Hy-Vee’s Private Label Canned Tuna Among Top Five Responsibly Sourced Brands

Recently, Hy-Vee’s private label canned tuna ranked fifth in Greenpeace USA’s Tuna Shopping Guide, which analyzed 14 widely available canned tuna brands across the United States. Greenpeace scored brands in categories including traceability, fishing methods used, product labeling and consumer education, and support for marine reserves and promoting industry change. Through this scoring process, it found that only 20 percent of the canned tuna sold in the United States comes from sources that engage in responsible and nondestructive fishing practices.

Hy-Vee Select Responsible Choice skipjack and albacore tuna were recognized as ocean-safe products because of their pole-and-line or pole-and-troll fishing methods, which have minimal impact on other species. Greenpeace also noted Hy-Vee’s recent strides with its Seafood Procurement Policy and the availability of information on the company’s responsible seafood efforts.

Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy includes the Responsible Choice labeling initiative, which informs customers about the company’s efforts to provide seafood from environmentally responsible sources. The policy was created to help Hy-Vee sell seafood that is not only safe for consumption, but that is also harvested or raised in a manner providing for its long-term viability while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

Hy-Vee is dedicated to delivering a high-quality seafood selection to Midwest customers. To accomplish this, the company knows it must also play an integral role in keeping our oceans healthy. We congratulate Hy-Vee on this recent recognition and look forward to helping the company continue to improve its responsible seafood efforts.

Recipe Spotlight: Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Mt. Cook Farmed Salmon Offers a Healthy, Protein-Packed Option for Spring

Spring is almost here, which means lighter, healthier meal choices for many. A great option this season is Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Mt. Cook farmed salmon.

Sourced from Mt. Cook Alpine salmon, Hy-Vee’s Mt. Cook farmed salmon is procured from farms rated as a Green “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which is the highest rating farmed salmon has ever received. As an added bonus, the farm-raised salmon is pack with omega-3s, vitamins and protein to sustain your appetite.

Consider one of my most popular Responsible Choice recipes this season.

Orange Hoisin-Glazed Responsible Choice Salmon

Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 2 (6 oz each) Responsible Choice salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1 culinary parchment cooking bag
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 lemon wedges

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place salmon in an even layer in parchment bag on rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Combine hoisin and soy sauces, orange juice, ginger, green onion and sesame seeds; spoon evenly over salmon.
  4. Fold over open edge twice and crimp well.
  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Open bag and let stand a few minutes.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges.

Hy-Vee Customers Can Support the Responsible Choice Initiative and Help Save the Oceans in Four Simple Ways

Today’s consumers are not only interested in where their food comes from, but also the implications associated with how it was harvested. Through the Responsible Choice initiative, Hy-Vee has established specific guidelines to offer high-quality seafood that is not only safe for consumption but also is harvested in a manner that provides for its long-term viability — all while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

Customers can assist in the effort to help save sea life and provide for a sustainable future in the following ways:

  • Purchase seafood with Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice label. The Responsible Choice label is backed by rigorous science and is Hy-Vee’s guarantee that the seafood you’re buying is not causing harm to the environment. To make responsible seafood recommendations, Hy-Vee draws from a variety of science-based sources such as peer-reviewed research, third-party certifications and color rankings generated by industry-leading non-profit organizations. Hy-Vee consistently works to improve transparency in seafood supply chains by ensuring products are traceable back to the point of harvest. Remember, choosing seafood that is responsibly sourced helps reduce pressure on global fish populations, and in turn ensures long-term viability of the seafood you love to eat.
  • Do your part by doing your own research. In order to protect marine resources and ensure future seafood supplies, 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 help too by educating yourself on the issue. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website at seafoodwatch.com or download the Seafood Watch app on your smartphone to learn more about the impacts fishing and aquaculture have on the environment.
  • Ask for more information. Whether you are at a restaurant or grocery store, ask questions. Information is power. Asking a simple question, such as “Where does this fish come from?,” alerts businesses that customers want sustainable seafood and expect businesses which are selling the product to be informed. To take it a step further, you may ask if the seafood is responsibly sourced, and support restaurants and businesses that offer ocean-friendly seafood. Encourage your friends and family to do the same, and buy local when possible.
  • “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.” Now is the time to put this well-known slogan into action. Plastic pollution negatively affects the ocean, so it’s important to make sure waste is disposed of properly to prevent it from ending up in our waterways. Today, nearly 80 percent of plastic materials in the ocean originate on land — that’s a staggering amount of pollution that affects ocean habitats and entangles sea life. You can help to reduce the amount of plastic pollution by utilizing a reusable water bottle rather than buying single-use water bottles; bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store instead of using plastic bags; participating in a river clean-up to prevent trash from flowing into the ocean; and recycling whenever possible.

Remember, you too can be a leader in ocean preservation by encouraging responsible seafood options, supporting responsible businesses and doing your part to minimize pollution. One person can make a difference, and we encourage all customers to take part in Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative.

Recipe Spotlight: A Tangy Twist on Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp

We don’t typically think about seafood as a source of antioxidants, but shrimp features two unique antioxidants in its nutrient composition. The first, astaxanthin, is receiving attention in the latest health research for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The second is the mineral selenium, which is known to aid in minimizing risks associated with heart failure, forms of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.

Packed with protein and low in calories, Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Belize shrimp is sourced from Royal Mayan Shrimp Farms and is certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standard to a 3 Star level, providing assurance that the shrimp was produced responsibly.

Check out my tangy twist on Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp, and add a healthy dish to your meal line-up this week.

Chipotle Lime Responsible Choice Shrimp

Serves 4
All you need:

  • 1 pound raw Responsible Choice shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1/4 cup diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice, for serving

All you do:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, chipotle pepper, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shrimp to the hot oil. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes; flip them over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until pink and opaque.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Initiative Sets a High Bar for Seafood Traceability

Up to 32 percent of seafood imported to the United States is caught illegally, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Policy in April 2014. Illegally harvested seafood, along with its many implications – nutritional concern, sourcing methods and environmental impact – is one of the reasons Hy-Vee is working to ensure it is part of the solution when it comes to responsible seafood.

Hy-Vee holds itself to high standards through the Responsible Choice initiative, especially dealing with transparency and traceability. Illegally harvested seafood is currently entering the U.S. through legitimate market channels, making it essential that Hy-Vee and all retailers implement and follow strict traceability measures. That is why Hy-Vee has committed to having its seafood traceable back to the point of harvest, either the source vessel or farm, by the end of 2015. And our progress is encouraging. As of January 2015, 79 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable.

Through the Responsible Choice initiative, Hy-Vee has established strict criteria when it comes to traceability. But what does this actually mean? Traceable seafood can be tracked through each link in the supply chain to its original source. It is crucial to ensure food safety, logistical efficiency, sustainability claims, legality of catch or farm, and proper labeling.

Hy-Vee is able to establish and enforce its responsible seafood efforts with the help of our non-governmental organization partner, FishWise. The organization works with companies throughout the seafood supply chain to support conservation through environmentally responsible business practices.

To this end, Hy-Vee has taken several steps to ensure traceability remains a high priority by regularly collecting information about the chain of custody and sustainability attributes of seafood products from our suppliers; periodically conducting desktop audits of seafood items to ensure they are traceable from a Hy-Vee store back to the point of harvest; and working with vendors to meet our commitment to responsible sourcing and traceability.

Additionally, Hy-Vee has supported federal legislation aimed at minimizing the amount of illegal seafood imported into the United States. Hy-Vee recently sent letters to members of Congress urging them to pass legislation that would close U.S. ports to vessels suspected of carrying illegally harvested fish.

Hy-Vee continues to keep our customers and the environment top of mind. It is our job, and the responsibility of retailers like us, to ensure only a safe, quality selection of seafood is provided to our customers. The Responsible Choice initiative lays the groundwork and sets a standard for us to follow. Traceability is a key component in providing an environmentally responsible and safe product for our customers, and a commitment we are proud to keep.

Ganapathiraju Pramod, Katrina Nakamura, Tony J. Pitcher, Leslie Delagran. Estimates of illegal and unreported fish in seafood imports to the USA. Marine Policy, April 2014.

Recipe Spotlight: Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Mt. Cook Farmed Salmon Stars in Peach and Arugula Dish

A heart-healthy and tasty option this season, Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Mt. Cook farmed salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids; vitamins A, B, D and E; and plenty of protein power. Sourced from Mt. Cook Alpine salmon, the salmon is from farms rated as a Green “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which is the highest rating farmed salmon has ever received. The seafood is farmed in a freshwater lake in southern New Zealand, and the farm uses no antibiotics, growth hormones or chemicals to bring the fish to market.

Highly versatile, healthy and filling, this salmon stars in one of my favorite Responsible Choice Mt. Cook farmed salmon recipes. This is one your family will look forward to all week:

Responsible Choice Mt. Cook Farmed Salmon with Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad

Serves 4

All you need:Salmon with Grilled Peach & Arugula

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tbsps olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced in 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 3 peaches, halved, pit removed
  • 4 (4 to 5 oz each) Responsible Choice skin-on salmon portions
  • Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning, to taste
  • 1 (5 oz) container clamshell baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper

All you do:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ginger, thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place red onion and peaches on a plate and drizzle remaining tablespoon olive oil over top; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Place peaches and red onion on grill and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side; set aside.
  4. Season salmon with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning.
  5. Grill the salmon, skin side down, with the cover closed, until golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon over and continue grilling for 3 to 4 minutes for medium doneness;
    set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, lightly toss the baby arugula with grilled red onions, grilled peaches, roasted red peppers and enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.
  7. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates and top each with a piece of salmon; can drizzle extra vinaigrette over salmon if desired.

Hy-Vee Defines Six Fields of Sustainability, Upholds Commitment to Responsible Choice Initiative

Today’s consumers are interested in and concerned about their food supply. From nutritional value and quality to sourcing and environmental impact, customers are asking for transparency. Through Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood initiative, the company has taken it upon itself to provide a new level of consumer confidence.

Hy-Vee takes its commitment to responsible seafood seriously, which is why the company requires a thorough assessment before a seafood offering may be deemed a Responsible Choice item. As part of Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy, vendors are required to provide comprehensive information on six fields of sustainability for the shipment to be labeled “Responsible Choice.” These six fields ensure best practices are being met and vendors are accountable for their products. It also ensures products can be traced back to their origin.

The six fields include:

  1. The seafood’s generic, market name. This field lists the generic, market name most commonly used in the store, and the name most customers would recognize. For this example, we will use Alaska pollock. The market name for this seafood is Alaska pollock.
  2. Scientific species name. The species name discloses the seafood’s full scientific name, which is often in Latin or Greek. The Latin name for Alaska pollock is Theragra chalcogramma.
  3. Country of catch or production. This field notes the country in which the product was caught or farmed and ensures the first degree of traceability is met. The Alaska pollock was caught in the United States.
  4. Region of catch or production. The region field describes specifically the ocean, lake or location of the farm in which the product was caught. This also aids in traceability efforts and holds vendors accountable for their catch. Alaska was the region of catch for the Alaska pollock.
  5. Gear type/production method. This field names the method used to catch or farm the product, which ensures seafood vendors are utilizing responsible fishing practices as approved by the Responsible Choice program. This means the seafood was harvested in a way that provides for its long-term viability and also minimizes damage to the environment and other sea life. The gear type for Alaska pollock is midwater trawl.
  6. Sustainability eco-certification (if applicable). The final field requires the vendor to provide the name of the organization(s) from which it obtained certification. Hy-Vee and the seafood industry trust accredited third-party resources to ensure the vendor meets industry standards and follows best practices. An example is a certification or accreditation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Based on this information, Hy-Vee and FishWise then determine if the product should receive Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice label, which indicates that the product meets Hy-Vee’s standard for responsibly sourced seafood. Hy-Vee defines “responsibly sourced” as seafood that is Green or Yellow rated by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or is certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these thorough ratings (e.g. MSC certified).

Ultimately, Hy-Vee’s goal in assessing each vendor according to these six sustainability fields is to ensure each utilizes environmentally-friendly practices, is transparent regarding where the product was caught or raised, and provides a safe, quality product for their customers. Each of these six fields is listed on the product’s master case label and is available to customers upon request.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood initiative is more than an idea, it is a promise to customers. Hy-Vee’s commitment is executed through each purchasing decision and reflects the standards set within the Responsible Choice initiative.

Recipe Spotlight: Tropical Curry Responsible Choice Skipjack Tuna Salad

Add a little tropical warmth to your meal through this Responsible Choice tuna dish, and feel good about your decision to use Hy-Vee Select Solid Light Skipjack Tuna. This canned tuna is part of Hy-Vee’s commitment to healthy oceans.

Tropical Curry Responsible Choice Skipjack Tuna Salad

Serves 4 to 6.

All you need:

Tropical Curry Responsible Choice Skipjack Tuna Salad

  • 1 (4 oz) container Hy-Vee plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
  • 2 (5 oz each) cans Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Solid Light Skipjack tuna, drained
  • 1 mango, cut in medium dice
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut in small dice
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Hy-Vee dried pineapple
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Mixed greens for serving, optional
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted cashews
  • Lime wedges for serving, optional

All you do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, curry powder and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, add the tuna, mango, red onion, red pepper, celery and dried pineapple. Mix with a fork to combine. Add the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  3. To serve, make a bed of greens on each plate. Top with tuna salad. Garnish with cashews and lime wedges.

Hy-Vee Select Canned Tuna: A Responsible and Healthy Choice

Canned tuna is one of the top three most-consumed seafood products in the United States. In fact, each American ate an average of 2.6 pounds of canned tuna in 2012, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) FishWatch.gov. Considering that tuna is a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3s, niacin and vitamins, it is not surprising that canned tuna is in such high demand.

However, its popularity has also led to the decline of many tuna stocks in the world’s oceans. Some fishing methods used for tuna can also have negative impacts on other species in the ocean, such as the unintentional capture of sea turtles, sharks and seabirds, or “bycatch” of non-target species. Given these concerns, Hy-Vee is pleased to offer two Responsible Choice canned tuna products.

Hy-Vee Select Solid Light Skipjack Tuna is caught using the pole and line catch method. This traditional type of tuna fishing is highly selective, catching one fish at a time and producing very little bycatch.

Hy-Vee Select Solid White Albacore Tuna is caught using pole and troll gear, considered to be among the most selective and ocean-friendly methods available for catching tuna. Pole-and-troll-caught fishing also targets younger tuna that have lower levels of mercury than older fish caught on longlines. Because of its environmental and health benefits, albacore from pole and troll fisheries is rated as a Super Green source of seafood by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Our decision to develop these items is part of Hy-Vee’s commitment to healthy oceans, and we are pleased to offer a Responsible Choice for one of the most-consumed seafood products – canned tuna.

Source: FishWatch – The Top Ten List

Recipe Spotlight: Seared Responsible Choice Mt. Cook salmon with Tomato & Artichoke Broth

This light recipe features Responsible Choice Mt. Cook salmon, while offering Italian flavors through the use of tomatoes and artichokes. Enjoy this dish for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Seared Responsible Choice Mt. Cook salmon with Tomato & Artichoke Broth

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 (6 oz each) Responsible Choice Mt. Cook salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

All you do:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute; then add the garlic and artichokes and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and reduce 1 minute. Add 1 cup chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let sauce simmer for 10 to 12 minutes to let flavors combine. You may add more broth if desired.
  5. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the fish 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
  6. Serve the salmon fillets with the tomato-artichoke broth on top. Equally distribute Parmesan cheese on top of salmon before serving.