Hy-Vee customers who love oysters can feel confident that they are making a Responsible Choice when buying wild oysters from the fisheries of U.S. Gulf of Mexico states. The Gulf of Mexico is a well-managed area, and because oysters are often eaten raw, the beds are constantly monitored to make sure their oysters are safe to harvest and consume. All Hy-Vee’s shucked oysters are considered a Responsible Choice, so rest assured that you are purchasing a fresh product that was harvested in a manner that is also safe for the ecosystem.
Hy-Vee’s fresh shucked oysters vary in size and weight depending on season and harvest area. Our shucked oysters are sorted into three categories: standard, select and count. Our standard oysters are normal-sized oysters perfect for stews and stuffing. Select oysters are larger than normal and are great for stews and frying. Count oysters are the very largest of the harvest and are ideal for large fried oysters.
Each shipment of shucked oysters is inspected by our onsite U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) inspector at our warehouse in Ankeny, guaranteeing the highest quality and freshness throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region.
If you’re entertaining guests and serving oysters, consider offering beers that complement the oysters’ flavor. Brain Hoppe, a certified cicerone at our Hy-Vee South store in Iowa City, says stouts — Old-World Guinness may be a good one — have a rich caramel quality that accentuates the creamy aspect of seafood, making them the perfect match.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and have fun entertaining!
Responsible Choice seafood is a delicious and easy way to improve your health year-round, and it is a great way to bring a lighter dish to your holiday table.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming fish two times per week with servings of 3.5 ounces or about 3/4 cup of flaked fish. Seafood is naturally high in essential vitamins like A, E, D and C and minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and selenium. Seafood is also low in calories, and cholesterol in shellfish is equal to the amount of cholesterol in lean beef.
Yet traditional holiday dinners often include other main courses such as turkey, ham, roasts or prime rib. For a flavorful and nutritious dinner option, consider adding Responsible Choice seafood to your spread using fatty fish such as wild Alaska salmon, Hy-Vee Select canned pole and troll albacore tuna or U.S.-farmed rainbow trout. Fatty fish tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids which have several health benefits that may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation and assist with brain function. Most seafood has no saturated fat content, which will provide a great option for your guests watching their fat intake.
Don’t know how to add Responsible Choice seafood to your Christmas dinner? Here are a variety of delicious, healthy ideas:
- Marinate and grill in aluminum foil
- Use in casseroles instead of beef or chicken
- Use in sandwiches and salads for a lean protein
- Pan-fry in a small amount of olive oil with your favorite herbs and seasonings
- Use in a stir-fry with your favorite vegetables
- Incorporate into a light pasta dish
- Use in your favorite soup and stew recipes
Hy-Vee makes it easy for you to make these healthy choices for the holidays. Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood comes from the best, top-quality suppliers in the industry. Hy-Vee employs a full-time, in-house U.S. Department of Commerce federal inspector, and the seafood program is U.S. Federal Drug Administration and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point-approved. Our warehouse has fresh seafood arriving daily by plane or truck and it’s lot-inspected for quality and wholesomeness.
Look for Responsible Choice seafood at your local Hy-Vee today.
In efforts to better inform customers about our progress toward meeting our 2015 Responsible Sourcing Commitment this past year, we have added additional information and resources to the Responsible Choice section of our website.
One highlight: as of September 2014, 69 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private-label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable or involved in a time-bound improvement process for completion by year-end 2015. This is a seven percent improvement from an analysis made in March 2014.
We have also included information about the sourcing of our private-label Hy-Vee Select solid light tuna and Hy-Vee Select solid white albacore tuna. Canned tuna is one of the top three most-consumed seafood products in the United States and is in high demand. However, its popularity has also led to the decline of many tuna stocks in the world’s oceans and the use of poor fishing methods. Given these concerns, Hy-Vee recently unveiled these two new canned tuna products offering a Responsible Choice option for a popular product.
To promote healthy oceans and ensure long-term seafood supplies, Hy-Vee is actively encouraging many of its seafood suppliers to participate in fishery improvement project (FIPs). These are an important component of Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy as they provide a direct pathway for Hy-Vee to encourage supplier sustainability. Hy-Vee and its suppliers are involved in improvement projects for the following species: swordfish, wild shrimp, snapper, grouper and blue swimming crab.
We also added information on what customers can do to help save the oceans. Examples include purchasing Hy-Vee seafood with the Responsible Choice label and becoming educated about ocean sustainability research from other sources such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website.
We invite you to visit Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice website to review our progress, changes and additional information.
At Hy-Vee, we are determined to promote healthy oceans and ensure the long-term sustainability of the seafood supply, both in the United States and abroad. As a part of this commitment and our Responsible Choice initiative, we are proud to offer Belize shrimp to our customers.
Responsible Choice Belize shrimp are from farms in an area of the world with the ideal conditions for shrimp farming including perfect weather, clean water and farmers who care for the product. These shrimp are truly fresh out of the water. The shrimp’s processing contains no additives or preservatives, including no added water. In addition, the processing facility is only 10 minutes away from the farm, which is much closer than the industry standard of four to 12 hours. The combination of the production and processing standards means that you won’t find anything more natural or fresh than this shrimp.
With the holidays upon us, taste is especially important while entertaining. The shrimp have a unique taste, considered sweet by many customers’ palates. Belize shrimp will cook in half the time as typical shrimp, usually only about one to two minutes, due to their freshly harvested properties. When cooked, they turn a vibrant red color, darker than others you may have seen, which will make your shrimp dishes even more striking. To enjoy some of the best-tasting shrimp in the world, just use Belize shrimp in your favorite holiday shrimp recipes. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Mahi mahi has become a staple on restaurant menus and in grocery stores throughout the United States. Hy-Vee is excited to share this delicious fish with our customers by offering wild-caught Responsible Choice mahi mahi in our seafood cases daily. By selecting mahi mahi from Southstream Seafoods, Hy-Vee honors our Responsible Choice seafood initiative to provide a fresh and tasty product while also showing concern for food safety and the environment.
Hy-Vee’s mahi mahi is sourced from the coast of Ecuador using responsible catch methods essential to promoting environmental welfare. A special type of hook called a circle hook is used to catch the fish. Circle hooks, because of their shape, reduce the chance of catching non-target species like seabirds, sharks and sea turtles.
Over the past five years, management of the Ecuadorean mahi mahi fishery has improved significantly, adding measures such as size limits to prevent overfishing. Mahi mahi from Ecuador was recently upgraded from a Red “Avoid” to a Yellow “Good Alternative” according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Once caught, the mahi mahi is frozen within hours to ensure quality texture and flavor. Each fillet is then hand-cut for portion and quality control. From there, the product is shipped to and packaged in Everett, Massachusetts, and Hy-Vee trucks transport the product to Des Moines, Iowa. The mahi mahi is carefully reviewed by our full-time U.S. Department of Commerce inspector to ensure all quality, wholesomeness and weight requirements are met.
Each delicious serving of mahi mahi is low in calories and saturated fat, with the majority of the calories coming from protein. Six ounces of the fish offers more than 30 grams of protein. As an added benefit, it is a good source of vitamins B-12 and B-6, phosphorus, potassium, niacin and selenium. Mahi mahi is known for its lean and large flakes, mild flavor and usage in fish tacos.
If you enjoy delicious, quality wild salmon—Hy-Vee has great news to share. We have a large amount of Copper River sockeye salmon for our frozen supply this year, allowing us to offer it to you year-round. These fish originate from the world-famous Copper River, famous for the best salmon available anywhere. It’s all Responsible Choice and a testament to our commitment to responsibly source all fresh and Hy-Vee brand fish and seafood.
The Copper River or Ahtna River is a 300-mile river in south-central Alaska in the United States. It drains a large region of the Wrangell Mountains and Chugach Mountains into the Gulf of Alaska. It is known for its extensive delta ecosystem, as well as for its prolific runs of wild salmon, which are among the most highly prized stocks in the world. It is the tenth-largest river in the United States, as ranked by average discharge volume at its mouth. The longer the river, the richer the salmon!
Hailing from the swift, icy waters of Alaska’s Copper River are world-renowned king and sockeye salmon. It can be argued that Alaska’s Copper River sockeye are the finest sockeye salmon in the world. These amazing fish have an extremely high fat content, a high heart-healthy omega-3 content, and a rich flavor and deep ruby-red color. Copper River sockeye have a higher-than-average oil content due to the swift, cold waters of this mighty river.
Because this salmon is from Alaska, where sustainability of the seafood industry – the state’s largest employer – is so important it’s written into the state Constitution, our customers also have the satisfaction of knowing that the salmon comes from the best-managed fisheries in the world.
The Ross Sea in Antarctica is the least altered marine ecosystem on Earth, supporting exceptional abundances of organisms such as krill, penguins, fishes and marine mammals. It’s often referred to as the “Last Ocean” by scientists because of its remoteness and rich diversity of marine life.
This prolific ecosystem was essentially untouched by humans until 1996, when commercial fishing began for Antarctic toothfish, more commonly known as “Chilean sea bass.” The name “Chilean sea bass” is an acceptable market name for two different species: Patagonian toothfish and Antarctic toothfish. However, the only fishery for Antarctic toothfish is in the Ross Sea. Chilean sea bass are an important prey species for killer whales, sperm whales and Weddell seals.
Around 8% of the catch by weight in the Ross Sea Chilean sea bass fishery is “bycatch,” or non-target species accidentally caught during fishing operations. The bycatch often includes threatened or endangered species of grenadiers, skates and rays.
In support of the creation of a marine protected area in one of the world’s most isolated and pristine marine ecosystems, Hy-Vee pledged not to purchase Chilean sea bass from the Ross Sea. By signing the pledge, Hy-Vee supports creation of a Marine Protected Area to protect the area against commercial fishing and pollution. This initiative is broadly supported by governments, scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the fishing industry.
Hy-Vee is proud to give our word that we won’t be part of that developing problem and are, in fact, part of the solution.
For customers looking for an alternative to Chilean sea bass, Hy-Vee offers an excellent sustainable substitute with Alaska sablefish.
Walleye is a versatile, premium-quality, upscale delicacy and a Responsible Choice item for Hy-Vee customers. The fish has a lean, snowy white flesh, which flakes when cooked properly, and provides a sweet taste. We offer the fish in several different forms—fresh or frozen as a fillet or as a whole fish.
We source our walleye from La Nassa Foods, located in the heart of the Lake Erie fishing community in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. La Nassa first opened nearly 30 years ago as a seafood retail store in downtown Windsor, Ontario. Today, La Nassa Foods is a leader in the processing and distribution of freshwater fish, processing the finest Lake Erie fish landed daily by its fishing fleet.
La Nassa delivers its products to True World Cold Storage, where Hy-Vee then picks up the products and brings the fish back to PDI in Ankeny, Iowa, for U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) inspection and distribution. From the time it leaves La Nassa all the way to PDI and on to Hy-Vee stores, the walleye is temperature-controlled to provide the best possible quality.
Walleye is a seasonal item. The fish first becomes available in late May, but as the summer heat warms the lakes, the fish are driven down deeper to the cooler waters below. Walleye become available again in late September, October or even November, depending on temperatures and weather.
Responsible Choice walleye assures our customers that this choice is of the highest quality and that Hy-Vee and the companies we work with are committed to the global environment.
Responsible Choice Belize shrimp are produced from one of the most environmentally advanced eco-aquaculture systems in the world. As the name suggests, the farms are located in Belize and the physical location and the production method provide the ideal environment for shrimp farming – perfect weather, nutritious water and farmers who care for the product.
The ponds in which these shrimp are raised contain ocean seawater which is pumped directly from the Caribbean Sea. Belize Aquaculture has a “Best Aquaculture Practices” or “BAP” 3 star rating, which is one step from the highest rating. This has been achieved in part thanks to advanced education and training, and has helped to raise industry standards in minimizing the impact on coastal waters and wildlife.
The shrimp have a sweet and succulent taste unique to only them, a characteristic resulting from their diet. They have are no additives or preservatives, including no added water. These shrimp are just how they should be—“fresh out of the water.” In addition, the processing facility is only 10 minutes away from the farm, which is much closer than the industry standard of four to 12 hours. The combination of the production and processing standards means that you won’t find anything more natural or fresh than this shrimp.
Belize shrimp cook in half the time as typical shrimp (only one to two minutes) due to the nature of their freshly harvested properties. When cooked, they turn a vibrant red color, darker than others you may have seen. Simply use your favorite recipe and enjoy some of the best-tasting shrimp in the world, easily purchased at your local Hy-Vee store. As a part of Hy-Vee’s commitment to sustainable seafood and our Responsible Choice initiative, we are excited to introduce Belize shrimp to our customers and into our seafood cases.
I have tried several different kinds of shrimp of the years. This is truly the best shrimp I have ever had. It is like eating candy, only better!
Salmon, widely considered a “superfood” based on its abundant health benefits, is a popular item among customers. Hy-Vee now offers Verlasso salmon, an ocean-farmed, eco-friendly fish that is raised to promote balance between our nutritional needs and our obligation to the environment.
Raised in the Chilean ocean waters off the coast of Patagonia, Verlasso is considered a premium salmon, abundant in taste and nutrients. Salmon get omega-3s from their diets. In the wild, these omega-3s come from small oily fish like herring and anchovies. Verlasso’s sustainably farmed salmon are fed a diet in which omega-3s come from yeast, which reduces dependence on forage fish—and helps preserve their wild populations.
The company’s unique model of aquaculture, which includes fewer fish per pen, and thus a reduced impact on water quality and sediment, emphasizes balance with nature. In 2013, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program rated Verlasso salmon as a “Good Alternative,” which is the first and only time an ocean-farmed salmon has been named to this list. Because of this classification, this item qualifies as a Hy-Vee Responsible Choice item. Currently this is the only farm-raised salmon that we purchase that can receive this logo.
“Harmoniously raised” is Verlasso’s approach to sustainable salmon farming. The goal is to maintain harmony and balance with nature, which means keeping the demand for salmon in line with more environmentally conscious fish farming techniques. The intention is to reduce depletion of precious resources, protect local biodiversity and ensure the prime health of Verlasso farmed salmon.
Verlasso is a brand and trademark of AquaChile. AquaChile and DuPont formed a collaboration that combines the expertise of the companies to identify how to raise fish sustainably to provide nutritious protein for a growing population.