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New and Healthy: Arctic Char

Some people make very specific New Year’s resolutions. Not me. I’m more the type who knows that I want to improve things about my life but I leave it kind of open and general – who knows what could come up! Yet, after indulging in too many wonderful treats over the holidays, I definitely feel a need to focus on getting back to eating sane, healthy foods. So, I was thrilled when I heard about a tasty fish we are featuring in January: Arctic Char. It’s fun to try something new and even better when it’s a flavorful fish filled with healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids but low in methylmercury.  I have not tried Arctic char yet but plan to get some on my next shopping trip. Here’s how good it sounds:
Arctic char is light, moist and firm in texture. With its subtle flavor and versatility, it serves as an excellent salmon or trout substitute in seafood dishes for beginner palates, kid-friendly meals, or for at-home chefs who simply prefer a less intensely flavored fish. Delicious sautéed, baked, broiled or grilled, Arctic char lends itself to a variety of seasonings — from herbed butter to spicy to fresh-squeezed citrus.
Tastes good and simple to prepare. Check. But that’s not all. Our Arctic char is sustainably raised and meets our rigorous Quality Standards for Aquaculture.
Whole Foods Market’s Arctic char is raised in land-based tanks of ice cold, crystal-clear water that is filtered through centuries-old lava rock by the Samherji cooperative of fish farmers in Iceland. This co-op raises healthy, earth-friendly Arctic char without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, or land-animal byproducts in feed. This means that our shoppers are enjoying not only the best tasting fish, but also some of the purest Arctic char on the market.
Carrie Brownstein, our Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator, traveled to Iceland to check out the Arctic char farms and reports the "land-based tanks offer excellent water quality control and extra protection against farmed fish escaping into the wild. And they also protect the char from predators." She was also quite taken with the “breathtaking Icelandic landscape.” Tune in tomorrow to read Carrie’s account of the farms and see more of her amazing pictures. So, I’m going to try Arctic char this weekend and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Here are some great recipes for Arctic Char if you want some ideas. Give it a try and let us know what you think!