It’s been almost a year since we got to know Amelia Burns Stewart at Blue North and fell in love with the Pacific cod humanely harvested by her father and uncle, Michael and Patrick Burns. The Burns have been longline fishing in Alaskan waters for decades, and in the 90s they purchased a grass-fed cattle ranch in eastern Oregon. As admirers of Temple Grandin’s work around the humane treatment of cattle, they were inspired to consider better treatment of wild fish harvested from the sea.
That inspiration became reality in 2016 as they launched their new innovative fishing vessel, the Blue North. The 191-foot ship is the first designed to stun fish before they are processed, thereby minimizing pain and stress. Scientific studies show that this also results in a better eating experience – the fish retains more nutrients and has better flavor and texture. Stress during harvesting releases enzymes that are detrimental to the quality.
The Blue North is also the only fishing vessel in the North Pacific with a moon pool – an opening in the boat that allows the crew to bring the fish up through the inside of the vessel, a much safer method than working on the deck. Pacific cod is caught using bottom longlines, pulled through the moon pool, then stunned. The fish is then immediately filleted and frozen on board, retaining optimal freshness and quality.
When I met Amelia last fall she recalled shopping with her mom at the seafood counter at our Bainbridge Island market, so it seemed a natural fit to her family for our stores to be the first to offer their Humane Harvest cod. When we introduced it in our Seafood Markets last November, Amelia made her way to each of our locations sharing samples and telling the Blue North story. Customers and employees were impressed with both, and it this cod has become a favorite fish in our seafood cases. We think it’s a perfect example of two family businesses partnering to provide exceptional food to our communities.
Be a Honey and Help Save the Bees
A portion of our bulk honey sales goes to bee research
Our Northwest bulk honey comes from GloryBee, an Oregon company that started in 1975 as a simple family honey stand, and they’ve been one of our favorite natural food partners for many years.
Part of what we like about them is their mission to “Save the Bee” through awareness, education and raising money for bee research at Washington and Oregon state universities (more than $300,000 so far). Honey bee populations have been declining for decades, and we need these little buggers to pollinate many of the crops that provide our food.
According to GloryBee, one of every three bites of food Americans eat comes from a plant visited by bees and other pollinators. You can help support GloryBee’s efforts by simply visiting our markets and taking home some bulk honey, knowing a portion of the sale will go toward Save the Bee. And now’s the time to do it – our clover, blackberry, raspberry and wildflower bulk honeys are on Big Board Buys through Sept. 18.
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
End of summer backpacking, boating or camping?
Take along a wedge of Sartori SarVecchio Parmesan. This award-winning Wisconsin cheese has the nuttiness of Reggiano with lightly roasted caramel notes and it makes the perfect hiking partner. More protein per ounce than steak, it will keep you going on the trail. It’s not quite as crumbly as Reggiano, so it slices nicely and is very happy on an apple slice. Take your cheese outside to play while the Northwest days still inspire picnics in the park.
Marketing Manager Sue Transeaux joined Town & Country Markets 23 years ago, working in Bulk Foods at the market on Bainbridge Island. She’s always watching for what’s fresh, delicious and inspiring in our markets.