Seafood Sustainability 101

April is Earth Month, which means we should be thinking a little bit more about the world around us. Let’s take a deep dive into seafood sustainability and how you can play your part in supporting your health, by eating #Seafood2xWk, and the health of the environment, by eating sustainable #Seafood2xWk.

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Sustainable seafood means that it has been caught or farmed with minimal impact to the wild population or the environment. To be responsible stewards of the ocean, we need to make sure we are harvesting what we need today but that it will also be available in the future. It’s important to know where seafood comes from – whether from a wild fishery or farm – and it should only be coming from those that are utilizing thoughtful, science-based approaches to their management practices.

What Can You Do?

Try something new to help alleviate the potential of overfishing. Shrimp, salmon and tuna make up more than 50 percent of what we eat in America, but there are hundreds of other species commercially available.

Wild vs. Farmed

Americans would be in better health if we ate more seafood, but the only way to achieve that is through a combination of the wild population and farmed fish (also referred to as aquaculture). Sustainable seafood relies on both types.

There are good wild and farmed sustainable seafood options, and many benefits to farmed fish beyond just providing a healthy meal. Farmed fish can help with the recovery of natural fish populations, improve indigenous food supplies, increase the diversity of available seafood products, and provide a healthier alternative to land-based animal protein.

In the U.S., some of our favorite and most popular seafood options are farmed, such as oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, catfish, trout, salmon and black sea bass. Farming fish, shellfish and even seaweed helps produce food while restoring habitats, replenishing wild stocks, and rebuilding populations of threatened and endangered species. Wild fish can also be sustainable, as long as they are not overfished.

What Can You Do?

There are many excellent seafood guides available (see here for a list of SNP’s partner organizations). A place to start is NOAA’s FishWatch.gov, where there is good information and resources for consumers on its website to learn about different species – both wild and farmed.

Feeling inspired?

Try this mussels recipe. It’s easy, tasty, affordable and, most importantly, sustainable. Enjoy!

 

Mussels In Garlic Broth

From: Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program
Created By: Chef Kelly Armetta, Hyatt Regency Boston

Serves: 4

All you need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic, cloves sliced
  • 2 tbsp onions, white or yellow, chopped
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/4 cup clam juice (optional)
  • 2 14.5-oz canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • salt & pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat large pot with olive oil and sliced garlic and onions.
  2. When aroma is released, add mussels.
  3. Add lemon juice, herbs and clam juice (optional). Gently toss.
  4. Add tomatoes. Cover and simmer over medium heat until mussels are steamed open, generally 3 to 6 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Discard unopened mussels.
  6. To finish mussels, add butter and swirl to make broth thicker. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Optional: Serve with crusty bread for dipping in broth.

100 Percent Of Hy-Vee’s Private-Brand Shelf-Stable Tuna Products Are Now Responsibly Sourced

Hy-Vee announced in December that it has achieved its goal of transitioning 100 percent of its private label shelf-stable tuna products to environmentally responsible sources. The news comes less than one year after Hy-Vee announced it was expanding its Seafood Procurement Policy to include the shelf-stable tuna category.

In addition to making big improvements to its tuna sourcing, Hy-Vee also recognizes the importance of supporting initiatives to drive positive change in the global tuna sector. In November, Hy-Vee signed on to a letter to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) calling for the treaty-based international organization to adopt measures to address key issues that are fundamental to sustainable tuna management.

Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy was developed in partnership with FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

FishWise commends Hy-Vee’s willingness to begin addressing the environmental and social impacts of its shelf-stable tuna supply chains. Hy-Vee is leading by example, proving to other retailers and tuna brands that it is possible to start taking meaningful action now.

Read more about Hy-Vee’s Responsible Seafood Program.

Entertaining and Accommodating Healthy Lifestyles

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends, food and family. Often we get carried away with all the sweet treats and savory dishes, starting the New Year a pound or two heavier. Here are a few tips to stick to a healthier lifestyle when you’re entertaining guests this holiday season.

  1. Provide smaller plates for your guests. Smaller plates may prevent overeating and it may promote more appropriate portion sizes!
  2. Offer your guests a variety of fruits and vegetables. Providing a variety of colorful vegetables can be delicious and extremely nutritious by adding fiber, vitamins and minerals to the holiday cheer. The vegetables don’t have to be boring, either. Try finding a seasonal recipe. They’re often quick, inexpensive and delicious. If you’re serving pasta, a simple substitution option would be to serve spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini. You might be surprised to learn that both are available in the Hy-Vee produce department!
  3. Choose a healthy protein source like seafood for your guests. Fish is lower in saturated fats compared to red meats, which can help lower blood pressure. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your brain health. When preparing fish, try to avoid deep-frying which would add unwanted calories to your dish.
  4. Drinking your calories is an easy way to gain weight without noticing it. Instead of offering high-calorie, sugary beverages like eggnog, hot chocolate or cocktails, try drinks like sparkling water with a lime, tea, red wine or infused waters. Calories from alcoholic beverages can add up fast! When red wine is consumed responsibly and in moderation, it may decrease risk of heart disease.
  5. Watch the sauces and gravies; they can be high in fat and extra calories. Try just a taste. A little bit can often satisfy a craving!
  6. No one wants to skip out on holiday treats! Instead, try cutting back on the portion sizes or adding some ingredients to boost the nutrients. Shredding or puréeing apples, bananas or pumpkins can boost the flavor and moisture of many dessert recipes. You could substitute some of the butter for heart-healthy oil. And if you’re feeling bold enough you could even cut back on the sugar. According to eatright.org, sugar can be reduced by 25 percent in most recipes without a noticeable difference!

Keep these tricks in mind when hosting your next get-together. Some simple changes in recipes can cut calories. Don’t forget to eat slowly and enjoy the great food and the time with family. Start your healthier lifestyle and maybe even a new you for the New Year!

National Seafood Month: Let’s Get This #SeafoodParty Started

October commemorates National Seafood Month and the Seafood Nutrition Partnership will be celebrating all month long – hosting parties, Healthy Heart Summits, seafood restaurant weeks, events at schools, chef demos and cooking classes, retail specials and more – across the country and on social media. Join the fun with the hashtags #SeafoodParty and #Seafood2xWk!

Most people feel good about seafood – yet only one in 10 people meet the goal of having seafood two times per week.  Here are the top three reasons you should step up your seafood game:

  1. Live longer: Eating fish literally saves lives – eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause1. Plus, seafood has essential omega-3s2.
  2. Seafood is a “protein with benefits”: It’s among the highest-quality proteins and offers many additional health benefits. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve how you feel during pregnancy, help your child develop a healthy brain and eyes, and improve memory and sharpness in older adults.
  3. Seafood is delicious, versatile, budget-friendly, and fast: From delicate, mild flounder to flavorful salmon, seafood can please any palate. Fresh, seasonal catches are easy on the wallet as are frozen and canned options. From start to finish, you can get fish or shellfish on the dinner table in 15 minutes or less.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today with this Salmon Cake recipe and check out these additional deliciously easy and affordable recipes the whole family will like.

For more information and resources, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org.

Salmon Cakes with Yogurt & Cucumber Sauce

From SNP Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program

Serves: 4
Omega-3 Per Serving: 900 mg

All you need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp onions, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled, boiled and cooled
  • 1-14.7 oz salmon, canned, drained and crumbled
  • 1 lemon, juiced, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 tsp dill, dried
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • salt & pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat 1/2 of oil in pan and add onions and garlic. Sauté until aroma is released.
  2. Meanwhile, crush potato and mix with salmon and 1/2 the lemon juice.
  3. Mix in cooked garlic and onions. Add egg and mustard. Mix again.
  4. Add bread crumbs. You may not need all the crumbs. Fold until combined.
  5. Heat pan again and add remaining oil.
  6. While heating, use an ice cream scoop or soup spoon and scoop salmon mixture. Place into pan, flattening the cake.
  7. Fry cakes on both sides for 4 minutes each.
  8. Combine yogurt, dill, cucumbers, remaining lemon juice and salt & pepper. Mix well.
  9. Serve salmon cakes with yogurt sauce.

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Sources

  1. FDA, Quantitative Assessment of the Net Effects on Fetal Neurodevelopment from Eating Commercial Fish (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development in Children). Accessed 8/24/15: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ ucm393211.htm.
  2. Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA. 2006;296:1885-99

Celebrate the Oceans This Greenpeace Day

 

 

On September 15, 1971, activists set sail (on “The Greenpeace”) to Amchitka Island off Alaska, to try to stop a U.S. nuclear weapons test. The activists’ audacious goal: sail into the restricted area to stop the weapons test.

“The Greenpeace” was intercepted by the U.S. Navy before it got close to the Amchitka testing site. While the crew failed to stop the nuclear test, their voyage sparked a flurry of public interest. Just five months later, the United States stopped the entire Amchitka nuclear test program. The island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

The crew were founders of Greenpeace. Forty-six years later, Greenpeace continues its mission as a global, independent environmental campaigning organization that confronts environmental problems and promotes green and peaceful solutions. Working in more than 40 countries and backed by nearly 3 million supporters worldwide, today Greenpeace continues its work to protect the world’s oceans.

From destructive industrial fishing to climate change and pollution — by 2050 scientists predict there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish! — the oceans need our help. That’s why Greenpeace works with governments, businesses, scientists and supporters to clean up the global seafood industry.

As a Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, I engage supermarket chains, foodservice companies, and seafood brands that collectively have the power to advocate for improvements, protect seafood workers from human rights abuses, and ensure fish for the future.

In recent years, I’ve been pleased to see Hy-Vee significantly improve the sustainability of its seafood products. For example, Hy-Vee’s pole- and line-caught tuna is the most sustainable way to catch tuna, provides jobs for coastal fishing communities, and means that workers won’t be out at sea for months or years at a time — where egregious human rights abuses can occur.

On September 15, and every day, let’s work together for healthy, clean and plastic-free! oceans.

Here are three ways you can help:

Long-Term Health Benefits Shown from Eating Meals at Home as a Family

Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and weight, and less risky behavior. National Family Meals Month is a nationwide celebration designed to underscore the benefits of family meals. This September, both Hy-Vee and Seafood Nutrition Partnership are among the organizations accepting the challenge and encouraging all Americans to pledge to share one more meal at home per week with our families.

Numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family. However, according to a 2013 Harris Poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night. With all the demands of a busy, modern life, family mealtime is often among the first to be cut from schedules.

Making and eating dinner at home is one way families can stay connected and share their daily experiences together as a family while enjoying a nutritious meal. When you cook your own meals, you know what you’re putting into your food, which is often healthier. And if you get your kids involved in cooking, they feel proud of helping and are more likely to eat wholesome foods.

As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember fish is a delicious source of lean protein that is perfect for busy students – and their parents. Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy immune and cardiovascular systems. Eating seafood regularly can help increase energy, improve memory, and aid in sports performance.

SNP’s mission is to help Americans address preventable health issues through a balanced diet centered around seafood. We want families to know that seafood is tasty, healthy, fast and easy to prepare for dinner, with most dishes taking about 15 minutes to make. We offer several tips and ideas for cooking healthy, balanced meals at home.

Hy-Vee Offers 100 Percent Responsibly Sourced Fresh and Frozen Seafood in All Stores

Hy-Vee announced in August that 100 percent of its national brand frozen seafood is now responsibly sourced in compliance with its Seafood Procurement Policy. Hy-Vee is the first Midwest retailer to guarantee that 100 percent of the fresh and frozen seafood sold in its 244 stores comes from environmentally responsible sources. This builds on Hy-Vee’s announcement in December 2015 that 100 percent of its private label fresh and frozen seafood is responsibly sourced.

Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy was created with guidance from Hy-Vee’s partner FishWise, a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that partnered with the retailer in 2011. The policy defines responsible seafood as coming from sources that are rated Green or Yellow 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. Since the policy’s inception in 2012, Hy-Vee has worked to transition more than
5 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources.

“At Hy-Vee, we take pride in our dedication to high-quality, environmentally and socially responsible seafood, and we are thrilled to be the first Midwest retailer to make this kind of commitment,” said Brett Bremser, executive vice president of perishables at Hy-Vee. “This achievement fulfills our promise to our customers to do the right thing, and we will keep working hard with our suppliers and partners to maintain this level of excellence moving forward.”

Hy-Vee and FishWise worked with suppliers of non-compliant national brand seafood products to implement sourcing improvement recommendations. In June 2017, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and Seafood Watch announced that two-, three-, and four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified tilapia is at least equivalent to a Seafood Watch Yellow rating, bringing tilapia products previously unrated by Seafood Watch into compliance with Hy-Vee’s policy. The announcement was a result of a lengthy multi-stakeholder effort, in which Hy-Vee and FishWise participated, to strengthen the BAP tilapia standards.

“We are thrilled at Hy-Vee’s latest 100 percent achievement, and deeply appreciative of the hard work by Seafood Watch, GAA and other stakeholders to elevate BAP-certified tilapia to a level that meets Hy-Vee and other retailers’ responsible sourcing policies,” said Kathleen Mullen-Ley, project director at FishWise. “Hy-Vee continues to lead by example in sourcing responsibly, training seafood staff to be sustainability experts and educating customers on the environmental and social benefits of responsible seafood.”

Hy-Vee will continue to work with FishWise to monitor changes in sustainability ratings and certifications of its seafood products to ensure Hy-Vee maintains 100 percent compliance with its policy moving forward. In addition, Hy-Vee and FishWise are also working together to improve the environmental and social responsibility of the company’s shelf-stable tuna products.

SeaWeb Seafood Summit

The 2017 SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world’s premier conference on seafood sustainability, was held June 5-7 in Seattle, Washington. The goal of the annual summit is to “define success and advance solutions in sustainable seafood by fostering dialogue and partnerships that lead to a seafood marketplace that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

Representatives from Hy-Vee and FishWise, Hy-Vee’s nonprofit sustainable seafood partner, attended the summit along with key representatives from the seafood industry, conservation community, academia, government and the media.

Brett Bremser, executive vice president of perishables at Hy-Vee, participated in a session discussion titled “The Business Case for Supporting Small-Scale Fisheries: How to Make Environmental and Social Responsibility Sell.”

The session explored how businesses with responsible sourcing policies can support small-scale fisheries, using Hy-Vee’s business decision to transition 100 percent of the yellowfin tuna in its service cases to Fair Trade-certified sources as a successful case study. Following a short panel presentation, Bremser led a breakout group in an honest discussion about the opportunities and challenges faced by retailers as consumers demand responsible seafood products, reflecting the growing awareness of environmental and social issues.

The session was praised as being one of the most interesting and engaging sessions of the 2017 Seafood Summit.

Other highlights from the Seafood Summit included celebrating the 20th anniversary of the sustainable seafood movement, engaging sessions about the importance of transparency and full-chain traceability, and a tour of the Alaska Ocean, a 376-foot Alaska pollock catcher/processor vessel that has been featured in an episode of Modern Marvels on the History Channel.

Fair Trade Scallops

Hy-Vee announced plans to offer Fair Trade Certified™ fresh and frozen scallops in all 244 of its stores, making it the first Midwest retailer to do so. The world’s first domestically-sourced Fair Trade seafood will begin hitting Hy-Vee shelves this month. Hy-Vee plans to convert all of its scallop offerings to Fair Trade as additional supply becomes available.

Caught in the cold waters off the coast of New England, the scallops are world-renowned for their texture, color and flavor, and offer shoppers a unique opportunity to support American fishing communities and Fair Trade practices in a single purchase.

Hy-Vee is partnering with Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, to expand its Fair Trade seafood offerings. The Fair Trade Certified™ seal recognizes best-in-class seafood companies for their commitment to sourcing ethical seafood. As part of Hy-Vee’s partnership with Fair Trade USA, it is working to build more resilient livelihoods in fishing communities, improved working and living conditions, increased supply and demand for responsibly sourced seafood, and enhanced environmental stewardship and ecosystem protection.

“Fair Trade is all about empowering the people behind our favorite products,” said Julie Kuchepatov, director of seafood at Fair Trade USA. “Thanks to Hy-Vee’s scallop offerings, Hy-Vee customers can extend these benefits to U.S. fishermen every time they shop.”

Fair Trade USA’s seafood program is the first of its kind to address both social and environmental challenges in the seafood sector. Standards for marine resources ensure that fisheries are managed legally and responsibly, preventing further overfishing. At the same time, social and human rights standards prohibit forced labor and empower fishermen with better working conditions, improved terms of trade and additional income to invest in their businesses and communities.