Bristol Bay

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon — Which is Better for Your Body and the Planet?

Health Benefits

When it comes to navigating your salmon options (fresh, frozen, and canned), making the most optimal choice for your body and the planet can seem overwhelming. That said, salmon is touted for a variety of health benefits. In addition to being an impressive source of heart-healthy protein, salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium, and potassium

A rich source of high-quality protein, which the body needs for muscle recovery and strength, to protect bone health, and stabilize blood sugar, salmon contains 22-25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving. Paired with a non-starchy vegetable (i.e. asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, etc.) and a whole grain (i.e. brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.) or a starchy vegetable (i.e. sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, corn, etc.), salmon is part of a complete and balanced meal.

For many reasons, omega-3 fatty acids — ALA, DHA, and EPA — are incredibly important. They can help fight depression and anxiety, improve eye health, promote brain health during pregnancy, improve risk factors for heart disease, fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases, improve bone and joint health, and more. Salmon is known for its omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. On average, a 3.5-ounce portion of salmon as approximately 2.3 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids; however, the same serving size of wild-caught salmon boasts approximately 2.6 grams. When in doubt, choose wild salmon!

Salmon is also an excellent source of B vitamins, selenium, and potassium. We need a variety of B vitamins for energy production, controlling inflammation, and protecting both our heart and brain health. In essence, B vitamins are involved in several important processes in the body, and salmon contains vitamin B1-B6, B9, and B12. Furthermore, a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains approximately 60% of selenium, a trace mineral involved in protecting bone health, thyroid function, and more. Last but not least, salmon contains potassium — which aids in blood pressure control and preventing excess fluid retention.

Salmon Sourcing

Although salmon is chock-full of health benefits, not all salmon is equal in nutritional value and its impact on the environment. There are some salmon products that are best avoided altogether — whether due to environmental concerns, sustainability, toxicity, labor ethics, or all of the above. As a conscientious shopper, it’s best to choose salmon that is a) wild-caught and b) from North American waters. The Alaskan salmon fishery, especially where POBB fishes, is one of the most well-managed, safe, and sustainable fisheries in the world, so as long as your salmon is wild-caught, it’s almost always an ethical choice.

Unfortunately, the production of farmed salmon has increased significantly over the course of the last few years, to keep up with demand and to cut costs. In fact, research shows that half of the salmon sold worldwide comes from fish farms. As you can imagine, farmed salmon has a completely different diet and environment than salmon that swims freely in the ocean. Unlike farmed salmon, wild salmon is caught in open waters, where it is able to eat organisms found in its natural environment. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, is given a processed diet in order to produce unnaturally larger fish.

Nutritional Differences

As mentioned previously, the amount (and quality) of omega-3 fatty acids differs between farmed and wild salmon. Overall, the nutrient density differs greatly between salmon that is farmed as opposed to caught wildly. Data shows that farmed salmon is much higher in fat, including much higher levels of omega-6 (which most Americans are already over-consuming) and approximately three times as much of saturated fat. Contrary, wild salmon is higher in minerals, like potassium, zinc, and iron.

Additionally, 2004/2005 studies indicated that farmed salmon contains much higher concentrations of contaminants than wild salmon, which is not surprising. Furthermore, like factory-farmed land animals, farmed fish contain antibiotics. Due to the high density of fish being farmed, they are typically more susceptible to infections and disease. To counter this issue, antibiotics are added to their fish feed. Not only is this an environmental problem, but these antibiotics wreak havoc on the human digestive system.

Environmental Impact

Due to antibiotic use, toxins such as PCBs (man-made chemicals like carbon and chlorine), and pollution of waterways (where the salmon are kept in vast pens), farmed salmon negatively impacts the environment. Plus, it’s best to avoid salmon that has been shipped overseas for processing. If you’re buying canned salmon and the label tells you your salmon is a “product of Thailand,” that means the fish was caught in the U.S., shipped across the world, processed, and then shipped back for sale. Not only is this not appetizing, but the carbon footprint is significant.

Industrial ocean fish farming threatens native wildlife as there is no barrier between the cages that contain massive amounts of farmed fish and the surrounding ocean ecosystem. Because there is no barrier, factory fish farming allows for excess feed, feces, antibiotics, and chemicals that cause algae blooms and dead zones; additionally, other wildlife are attracted to the cages and ultimately get caught in the nets and ropes. Furthermore, this type of fish farming is wiping out other fish populations in order to feed the farmed fish populations (like herring, anchovy, and krill).

When in doubt, choosing wild-caught salmon that is sustainably harvested is the most advantageous choice for both you and the environment. At POBB, the salmon is truly the best of the best. The fishermen are committed to the highest standards, so every sockeye filet has unrivaled quality and flavor. Plus, every case is labeled with the name of the Bristol Bay Fishing District, for the ultimate traceability. POBB offers efficient and affordable wild and sustainable salmon. To mention, it is absolutely delicious!

Thank you

Thank You from the Pride of Bristol Bay Crew

We want to extend a wholehearted thank you to everyone who has purchased wild-caught sockeye salmon through Pride of Bristol Bay this season. It was quite a year, and your support means the world to us. It wouldn’t have been a success without you!

We’re getting ready to head up to Alaska (spoiler alert: we can’t wait to get fishing), because, believe it or not, the 2019 season is almost upon us! The run is expected to be great this year – possibly not quite as large as last year – but we will certainly be returning with more than enough to share.

If you have a freezer full of salmon and are in need of recipes, head over to our blog. We have some great recipes, as well as articles full of tips, tricks, and updates from the crew here at Pride of Bristol Bay. Additionally, head on over to prideofbristolbay.com and hover over “The Daily Catch” to read the articles of interest. Lastly, if you live in one of the buying club locations, pre-orders are open. Click here for more information on dates and locations.

Once more, we would like to extend a warm THANK YOU to everyone who continues to support Bristol Bay and the fight against Pebble Mine [http://www.savebristolbay.org/]. We hope to see you this fall!

Wild Salmon

Cedar Planked Salmon from Coley Cooks

Recipe created by Coley Cooks.

Coley Cooks is a great friend and even better chef! You can get the full story of the recipe by visiting her website by clicking here.

With summer in full swing we wanted to share this great Cedar Planked Salmon recipe. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 untreated cedar planks, soaked in water for ~1 hour
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat a grill to medium heat-high. Mix together the mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pat the salmon fillets very dry, then place them skin-side-down and rub the mustard mixture all over top.
  • Rub the top of the cedar planks lightly with oil, place them on the grill, close, and allow them to heat up for about 5 minutes. While the grill heats up, mix together the salsa.
  • Combine the tomatoes, peaches and red onion in a medium bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then mix to combine.
  • Place the salmon portions on the cedar planks, then close the grill and let cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the salmon is opaque in the center. Add the basil to the salsa, then toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Transfer each salmon fillet to a plate, then spoon salsa over top. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, then serve immediately.
Fishing

Enter the Giveaway: What’s Your Favorite Fishing Story?

As we make our way back to Alaska for the fishing season, we want to know about your favorite fishing memories. Are your favorite stories out in the ocean, on a river or lake, or at a local pond? Wherever it may be, we want to know! Simply submit your favorite stories by clicking here or visiting prideofbristolbay.com.

StoryOnce your story is submitted, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a grouping of hand tied fly’s by Bob Erickson. Bob spends his spare time tying various flies, and it’s a great way for him to spend his winter. Bob is truly a fly fishing addict – in the best way possible! Bob has made numerous trips to remote rivers around the world to fish. He also spends quite a bit of time fishing the remote rivers around Bristol Bay, where he is passionate about protecting the wild fish in such a beautiful, untamed place. So, you’re probably wondering, why are we giving away these flies from Bob? Well, he’s a great friend of ours and we truly enjoy his support. We want you to enjoy your summer with these flies.

To get you started here are a couple of favorite fishing stories from our crew.

“It’s difficult for me to pick a ‘favorite fishing memory’ because for me, fishing is synonymous with all of these: fishcamp, Bristol Bay, summer, fishing friends, spending time on the water, etc. Fishing is what we call our summers in Bristol Bay, and it feels too much like routine life, work, and livelihood to pick out a favorite.

That said, to answer this question, I thought about the few times I fished when it wasn’t work-related. Perhaps a surprise to some, but for me, it is really just a few times. A favorite that stands out is fishing off the coast of my hometown, following a commercial salmon season. The bonito were running up past New England in late summer, and my uncle was excited to try his hand at catching one or two for sport.

I had very little memory of exploring my hometown with the critical, search-determined eye of a fisherman, like I am now very familiar with in Bristol Bay. However, I was eager to try it out in the waters I knew well. So, my uncle obliged and took me and an Alaska friend who was visiting Long Island Sound. Each fish species is so unique. While seeing a school of 100 or so bonito tuna – stirring up the surface of the water – is so different than seeing the jumpers of Bristol Bay, the feelings of enthusiasm are similar. I was the only one who caught (& released!) one that day.” – Elma (Bellingham, Washington)

“My favorite fishing memory…wow, that’s hard to pin down. But I would say, spending time on Owyhee Reservoir with family comes to mind. Not only are we making memories, but we’re catching crappie left and right. To this day, there are certain songs I’ll hear that bring back some of those favorite times of riding in the boat up the reservoir to the secret fishing hole.” – Candy (Ketchum, Idaho)

“While my earliest fishing memory is from when I was eight years old – my dad and I went salmon fishing in the San Francisco-Bay – my most favorite memory is from last summer. Out of Kawaihae harbor on the Big Island, Hawaii, my dad, brother, and I set sail down the coast in search of deep-sea tuna and wahoo (ono). Not even 30 minutes into our fishing trip, my line started singing. I jumped down from the top deck and braced myself for what was to come. While reeling in my 20-lb ono was mentally and physically exhausting, it was worth the fight. We enjoyed the freshest sashimi that night, but most importantly, I’ll never forget how proud my dad was.” – Edie Horstman (Denver, Colorado)

Alright – it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories here. P.S. those memories do not have to be salmon fishing memories!

We’ll be selecting a random winner on June 30th! Good luck, we cannot wait to read and share your stories!

Happy fishing.

Grilling season with pride of bristol bay

Grilling Season with Pride of Bristol Bay

And just like that, grilling season is upon us.

As late-spring turns into early-summer, we look forward to fishing season, family barbecues, hanging outside with friends, and, of course, entertaining. That is one of our favorite things to do in the summer – entertain. When it involves being outdoors with the grill fired up, yard games sprawled across the grass, and friends having fun, there’s no better way to spend the weekend with your loved ones. With that in mind, we wanted to bring you a few grilling tips and tricks for our wild-caught sockeye salmon, from Bristol Bay Alaska. We have the best sockeye salmon you’ll ever have – guaranteed.

Grilling salmon is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this delicious fish. If you received our Wildly Devoted Dinner Box, you would have received this recipe, but if you didn’t, you can click here. We recommend grilling your salmon low and slow. In other words, just barely sear the flesh-side first, and then flip the salmon to the skin-side, and let it cook through to your preference. To prep your salmon for the grill, we love the “Rub with Love Salmon Seasoning”, click here to purchase. We also enjoy grilling our salmon with the basics: salt, pepper, a little bit of lemon, and parsley. Let that marinate in olive oil for a few hours, then grill.

Not only will you love these recipes, but your guests will love them too. Keep in mind that sales are unavailable in June, July, and August. Therefore, be sure to order your case today – either filets or portions. You’ll be able to entertain all summer long and restock in the fall. Enjoy the rest of May, and stay tuned for updates out of Bristol Bay Alaska as we head into our fishing season.

Alaska Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Grilling Inspiration

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Thaw Alaska Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon portions (snip for safety)
  2. Pat dry with paper towel
  3. Season both sides with Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Salmon Rub

Grilling: 

Over med-high heat place season salmon portions directly on lightly oiled grill, skin side down. Close grill lid and cook 12 – 15 minutes or until the salmon reaches an internal temp of 140F.

Pan Frying: 

Heat 3-5 T of olive oil in a heavy bottomed saute pan over med high heat. Place seasoned salmon portions presentation side down and cook for 1 min. Turn salmon portions over and finish cooking for another 5-7 minutes skin side down or until the salmon reaches an internal temp of 140F.

Conventional Oven: 

Preheat oven to 400F. Place seasoned salmon on a nonstick baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 140F.

Nutritional Information: 

Sockeye salmon portions are great for health enthusiasts eating Ketogenic, Whole30, Gluten Free or Paleo because they are high in protein, with zero carbs. Wild caught salmon is a great source of iron, selenium, Vitamins A, B, D, and heart-healthy omega 3’s.