The Catch Sitka Salmon Shares Member Newsletter January 2022

The Catch - January 2022

Our Resolution: Eat Wild

Some days ago, around seven in the evening, I sat at my kitchen table without too much to think about. One of those few and rare moments when it seems like time slows down, you can tune into the details around you and just observe. It felt like a window into our own fast-moving daily lives. The rush to prepare dinner, everyone on a schedule — from homework to tomorrow’s plan and TV shows to finishing a work day.

Dinner? Just another task. The quality of foods? A second thought.

Then my mind leaped back to a distant past, a long time ago but still very fresh in my memory. The kitchen was the gathering place every night, dinnertime was an event, a time of true connection. Everyone participated, everyone was involved. Cooking was an adventure, a stimulating indulgence to the senses, a time of joy to share food and conversation.

A big smile grew across my face as I reminisced about growing up in that very special kitchen.

In a season of resolutions, we want every dinner in 2022 to be a special event and a special time. At Sitka Salmon, we are committed to providing you with high-quality, wild caught fish and plenty of ideas to indulge your senses in your own culinary adventures.

-Gerardo Canales, CEO

Gerardo is our Chief Operating Officer

 




Eat Wild

The new year is a time of setting intentions. Gym subscriptions skyrocket each January and online searches including the word “diet” reach their highest levels for the year. As a member of Sitka Salmon Shares, you have dedicated a portion of your dinner plates (and freezer space!) to wild-caught seafood. Let's take a look at the role of wild foods in history and how our bodies benefit from them.

Before humans domesticated some plant and animal species, our diet consisted entirely of wild foods. Carbohydrates and sugars were rare in the environment and sought after for their life-sustaining calories, but protein-dense foods such as seafood, meat, and nuts were key to nutrition. Humans the world over invented ingenious methods of preserving seafood through salting, drying, fermenting, or freezing it through the winter.

Harvesting wild foods should never come at the cost of environmental integrity. Our fishermen use low-impact gear and coordinate with wildlife scientists to secure a bright future for wild foods.


Today, the domestication of plant and animal species in combination with global trade networks offers us a bounty unimaginable to our ancestors. Unfortunately, our bodies are operating in a hardware that hasn’t changed since the paleolithic era, before processed foods and sugar flooded our environment (and pantries).

What can we do when our bodies are always pulling us toward temptations that are now abundant? Health journalist Pilar Gerasimo says that the first step is “recognizing that your genes and current environment are an evolutionary mismatch of almost unfathomable proportions.”

“No matter how healthy your intentions,” Gerasimo writes in her book The Healthy Deviant, “confronted with a long-enough stream of pressures, frustrations, and temptations, eventually you will cave and take the path of least resistance.” Her solution? Ditch unhealthy social norms that attach us to overly-processed foods, and a diet culture that offers quick fixes. Gerasimo calls this mindset healthy deviance. It is a recognition that the odds are stacked against us and we have to not only overcome the temptation of easy calories, but all the social forces that anchor us to them in the form of clever marketing and peer-group pressures.

Pilar Gerasimo is an award-winning author and health journalist

1. Connection


What does healthy deviance look like at dinner time? Gerasimo says we have to reconnect with our food. The convenience and low prices of modern foods have come at the cost of knowledge about where our food comes from. We here at Sitka Salmon Shares go to great lengths to connect you to the source of your wild seafood because we care about how our fishermen get paid, the quality of our seafood, and that we leave the ocean in a better state than when we found it.

2. You Get What You Pay For


“Conventionally produced food is artificially cheap because the true costs are pawned off on the environment, taxpayers, underpaid workers, and more,” writes Gerasimo. Paying more up front for high-quality foods can save you (and the planet) in the long run. What is better for our bodies is often also good for the planet.

Rewarding the hard work of the people who harvest and process our foods sends a clear message to food companies to respect the dignity of work. If we don’t care, they won’t care.

3. Slow Down


Eating well doesn’t always have to cost more. Gerasimo says that if we invest time we can offset other costs. Preparing a high-quality meal at home is always cheaper than having a chef and wait staff prepare and deliver it to you at a restaurant. Buying whole rather than processed foods also saves money and preserves nutrition.

Preparing whole foods does take time, however. Social demands make it difficult, but setting aside time to prepare and enjoy a meal is critical to reconnecting with our food. Dinner time shouldn't be a race to fill your stomach with calories.

Good food takes time to prepare and eat.

 

Gerasimo has simple advice: “Chill. Relax. Tell yourself you are not in a hurry.” This sounds a bit basic, but too few of us actually take the time to enjoy our food. Gerasimo suggests we put the fork down between bites, take small bites, and fully chew our food. Be conscious of your breath and posture. By slowing down, we create daily rituals around meal time and build healthy habits that eventually become second nature.

4. Eat Wild


The health potential for food is greatest at the source. As a general rule, the farther a food travels from its place in nature and into the industrial food chain, the more sugar and salt is added. Don’t believe me? Try to find peanut butter without added sugar (either as cane or corn syrup) in your average supermarket. Salt and sugars can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but we have to be conscious of how processed foods have calibrated our palettes to extremes.

Wild foods provide something rare in the industrial food system: raw materials for our culinary adventures. Don’t get us wrong: we love a sugary glaze on our sablefish and the salty bite of salmon crudo. Starting with wild foods empowers us to control the salt and sugar content of our meals rather than leaving it up to a restaurant or an industrial food processor.


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Wherever you are in your food journey, we are happy you are starting 2022 with premium, wild-caught, Alaska seafood. Whether you fully embrace the healthy deviant lifestyle, or just want a mind-blowing centerpiece for entertaining, our seafood subscriptions and one-time boxes have you covered. Stay wild!

For more information on Pilar Gerasimo, check out her book, The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World.


Grace in the Kitchen

Woohoo! Welcome to a New Year! It’s that anticipated (dreaded?) time that many of us reflect on the previous year’s shortcomings and set our intentions to make meaningful change in the year to come. I’ve already started thinking about my own “resolutions”. For one, I’m going to eat something green at every meal. (gummy worms don’t count, I suppose)

We at Sitka Salmon Shares have made a few changes this year. The most obvious one is our shift to year-round subscriptions from a 9-month model. That means 3 more months of amazing fish plus all of the goodies that come with it. I’m so pleased to share some of the new and exciting goodies our culinary team has planned for you.

You can expect to see lots more Members Only classes, videos, and other content, plus several exciting new product offerings, a few curated boxes for special occasions, and a push to include more nutritional information.

What we will continue to offer, as always our great recipes that suit all of our members. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a newbie in the kitchen, rest assured that we have got you covered.

Happy 2022 to all.


Grace's signature

Ask Grace your culinary questions to level up your cooking skills in 2022!

Send Grace an email with your culinary questions
Simply email your questions to askgrace@sitkasalmonshares.com for a personal response from Grace, or better yet, a video demonstrating or highlighting her response.