SOME ON TEXAS COAST STOCK UP FOR HURRICANE HARVEY PARTIES
At Paul’s Seafood Market in Corpus Christi, right in the path of Hurricane Harvey as it closed in on Texas on Friday, owner Tom Stamatakis was surprised at how busy he was.
With Harvey expected to make landfall overnight as the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. mainland in a dozen years, many residents of this beach city had left for higher ground. But others opted to ride it out, and a few even planned parties.
“It’s pretty cool man,” Stamatakis told Reuters at the market on Flour Bluff, in one of the first areas forecast to be clobbered by the hurricane. “I’ve been bagging five pound bags of shrimp all morning. I can’t keep enough ice. There’s no ice anywhere!”
Stamatakis, who said he had survived a few big storms during his 42 years in Corpus Christi, was staying put to protect his inventory in case the power went out. His stocks of shrimp, crab, crawfish, alligator, lobster, mahi mahi and tuna were worth thousands of dollars, he said.
“If everything goes badly we’ve got generators,” Stamatakis said. “We’ve got a lot of inventory here and can’t let it spoil. It’s a family business.”
As he spoke, Aldolfo Cuellar, 54, and Joe Miller, 36, both surfers from Corpus Christi, walked into the market and began asking about the price of oysters.
“We’re just having a party,” explained Miller, who said he lived nearby. “I’ve been through a lot of these. We’re just going to eat seafood and watch the storm.”
The pair had just come from checking out the waves.
“We’re surfers,” Cuellar said. “We’re just waiting for the storm to pass so we can get back out there.”
Apart from keeping an eye on his seafood, Stamatakis said he was staying in town to be with his 62-year-old mother, Alicia, who had no plans on leaving.
"She just likes to be here, plus the traffic is hectic," he said. "We stocked up good ... so if it happens, we'll be ready, God be with us."
CAYUCOS WOMAN FINDS WORM INSIDE SALMON BOUGHT FROM COSTCO
A Cayucos woman says she found a worm slithering inside her fresh salmon that she purchased from the San Luis Obispo Costco on Wednesday.
"I was pretty freaked out, I just wanted to burn it and throw it away," said Kiley Knowles, the woman who found the worm.
Knowles said she shot a cell phone video once she discovered the wiggling worm inside in the package, she sent the video to her husband.
"He was like, 'oh, it's fine. Just cook it. I would have eaten it. I went, are you serious? That is disgusting," Knowles said.
A local fisherman says the fish could still have been safe to eat. He says the worm was most likely a parasitic japanese broad tapeworm, and they aren't rare to find in fresh salmon.
"A lot of people said its really common, it's in all fish," Knowles said. "Apparently I need to take a microbiology class because they talk all about it."
The parasitic tapeworm primarly lives within fish. A local fisherman says freezing, or cooking the salmon would kill the parasite, making it safe for human consumption.
"If I would have known that I honestly would not have bought the fish," Knowles said.
Knowles says she was able to get a full refund from Costco with no questions asked, but now shes warning others to beware the next time you buy fish.
"I would just say make sure you check your fish before you eat it," Knowles said.
Strangely, this also happened to a woman who bought sockeye salmon from a San Diego Costco this week. She found several worms inside the salmon.
KSBY's request for an interview was denied by Costco representatives. The representative on the phone said the company had no comment on two cases.
BLAME APLENTY IN ATLANTIC SALMON CRISIS
There’s been no lack of finger-pointing for steep declines in Atlantic salmon stocks in recent years. Defenders of Greenland argue its annual reported catch, 27 tonnes last year, is dwarfed by Canada’s estimated 135 tonnes, mostly taken by recreational anglers and First Nations’ fisheries.
Salmon conservationists in this country, meanwhile, counter Greenland’s fishing is indiscriminate in harvesting large, spawning-age salmon essential for rebuilding depleted stocks, while Canada has taken measures to reduce the catch of those larger fish.
The salmon, of course, don’t have a voice in this debate. They just continue to disappear.
There’s merit in both arguments. But there’s no getting around the fact the stock’s numbers have plummeted since the Atlantic salmon’s main marine feeding grounds off Greenland and the Faroe Islands were discovered in the 1950s, leading to intensive fishing efforts in those waters.
It’s surely no coincidence an estimated population of 1.8 million Atlantic salmon returning to North American rivers in the mid-’70s dropped, by two decades later, to barely half a million.
Nor is it likely happenstance that when salmon fishing off Greenland was sharply reduced between 2002 and 2009 (thanks to efforts by the Iceland-based North Atlantic Salmon Fund, founded by Orri Vigfússon, to pay to retrain commercial fishers in Greenland for other jobs), salmon numbers returning to North American rivers rebounded modestly, to about 800,000 in 2011.
WHOLE FOODS WILL DROP PRICES ON MONDAY, AMAZON SAYS IN DETAILING NEW GROCERY STRATEGY
Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods’ 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer’s “Whole Paycheck” nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.
New prices will take effect on Monday — the same day Amazon says it will finalize its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. The online marketplace, famous for disrupting the book industry and other retail segments, also laid out its plans for combining its business with an established brick-and-mortar chain.
Amazon customers would be able to receive packages — and return items bought online — at Whole Foods locations that include its Lockers service, the retailer said, outlining what customers can expect to see.
Integration of the two companies will also mean Amazon customers will be able to buy Whole Foods’ private label products through its website and local grocery delivery services. Another change would make Prime the loyalty rewards program for Whole Foods customers.
Amazon sent ripples through the grocery industry when it announced it would buy Whole Foods back in June. But analysts have also noted that the combined company would only control about 2 percent of the U.S. grocery market. The largest share goes to Walmart, with about 14.5 percent, followed by Kroger with 7.2 percent, CNBC reported this summer.
With the new details, Amazon is revealing some of its goals for this acquisition — including gathering customer information from Whole Foods’ clientele.
The list of grocery items that will be cheaper at Whole Foods markets next week ranges from bananas, apples and organic avocados to ground beef, salmon and tilapia, along with organic rotisserie chicken and other products.
Calling the combined venture “the first of a new breed of cyber-physical retailers,” professor Lee McKnight of Syracuse University’s school of information studies says Amazon’s first priority isn’t to boost Whole Foods’ sales volumes — it’s to boost the amount of data the company has about its customers.
Citing a strong overlap of upper-income consumers who use both Amazon Prime and Whole Foods, McKnight says, “They want to tie those two databases or datasets together, which makes it more valuable, because now you have this more rounded picture of what the person is doing online and offline.”
Noting that a large chunk of Amazon’s profits stem from its cloud services and data businesses rather than its online sales, McKnight says the new strategy could benefit both elements of Amazon’s business.
It could also pose a threat to other grocers and retailers.
Noting the recently struck deal between Google and Walmart, McKnight said, “If you’re not Walmart, if you’re not Amazon and Whole Foods, who’s your cyber partner to make you stand out in this evolution?”
TRASHFISH SEAFOOD SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE SETS OUT TO RIVAL BLUE APRON, HELLOFRESH
Newly created membership-based share program Trashfish aims to rival subscription box market movers Blue Apron and HelloFresh, according to founder and seafood industry veteran Ren Ostry.
The new membership-based share program Trashfish, officially launched on Friday, 25 August.
The prime objective of the program, which will first be introduced to consumers in southern California, is to “challenge the industrial food complex” by taking trash fish species and transforming them into “affordable, traceable delicacies for the popular consumer,” according to a press release regarding the company’s launch.
Members who sign up for a Trashfish subscription will receive two boxes every month featuring a “catch of the week,” a complimentary pantry item, and a recipe from a prominent local chef on how to prepare the shipment’s contents. Subscribers will also receive an accompanying e-newsletter, called “Catch to Kitchen (C2K),” that offers additional exclusive tips from Los Angeles-based chefs, industry insights, as well as information about the unique seafood in their shares, explained the company.