotle Lime Cream Sauce: Mix all ingredients together until smooth and chill until ready to eat.
  3. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lay fish fillets in a pan and cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until fish begins to flake. Remove pan from heat and flake the fish with a fork. Serve fish on warm small tortillas, topping with red cabbage, avocado and Chipotle Lime Cream Sauce. Enjoy!

Mt. Cook Salmon

With sustainable practices and traceable fishing methods, Mt. Cook’s approach to environmental care makes it an industry leader. And then, of course, there’s the quality of the fish. The company’s experts prefer to feed the salmon by hand. This allows them to observe the health and well-being of each fish, and ensures the fish are fed at the correct nutritional levels. As a result, the salmon are fit and health0y, have the perfect amount of fat and a delicate texture and clean taste.

Grilling With Salmon This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend will soon be upon us and that means it’s time to dust off the grill and officially welcome the (unofficial) beginning of summer. Just because you’re deciding to cook out doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice a health-conscious menu. Ditch the burgers and hot dogs and switch them out for something you’ll be thanking yourself for later: seafood.

Seafood makes a wonderful main dish that works great with fresh ingredients like corn, tomatoes and grilled vegetables. Salmon particularly is great for grilling. The natural oils in salmon keep it moist but also create a slight crispiness on the outside. Salmon has a mild and refreshing taste that is different from the regular fishy taste you may find in other seafood. It also has impressive health benefits and has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease.

Still not convinced you want salmon as the main attraction at your grill out? Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein. The proteins found in salmon and other fish are easily digestible and absorbed in the body and they do not contain carcinogenic compounds like some other meats do. Stop by your local Hy-Vee seafood department for your salmon and try this healthy recipe to start the warm summer months off right.


Hearty Salmon Skewers over Brown Rice

Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Serves: 4

All you need:

1 pound salmon, cut into ½ inch cubes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and paprika (to taste)
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup pineapple, cubed
1 lemon
2 cups cooked brown rice
8 skewers

All you do:

  1. Coat salmon with topping of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika or any desired spice.
  2. Slide piece of salmon onto skewer, then tomato, then pineapple. Repeat 3 times on each skewer (or until skewer is full).
  3. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally and carefully. Squeeze lemon on skewers as they are cooking. Take skewers off when salmon is browned and cooked through.
  4. To serve, place ½ cup rice on plates with 2 skewers on top. Squeeze a bit of lemon, if desired.

Wild Alaska Salmon Season

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice wild salmon, caught from Alaska’s Copper River, will be some of the very first salmon to arrive in stores when the fresh wild season opens this week. The first 24-hour opener is set to open on May 17.  This yearly event attracts media attention and draws foodies from around the globe. The celebration kicks off with the first fish arriving in Seattle aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing jet, a plane that features a huge mural image of salmon along the entire length of the jet.

The consumer demand for this product has grown each year with foodies who shop at Hy-Vee eagerly waiting for the first salmon to arrive in their local store. The pure, pristine environment of the Copper River helps create an omega-3 powerhouse. Copper River salmon begin their journey 300 miles downstream at the mouth of the Copper River, then make the long trek up through fast currents and unspoiled glacial-fed waters to reach their spawning grounds. This trek requires the salmon to store extra energy in the form of fat. The one-of-a-kind flavor and texture generated from this fat makes any seafood lover’s mouth water. It is truly some of the highest prized salmon in the world.

The Copper River takes its name from the rich copper deposits found along its banks. This massive body of water has 13 major tributaries, is 1 mile wide and runs at 7 miles per hour. The Copper River is the 10th-largest river in the United States, and is home to some of the finest, well-managed salmon stocks in the world. Alaska’s successful management practices are considered a model of sustainability for the rest of the world. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game monitors fish populations at several points along the Copper River and counts salmon heading up the river to ensure that an adequate number migrate to spawning grounds to reproduce each year. Policies like this have helped Alaska maintain one of the world’s most abundant sources of delicious wild seafood for generations to come. This is why we proudly place our Hy-Vee Responsible Choice label on wild Alaska salmon.