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"From Fishing to Farmers Markets" & events, issues & ideas

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Two Great Canned Tuna articles this Sunday
Just when it seems like canned albacore is under an immeasurable cloud, out pop two articles extolling the virtues of West Coast Troll Caught Albacore! The Oregonian dished up a comprehensive look at the nutritional and gastronomical advantages of troll caught albacore. This article meshes the MeHg issue with sage advice from a Harvard educated doctor in nutrition, Joyce Nettleson. She says that the FDA/EPA mercury advisory overlooks the safest tuna of all....Troll caught. The article mentions the MeHg results of the OSU study chaired by Dr. Michael Morrissey. This is an excellent article! Dr. Nettleson explains why pregnant women and small children need a good supply of Omega 3's and how troll caught tuna should be considered because its mercury content is so low.

The other article was in the Pacific Northwest Magazine titled "Crazy for Canned" by famous Canlis chef Greg Atkinson. He also loves West Coast troll caught albacore and offers some delicious recipes. He lists as a source for trolled canned albacore which lists Papa George Gourmet Albacore. Thank you Greg.

Friday, March 19, 2004
One step forward....Two steps back
As an albacore producer, I am very offended by the headline on ABC News online news service which says "Killer Fish? Which fin fish could make for dangerous meals" . This strident headline undermines the current consumer advisory on methylmercury in fish, which goes at great lengths to allow consumers to " make educated dietary choices for fish they catch or buy." Once again the media lumps American albacore trollers in with long-line caught foreign large albacore. The advisory issued today has been met with tremendous cynicism by groups who want to prevent the sale of any food which contains even a minute amount of mercury. My job as a small businesswoman in the albacore industry feels threatened today.

All fishermen feel the pressure of our profession. Fishing takes you away from home. You face the pressures of weather, hard physical labor, and the vagaries of a world market dictating prices you can't control. You live under the ever growing regulations of Fish & Game. I can live with this. What gets really hard to take is the constant attacks from non-governmental organizations which have an agenda to eliminate commercial fishing all together. They can't control the fishing fleets of foreign nations, and so they attack American small family fishing enterprises like Steve's and mine.

We bring an excellent and safe product to the marketplace. We have tested our product for all its nutritional qualities and methylmercury content. Our food lab and many nutritionists will testify that we produce a very healthy and safe product in our canned albacore. We are ethical people and would never sell a product which could hurt someone.

Monday, March 15, 2004
Sewing stops for squid and Traveling on 101
The Papa George is fishing for squid tonight behind Catalina Island. The crew dropped their needles and threw off the lines. Our sardine net construction project will have to wait while the squid school up. The sea surface temperature charts were leading me to believe that Catalina would pop soon. Next will be the Channel Islands as the sea warms up slowly and the squid find the temperature of 11-13 degrees C. to their liking.

My drive from San Pedro to Kingston was fast. It’s about 1600 miles of travel through some of the prettiest country on earth. I am amazed at how many miles of the West Coast are still quite wild looking. Route 101 took me from Los Angeles, CA to Moss Landing, CA. Then I picked it up again in San Francisco and continued up to Crescent City and on up the Oregon Coast to Washington. Along the way to San Francisco are acres of grape vines, lettuce, strawberries, and greens. North of San Francisco up to Ukiah are vineyards and olive groves. You don’t see many of the olive groves because the trees are grown on hills too steep for grapes, or where the soil isn’t good enough for other crops. North of Ukiah the crop changes to trees and more trees all the way up through Washington. The coastal regions also raise beef cattle, milk cows, and sheep. Wherever I see farms, groves, and fields producing crops I feel a kinship with their struggles. The farmers at my farmers markets in Seattle have taught me that farming must be a labor of love. Fishermen, like farmers, have problems with fluctuating market prices and the costs of labor and insurance. You just have to love it .

One stop worth a big mention was in Healdsburg at the home of Colleen McGlynn and Ridgley Evers who are producers of DaVero Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oils. They generously gave of their time and expertise. I was given a great tour of the olive groves and the propagating area for olive trees. Colleen explained the business part of the olive growing equation and I can see that artisan producers have a real job in keeping costs down while keeping the quality of their olive oil at the highest level. The grove climbs up a fairly steep hill behind the house and continues over 20 or so acres. Each acre holds approximately 200 trees which are planted according to a specific plan which grows a different percentage of four varieties: Leccino, Frantoio, Maurino, and Pendolino. I recommend exploring the DaVero website for a thorough discussion of growing and making artisan olive oil. For instance, I wasn't aware that the olives are picked acre by acre, all varieties at once, mixed together, crushed and pressed together. This mix gives a better, richer oil than a blend which presses the varieties separately and then combines the oils into a new blend. Colleen loaded me up with a bottle of each of their 2003 olive oils for me to test with our canned albacore. She also gave me a bottle of their "Pollo Rosso" red table wine, which is I can attest is scrumptious and available on their website.

Colleen explained the nemesis of olive growing, the olive fly which ispersistentant pest. It can produce at least five generations of flies in an olive growing season. It lays its eggs in the young olive fruit rendering it inedible and unusable. The olive fly ( Bactrocera Oleae) can be controlled by weekly spraying of Spinosad but many folks who have backyard olive trees are not aware of the infestations in their trees and unintentionally help spread the fly which re-infects groves previously cleansed of the olive fly. This pest has few natural predators. It is cost prohibitive to use traps. My farmer market buddies could certainly understand this problem.

I extremelymly grateful to have been able to meet Colleen and Ridgley and to have learned so much about DaVero production. Maybe if they find themselves in San Pedro we can show them the fish catching part of the Papa George Gourmet Albacore and Seafoods. I hope our albacore can continue to bathe in the delicious blend of artisan extra virgin olive oil which is DaVero.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Supermarket News and Parade Magazine
We will be mentioned in the March 21, 2004 issue of Parade Magazine but under the auspices of website features all the latest health issues concerning albacore. You can reach the Papa George website by clicking on Buy Online Now!. Of course if you are reading this , you are already on the Papa George website. I merely want to mention a great site for learning about the albacore troll fishery and its fishermen.

Parade Magazine has a circulation of 78 million readers. Can you imagine if one in ten thousand people ordered because of this article that 7800 orders could come in?? That would be amazing!

The Supermarket Sampler is a trade magazine which recently featured tuna. It is another indication that our message about troll caught albacore by American fishermen is beginning to penetrate the consciousness of the supermarket.

Supermarket Sampler - Feb 29, 2004


Bumble Bee Premium Tuna. Touch of Lemon Chunk Light, and Prime Fillet
Solid White Albacore. 69 to 79 cents per 6-ounce can of Touch of Lemon
or $1.99 per 6-ounce can Prime Fillet.
Bonnie: Bumble Bee has added a "Touch of Lemon" juice to its Chunk
Tuna to create one of two new canned tuna products. Although I enjoy
flavor that a slice of real lemon gives to fish, I didn't like the
of this.

Nutritionally, it's the same as light tuna without the touch of lemon
and, according to the FDA, probably contains less mercury than Prime
Fillet, Bumble Bee's other new tuna product. That product is
hand-selected white albacore tuna packed in water. I found it very dry,
needing the addition of some olive oil, mayonnaise or a touch of (funny
as it sounds) lemon.

Albacore is the only kind of tuna that can be called "white meat." If
you plan to eat canned tuna more than once a week, I'd suggest buying
the troll-caught kind (caught one at time using hook and line). They're
smaller and younger fish, containing more of the good-for-you omega-3s
and less of the bad-for-you mercury. Sadly, you can buy troll-caught
tuna fresh only from July to October and mainly on the West Coast. But
you can purchase canned troll-caught tuna at anytime.

Another way to get additional omega-3s would be to look at the
Facts label of supermarket canned tuna. Those with some troll-caught
tuna contain 3 grams of fat per serving instead of 1 gram.

Carolyn: I got a chuckle out of the press kit that accompanied Bumble
Bee's Touch of Lemon Chunk Light Tuna -- specifically "Lemon Zest"
cookbook author Lori Longbotham's comment that its lemon might help
ameliorate consumers' two top complaints about tuna: its fishy taste
scent. I say people who don't like the taste and smell of fish probably
shouldn't buy tuna! (They certainly shouldn't buy it on the
recommendation of someone like Longbotham, who's been paid to say nice
things about it.) The rest of us should not find it too hard to squeeze
one of those plastic lemons over a can of cheaper, store-brand tuna if
we should so choose.

People who actually like tuna would be better off buying Bumble Bee's
other new offering, Gold Standard Prime Fillet. It's dry and light,
without being stringy and tasteless -- good enough, in fact, to
substitute for fresh tuna in recipes like the wonderful one that Bumble
Bee paid chef Fabrice Poigin to create for this tuna. His Festive
Mediterranean-Style Rigatoni Pasta With Prime Fillet Albacore is a
restaurant-quality pasta fish dish so easy that even this freezer queen
was able to make it in less than 45 minutes.

Saturday, March 06, 2004
More good press for Troll Caught Albacore
The reputation of troll caught albacore is growing. The following editorial extoles the virtues of our Northwest Pacific albacore. Be on the lookout for a mention of this type of albacore in "Parade" magazine in March sometime.
We appreciate the mention of Papa George Gourmet Albacore on the WFOA website and scroll down to Papa George Gourmet Albacore. The entire website is a treasure trove of information and recipes about albacore.
Next week I will be heading home to Kingston, WA., but will stop in Sonoma, CA to look at various olive oils in which to bathe our albacore. The next goal is to have a Spring sale in April and to participate in an early farmers market in Kingston on March 24th.
Steve is halfway through building a sardine net. It will be 250 fathoms long! Our boat is in San Pedro and the weather is turning very 80 degrees.

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