Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Shrimp Pesto Pasta

All you need:

  • 1 (19 oz) pkg frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw Responsible Choice shrimp
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups baby spinach

All you do:

  1. Prepare tortellini pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and Responsible Choice shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, and flip shrimp over.
  3. Stir in pesto, red peppers and baby spinach and cook 1 to 2 minutes until spinach has wilted and shrimp is cooked thoroughly.
  4. Toss with prepared pasta and serve warm or cold.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Initiative Praised by Greenpeace; Ranked Among the Best in the US

Greenpeace released its 2015 Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report on July 14, ranking Hy-Vee at third out of the 25 largest supermarket chains in the U.S. Greenpeace evaluates and ranks supermarkets in the CATO report based on their efforts to protect both the oceans and seafood industry workers since 2008.

Hy-Vee moved up to the top three this year, finishing in the “good” category and scoring above a 7 out of 10 for the first time. Hy-Vee was evaluated on the sustainability of its seafood in four key areas: policy, initiatives, labeling and transparency and Red List inventory. This is only the second year Hy-Vee has been included in the report.

Hy-Vee was praised by Greenpeace for its efforts to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing through political advocacy and participation in industry and NGO-led conversations to identify solutions.

Greenpeace congratulated Hy-Vee on its Responsible Choice canned skipjack and albacore tuna products, which are produced exclusively with tuna caught using environmentally friendly methods. You can read more about Hy-Vee’s canned tuna in this Seafoodies post.

Hy-Vee’s decision to discontinue Chilean sea bass – due to concerns about overfishing and bycatch of threatened or endangered species – also helped improve its ranking, as it’s the only of the top retailers to do so. Hy-Vee’s stance against genetically modified fish was also highlighted as a notable achievement.

Greenpeace writes: “After its ‘Carting Away the Oceans‘ debut last year, Hy-Vee doubled down on its strong performance, coming in third place overall and entering the good category for the first time. Hy-Vee means business about sustainable seafood. … Hy-Vee dropped Chilean sea bass, issued a strong public statement against GMO seafood, is on track to hit its 2015 sustainability goals and twice weighed in at key moments to address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the industry by sending letters to Congress.”

Whole Foods ranked first in the report, while Wegmans came in at second. Since the report’s inception, many large retailers including Hy-Vee have developed robust seafood policies. In the CATO Report’s ninth edition, 80 percent of the retailers profiled received at least a passing score of 4 out of 10.

To view the full report, Carting Away the Oceans 9, click here.

Hy-Vee’s King of Farmed Salmon

Hy-Vee is excited to offer Mt. Cook salmon as a Responsible Choice for our customers.

This item has been four years in the making. Hy-Vee partnered with Mt. Cook/National Fish in 2010. Hy-Vee was in search of a premium farmed salmon that would meet or exceed our Seafood Procurement Policy. Although it took several years to reach this achievement, it has now paid off. In the past year, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has labeled Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon as a “Best Choice” pick for farmed salmon. With this achievement, we are now proudly able to label our Mt. Cook King Salmon with our Responsible Choice tag. Hy-Vee customers can feel good knowing that the farmed salmon they are purchasing is one the most environmentally responsible farmed salmon operations in the world. And don’t forget the addition benefits of enjoying delicious seafood that is loaded in Omega-3 and protein.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Mt. Cook King Salmon comes from New Zealand. Cradled in the wild landscape of the Southern Alps of New Zealand lies one particular part of the canal with Hy-Vee’s name on it. This canal is part of one of the most unique salmon farms in the world. The salmon are fresh water salmon, raised in the swift, cold currents of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, where the water is not only fresh and highly oxygenated, but it flows constantly, which allows the fish to be healthy and lean. The result is a salmon that is moist and delicate to the pallet. Its flavor is mild compared to other salmon flavor profiles, which allows it to attract more consumers looking to add salmon to their meal plans that otherwise are hesitant. Be sure to talk to your Hy-Vee Seafood Specialist today about our Responsible Choice Mt. Cook salmon.

Learn More About Hy-Vee’s Yellowfin Tuna Supplier, Anova

Anova Food is now one of Hy-Vee’s yellowfin tuna suppliers. Environmental and social responsibility are core values to Anova and the company has made many positive accomplishments with all of its key supply tuna fisheries.

As part of Hy-Vee’s Responsible Sourcing Commitment, Anova supplies our stores and consumers with handline caught, yellowfin tuna from both Indonesia and Vietnam that is currently rated as a yellow ‘Good Alternative’ by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Both of these fisheries have completed Marine Stewardship Council pre-assessments and are participating in public and credible fishery improvement projects working toward MSC certification in the near future.

In addition to fishery improvement work, Anova organized a Fishing & Living initiative in 2012 to improve the environmental and social aspects of tuna fisheries, focused on improving fishing practices, improved fishery management, improved fishermen welfare and support of community development in Indonesia.

Much like Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative, Fishing & Living is an industry-led initiative launching from Anova Food’s commitment to source tuna from responsible fisheries that support thriving fishing communities. The Fishing & Living initiative is made possible through collaborations with international and local non-governmental organizations, governments at all levels from local through national, a host of other entities and individuals on-site and working in the communities, and the fishermen themselves.

Since 2012, Fishing & Living has been promoting and leading improvements in the Indonesia handline yellowfin tuna fishery. Given the scattered nature of the fishery, improvements are being implemented in several locations across eastern Indonesia. These include setting up data collection programs at landing sites, Fair Trade programs for wild capture fisheries, fishermen centers in the fishing communities and awareness campaigns on responsible fisheries. All activities are conducted with a multi-stakeholder approach working with local and national fisheries managers, fish traders and the fishermen directly.

For more information about Anova’s Fishing & Living project and for biographies of the fisherman, visit http://fishing-living.org.

Hy-Vee Celebrating First Seasonal Catch of Responsible Choice Wild Salmon in Stores

Copper River Salmon

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice wild salmon, caught from Alaska’s Copper River, are some of the very first salmon to arrive in stores when the fresh wild season opens in mid-May. 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 eagerly waiting for the first salmon to arrive in their local Hy-Vee. The pure, pristine environment of the Copper River helps to 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 generates from this fat and makes any seafood lover’s mouth water. It is truly some of the highest prized salmon in the world.

About the River

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 one mile wide and runs at seven miles per hour. The Copper River is the 10th largest river in the United States, and is home to some of 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.

Earth Day: How Does Responsible Seafood Fit into the Larger Environmental Conservation Picture?

Happy Earth Day. For 45 years, Earth Day has been a celebration of environmental conservation in the United States. The earth is facing a lot of environmental stresses, including overfishing, climate change, air and water pollution and a growing human population. Earth Day is part of a global effort to protect the planet and secure a sustainable future.

Earth Day activities aim to raise awareness on many topics, such as climate change, organic agriculture, clean air and water, clean energy, reducing consumption, recycling, endangered species, healthy oceans and more.

How does sourcing seafood responsibly fit into the larger picture?

The health of our oceans is vital to the environment. The main focus of Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice program is to stop global overfishing. The ocean faces many “health problems” like ocean acidification, offshore drilling and pollution. When the pressure on the oceans from overfishing is reduced, the overall health of the oceans improves. It’s important to reduce habitat damage caused by harmful fishing practices, which also helps reduce the threat to a sustainable ocean future.

Buying Responsible Choice seafood is a way for Hy-Vee customers to contribute to the global Earth Day effort to secure a sustainable future. When customers demand responsibly sourced seafood at grocery stores and restaurants, companies translate that demand up the supply chain and motivate producers to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.

Customers can commit to purchasing seafood caught in U.S. waters, which has well-managed fisheries with enforcement of environmental laws. Shoppers may also consider adding local produce to meals to cut down on fossil fuels used in the transportation of fruits and vegetables.

Consumers can treat every day like Earth Day by using reusable products like bags and water bottles to cut down on waste and reduce energy use. Educating themselves about environmental issues is the first step people can take to learn how to improve their habits to be less harmful to the environment. If everyone makes individual efforts to minimize their impact, together we’ll take a large step forward to protect the planet and secure a sustainable future.

Hy-Vee is striving to be a leader in conservation efforts for the betterment of our environment and our customers. You can read more details at hy-vee360.com and on our recently updated Responsible Choice Seafood website.

Hy-Vee Introduces Responsible Choice Alaskan Pacific Halibut

With sizes more than 8 feet in length and weights surpassing the 500 pound mark, you can see why the largest of all flatfish is referred to by Alaska fisherman as “Barn Doors” for their massive size. Hy-Vee is pleased to introduce the availability of this popular fish, Alaskan Pacific halibut, to its meat counter.

Pacific halibut is often considered America’s favorite white fish. You can find halibut on restaurant menus and in fresh seafood cases across the country for grilling at home during the summer. Alaskan Pacific halibut is a mild, delicate and sweet-tasting white fish. Uncooked, the meat should be almost translucent — not dull, yellowish or dry. When cooked, the snowy-white meat loses its glossy appearance and flakes at the touch of a fork. As an added bonus, its versatility in the kitchen is almost limitless. The thick, meaty flesh holds up well to a number of cooking methods and sauces, and it’s an ideal item to skewer for a summer BBQ.

Hy-Vee is pleased to label Alaskan Pacific halibut as a Responsible Choice seafood item this year. Today, the only legal fishing method for commercial Pacific halibut fishermen is longline gear, aimed at the typical market size for this year’s catch of 10 to 15 pound halibut, which is much smaller than the 500 pound giants these flatfish can sometimes become. The 2015 season got underway on March 14 and will run until November 7, or until the quota of 29,223,000 pounds is met.

This season, Hy-Vee got its first taste of fresh Pacific halibut the week of season open on March 16. This was possible as all of our fish from Alaska are flown via Fed-Ex® overnight from Alaska to the Des Moines International Airport. After going through our U.S. Department of Commerce Inspection process at Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI), Hy-Vee stores have the opportunity to receive fresh halibut that has been out of Alaskan waters for only 48 hours. That is quite a feat, especially in the Midwest.

In general, the Alaska Pacific halibut commercial fisheries, including Hy-Vee’s primary vendor Copper River Seafoods, are selective in the fish they catch because of the size of the hook needed to harvest such a large fish – using a large hook generally reduces bycatch of smaller fish. Fishermen use circle hooks to increase catch rates and to improve the survival of any undersized halibut caught and released during commercial fishing. To reduce bycatch of other ground fish, regulations prohibit commercial Pacific halibut fisheries in specific depths and areas off the West Coast. The United States and Canada coordinate management through a bilateral commission known as the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and the North Pacific and Pacific Fishery Management Councils are responsible for allocating allowable catch among users in the U.S. fisheries through the NOAA FishWatch.

Responsible Choice LabelAlthough the Alaska Pacific halibut commercial fishery industry has changed substantially over the years, the science-based management of the fisheries has remained constant, sustaining this industry for nearly 100 years. This is another testament to the Alaskan fisheries being some the best managed sustainable fishery industries in the world. Because of its well-managed fisheries and practices, Hy-Vee is proud to label Alaskan Pacific halibut with our Responsible Choice logo of approval.

Making the Responsible Choice: A Collaborative Effort to Eradicate Human Trafficking, Forced Labor in Seafood Supply Chains

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative is more than a commitment to food safety and protecting the environment, it’s also about responsible sourcing and that includes the safety and well-being of the men and women working throughout the supply chain. In light of the exposure of human trafficking in Southeast Asia and Thailand over the past couple of years and its relation to the seafood industry, Hy-Vee and FishWise urge customers and businesses to support and take interest in how their seafood is being sourced.

The key to responsible sourcing is knowledge. Often times, leading seafood buyers across the globe are indirectly supporting mistreatment of laborers by buying and selling seafood from unregulated markets. One of the biggest issues related to this issue in U.S. seafood procurement is traceability. Without knowledge of where the product came from, companies cannot verify supply chain compliance with labor laws and human rights standards. The issue is further complicated in seafood supply chains when demand for low prices undermines responsible business practices, and a lack of regulations and inadequate oversight open the door for various labor abuses.

Hy-Vee is continuously working to improve transparency in its seafood supply chains by ensuring their products are traceable back to the point of harvest — whether it’s a fishery or farming operation. To this end, Hy-Vee regularly collects information about the chain of custody and sustainability of seafood products from their suppliers, and Hy-Vee’s seafood vendors have been notified of the commitment to responsible sourcing and traceability.

As a customer, there are several ways you can be part of the conversation. First, ask questions when purchasing seafood in a store or at a restaurant. Questions related to where the seafood came from, how they trace their seafood and if the seafood is a responsibly sourced item produced with fair labor standards are a good place to start. This sends the message that traceability is important to you and encourages business owners to be held accountable. From there, you can take action by supporting retailers and restaurants that are committed to responsible sourcing.

Hy-Vee has committed to selling responsibly sourced fresh and frozen seafood that is rated as a Green “Best Choice” or a Yellow “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings, or sourced from credible, time-bound improvement projects. You can make informed and sustainable seafood purchasing decisions by utilizing the seafood buying guides on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website at seafoodwatch.org or the Seafood Watch app on your smartphone.

In addition to customer concern, all companies must implement responsible sourcing plans to ensure that human trafficking, forced labor and other human rights violations are not present in their supply chains. U.S. retailers, foodservice providers, distributors and others in the supply chain can use their buying power to lead change in the entire seafood industry.

There are several steps U.S. seafood businesses can take to ensure they are not buying seafood associated with human rights abuses. First and foremost, organizations should ensure products can be traced to origin and names and addresses of all entities that handled the product can be identified. Companies can also support labor audits through all steps in the supply chain, ensure each link in the supply chain makes a documentable pledge to customers to avoid labor abuse, share concerns and stipulate procurement on the supplier’s ability to regulate human trafficking and labor violations, and finally, communicate clearly with customers. This entails providing the origin of fisheries and the actions taken to guarantee products are not connected to human rights abuses, labor violations or environmental damage.

Hy-Vee has taken steps to ensure responsible sourcing through the Responsible Choice initiative. With collaborative efforts, we can all help to eradicate human trafficking and forced labor in today’s global seafood industry.

For more information visit FishWise’s Human Trafficking, Forced Labor Q & A:
http://fishwise.org/index.php/press/blog/286-human-trafficking-forced-labor-and-seafood-q-a

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Rainbow Trout, A U.S. Commodity

With global seafood consumption on the rise, it must be a priority for suppliers and retailers alike to be conscious of environmental impact, responsible sourcing and food safety implications of the seafood they produce and sell to consumers. That is why Hy-Vee began the Responsible Choice initiative. Through the program, Hy-Vee has established specific guidelines to offer high-quality seafood that is safe for consumption and harvested in a manner that provides for a sustainable future.

As of this January, 79 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable or in a time-bound improvement process by year-end 2015. Rainbow trout is no exception.

A member of the salmon family, wild trout are anadromous, spending part of their life cycle in freshwater as rainbow trout and part in salt water as steelhead trout. Farmers in the United States began commercially raising rainbow trout during the 1960s.

The most common production system for U.S. farmed rainbow trout is called a “raceway” – where farmers divert water from natural waterways, such as rivers and streams, into a channel containing the trout. The water is then treated before being discharged back into the original waterway. U.S.-farmed trout are then fed using a formulation of relatively low levels of fishmeal and fish oil, reducing the impacts to wild fish populations.

Regulation of rainbow trout farms in the U.S. is considered effective, as best management practices have been shared and utilized on a nation-wide scale. Through a system of checks and balances, trout farmers are able to monitor the health of the trout and its safety for human consumption.

Rainbow trout farmed in the U.S. has been given a Green “Best Choice” rating by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program due to the environmentally friendly production methods used, and the minimal impact to habitats or other wildlife.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice rainbow trout is sourced in a region called the Magic Valley in Idaho by Clear Springs Foods, which upholds the high standards established through Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative. Hy-Vee continues to keep our consumers and the environment top of mind to ensure a safe, traceable and responsible selection of seafood is available to our customers.

A Spring-Fresh Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna Tacos

Albacore tuna shares the same nutritional values as other types of tuna. It’s a great source of protein, selenium and vitamin B-12. Also a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and the only type of tuna that can be labeled as “white meat,” Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Albacore tuna is gaining popularity among consumers.

This protein-packed option contains the same amount of protein as meat and poultry, and as an added bonus, only half the calories.

Here is one of my spring favorites that provides a light option and is sure to keep your family satisfied.


Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna Taco with Strawberry and Orange Broccoli Slaw

Serves 3 or 4 (2 tacos each).

All you need:
For the slaw:Albacore Tuna Tacos

  • 1/2 (12 oz) bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp minced mint
  • 1 tbsp minced cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the tacos:

  • about 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (5 oz each) cans Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
  • Prepared black beans and prepared cilantro rice, for serving

All you do:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the slaw, red onion, red pepper, strawberries and jalapeno. Toss to combine.
  2. Add the lime juice, mint and cilantro. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until tacos are ready.
  3. Warm a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan.
  4. Add the tuna. Season with cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Warm the tortillas over a gas flame or in a dry skillet.
  6. To serve, place 2 tortillas on a plate next to each other. Top each of the tortillas with another tortilla. Top with one-third the tuna and slaw. Prepare two other plates, using 4 tortillas, one-third the tuna and slaw on each.
  7. Serve with lime wedges, black beans and cilantro rice, if desired.