Do you have tuna in water?
No Sea Fare Pacific products do not have an Albacore product with water. Water is a cheap filler – it is usually added with a broth to homogenize the tuna which is a common practice in twice-cooked tuna products.
What is twice cooked tuna?
Twice cooking is a method of processing that all the major brands utilize. The tuna gets pre-baked in large ovens (whole tuna – guts and everything!?!) and then the hot soft fish goes down the line where low skilled labor use their hands to scrape the meat away from the bones and offal. During the process, the tuna loses most of its valuable oil (that contains the Omega-3’s). The main reason the tuna is processed this way is the low-cost labor in poorer countries (many working for $5.00 a day) It also allows the tuna processor to bring in tuna from different areas (different qualities) and by pre-baking and adding a broth of some-sort they can manipulate the taste.
Is Tuna better with Olive Oil?
That is an interesting question. Decent Olive Oil can cover up a bunch of mistakes. Most brands are twice cooking their tuna and add Olive Oil. They are taking a dry (pre-baked) tuna and hydrating it with the oil. Admittedly, it can taste pretty good. But what are you wanting to get – you certainly are not getting the Omega’s and Protein you could be getting (with once cooked). Granted olive oil is good for you – why not buy a quality oil and add it to a salad with a quality Albacore product and give your body a lot more?
What is a once cooked process?
We fillet the tuna at ice-cold temperatures (maintaining a high oil content) by hand and then take that raw meat and put it directly into the can or pouch. The oil in the can or pouch is natural fish oil that should be eaten (not drained) – mix it back in for flavor and good health.
Why doesn’t everybody use the once cooked process?
It takes skilled labor to fillet the fish which adds a lot of expense to the product. Also, the fish needs to come from sources where the fish has been taken care of from the time it is caught until the time it is processed if you are going to cook it raw and not doctor it up with flavors and fillers.
What is Pole and Line in regards to catch methods?
Some brands say pole and line caught, some say line caught – I guess it has been a bit confusing to some trying to figure it out. Generally when a pole is mentioned it means the old style fishing when the fish are chummed into a feed frenzy and guys with poles and a short line and a barbless hook lower the pole to the water until a tuna strikes the hook thinking it is a small baitfish and then the fish is hoisted out of the water and onto the deck of the boat where it flops off the hook. Typically these types of boats use a brine freezing system and they usually do not bleed their fish. This fish is usually sold into Spanish markets for canning. If the fish are just “line caught” – this is usually jig fishing (which is usually associated with bled fish and higher-quality fish) – but some jig fishermen do not bleed their fish.
What is Jig Fishing?
This is the main method of fishing for quality boats here off the U.S. West Coast. Boats will have 10 to 12 lines spread out behind the boats with a jig (skirt with hook) and when the boat is moving fast is looks like a small school of baitfish. As the Alabcore come up and bite the hook, the fishermen on the back of the boat pull them in by hand and take the hook out and then toss the jig back into the water to catch another one. This is a very sustainable way to fish because you are only catching a small portion of the school of fish.
Where do your fish come from?
All of our Albacore come from small family-owned fishing boats that catch fish off the West Coast from Northern California up to Washington State with the majority being caught right here near us in Oregon. These are professional fishermen who take pride in what they do, providing a very high-quality product. There are a lot of cheap tuna including albacore caught in other fisheries around the world. We use only US West Coast caught younger premium Albacore.
How do you know where the fish are caught?
We have worked with some of the same fishermen for many years and know where they fish. Besides, these smaller boats are not set up to go long-range and fish in distant waters.
How long has Sea Fare Pacific been around?
Oregon Seafoods (brand owner) launched Sea Fare in 2011. See our story here.
Why are there color variations in the Smoked Salmon pouches?
The meat just under the skin in sockeye salmon is a little darker than the meat in the middle of the fish. After we smoke the fish, we cube it up before pouching so it is easier to fill the pouch and get the weight right. All of the meat will be smoked the same and have a nice smokey flavor.
Do you add sugar to your smoked fish products?
We do not add sugar. This is a real smoked healthy product. It may not be as sweet as other products on the market – but it is a healthy snack – the more you eat the better it is for you. That being said, we do process smoked products for other companies that do have sugar in their brine mixture. We process their products per their specifications. When it comes to Sea Fare Products, we have chosen the best health choice over best taste (and they do have a nice smokey flavor).
Do you use liquid smoke or real smoke in your smoked fish products?
We use real smoke and smoke the fish in a smokehouse. Have the confidence we are not adding fake stuff to your smoked fish products – eat with confidence.
Are my products still good past the Best By Date?
More than likely the answer is yes. We have performed shelf-life tests where we have abused the pouches and consumed them well past the BBD. As long as the package has not been compromised and the cans do not look bloated – you should be fine. Open the product up and if it smells normal it is safe to consume. The best buy date usually represents the date where the product quality may start to change – but not product safety. Quite ofter we have heard from some folks who like to hold their canned tuna for five years before consuming – they feel the fish gets better with age?
Is your tuna Dolphin Safe?
We only source Albacore that is caught in our waters off the West Coast of the US. Dolphins are not typically caught in this fishery because of the fishing methods used. Dolphins are caught with nets -typically in other fisheries.
Where do you source your ingredients for your soups?
All of our ingredients are either organic or responsibly farmed. We choose the best quality and use almost all fresh ingredients (our secret to producing a spectacular soup product/experience). We, of course, supply the Albacore and Sockeye Salmon. Our pink shrimp are also Oregon caught and processed and supplied by a couple of different companies. Our herbs and spices come from Supherb Farms. https://www.supherbfarms.com/
What clams do you use in your clam chowder?
Our clams come from LaMonica Fine Foods, a family operation that has been harvesting sea clams for a couple of generations. They care about quality and sustainability. https://www.lamonicafinefoods.com/about-us/#Sustainability
How much salt is added to your sea salt pouches?
We add 1/8 tsp per 3oz of meat (light salt).
On your ‘No Added Salt’ pouch – it still shows a 30mg salt?
All fish have some amount of sodium that is naturally found in the fish. This is a clean tuna fish product with nothing added. If you are desiring to lower your salt intake, this product is for you (and it tastes great).
Why a can over a pouch or vise-versa?
We do produce a lot more pouches than cans. Some people are just used to cans and ‘trust’ them. A can will have a little bit longer shelf life but pouches are tough and last a long time as well. The pouch is flexible and easier to take with you and easier to open (just tear at the notch). Some people think the pouch is a better product because of the lower cook time required.
Do any of your products contain GMO’s?
No all of our ingredients are GMO-free. While there may be a place in the world for modified crops, we choose not to use them in our foods.
How do you get your soups to taste this good out of a pouch?
Our soups were developed by a food scientist who knows ingredients and how to put them together. Mark Whitham has a long history of food development and soups. He gets all the credit for not only developing the recipe but how to prepare and package it commercially. We feel fortunate to has hie expertise available to us when we need it.
Do you test every fish for mercury?
I about fell out of my chair laughing when I heard that pitch from another company. If you purchase older adult breeding fish – You would want to check all your fish! (if that is even possible) (those of us close to the industry have our doubts). The simple answer is that the younger Albacore caught in the North Pacific simply have not lived long enough to accumulate any amount of mercury to be a concern (and yes they have been tested many many times). That being said, older fish (including the Albacore used by the larger companies) can have higher levels of mercury (as well as other fish species) – that is why you see warnings from the FDA. Purchase U.S. caught and U.S. processed Albacore and you will be safe!
Why are Omega-3 fatty acids important?
Thre are different types of Omega-3’s. Those found in fish are EPA and DHA which have been linked to cell and brain growth. I’ve been eating this tuna fish for the last 10 years on a very regular basis – I’m not sure I’m any smarter – but I do think I’m a little healthier. I would refer you to the experts [link to article] We know that Albacore tuna is very high in Omega-3 and one of the more healthiest fish to consume.
What isn’t your Albacore white like the other brands?
Our Albacore pouches and cans have a cream beige color to the meat. We put 15%- 18% belly meat (high oil content) in every package. That oil is a little darker in color and will tint the meat the same when we cook it in the retort. Make sure you mix the oil back into the meat to nutritious flavorful meat.
Is U.S. caught tuna better than the Spanish or European tuna brands?
There are several tuna brands that put a lot of effort into presentation. They have nice looking cuts of fish in a glass jar or in a fancy tin can. This is prebaked tuna that is bathed in olive oil (usually). It is a nice looking product and I suppose they are using a quality olive oil – so it will taste good – but you are not getting the high amount of Omega-3’s or Protein that you will get when purchasing a once cooked hand-packed product.
What is the shelf life of your pouches?
Our earth-friendly pouch actually keeps the tuna fresher than a can. A third party that we independently hired to test our product says Sea Fare Pacific has a shelf life of three years and the “best buy” indicates the date. The 9oz soup and curry pouches have a shelf life of two years. Keep in mind, that our wild-caught albacore could still lose some of its freshness after the “best by” date expires depending on how long and how it was stored, but as long as the pouch is sealed it will be safe to eat.
Is the pouch recyclable?
The short answer is yes – But… The recycle company is on the East Coast and it is cost-prohibitive to get the used pouches there. There will be recycling (repurposed into other products) on the West Coast in the future. In the meantime, they are still the best choice for the environment. The pouch is a much lower carbon footprint container over a tin can. [insert a link to study]
Is your tuna pouch convenient to pack along?
We are getting rave reviews about the convenience of our fresh tuna in a pouch from lots of people on the go. In fact, hikers, backpackers, bicycle riders, fishermen, and hunters are finding that the pouch is convenient to pack along, and a high-quality source of lean protein to keep them going. Remember, you can just tear open our pouch of 100% pure and simple albacore tuna and eat it. You don’t have to worry about draining any messy oils or water!
Is the pouch really that durable?
Yes. Our multi-layered BPA-Free pouch has been perfected over the years and is FDA-approved to be perfectly safe. In fact, in many ways, our metal foil pouch is more durable than a can, and will not dent (compromising the seal) if dropped for instance. The technology of our earth-friendly pouch has been used for years in the military for the MRE meals. As durable as it is, we do advise though you do not eat the tuna in the event that the pouch does get damaged.
What is a retort?
A retort is a large commercial pressure cooker. We put finished packages (cans and pouches) into the retort and bring the temperature up to 241 degrees for more than an hour to cook the meat inside the package. Once the process is finished, the package will last many years and be shelf-stable (no refrigeration required).
Why do you fillet these Albacore by hand?
Filleting by hand at ice-cold temperatures allows more of the oil and moisture to stay in the meat giving it a nice flavor. It also allows us to use our once-cooked process.
Do the cans or pouches contain BPA?
All of our packaging is specified no BPA [research statements for suppliers and insert link]. We understand this is a controversial subject with BPA naturally occurring and being in a lot of things. We strive to keep all of our packaging clean and do not simply settle for the cheapest pouches for instance.
Why do you use sockeye in your soup products?
Yes, we understand sockeye is a more expensive ingredient than other salmon species caught in Alaska such as pinks and chums (Keta). We feel it is a little healthier protein and again we want the best in our soups.
Where do your sockeye salmon come from?
All of our Sockeye come from sustainable fisheries in Alaska. To learn more about Alaska Salmon https://www.alaskaseafood.org/
Do you feed your products to your kids?
Absolutely – and they love them. Yes, we believe in making products that we are happy to consume ourselves and feel good about it.
What are the health benefits of your Albacore tuna?
Our wild-caught pacific albacore have no mercury concerns and are much higher in Omega-3’s, natural fatty acids that protect human heart and brain functions, then most of the popular commercial tuna brands in the grocery store. Sea Fare Pacific albacore is also a great source of high-quality, lean protein. Our earth-friendly pouch also makes eating this superfood easy at home or on the go. Just tear the pouch open and enjoy our 100% white meat albacore in its natural juices and oils!
What about mercury? Isn’t Albacore higher in mercury than other tuna?
Oregon State University recently addressed this question. Its findings showed that troll-caught albacore tuna that were caught off our west coast have much lower mercury levels than the older, larger fish caught off the Asian coast that are used for most of the supermarket brand tunas. Unfortunately, many of the past reported results that show large tuna can exceed the FDA limit, don’t make any distinction between the larger species caught off the foreign coastlines, and our smaller west coast tuna. For example, a recent FDA study showed that canned albacore from common commercial brands had higher mercury levels than canned “light” tuna. This is, in part, because the albacore in common brands are larger fish caught in the open Pacific, whereas “light” tuna is often the smaller skipjack species. Moreover, the recent research at Oregon State University that did make a distinction between the two species concluded that the mercury levels in the pacific albacore were well below mandated action levels for the U.S. FDA (1.0 ug/g methylmercury) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s mandated action level of 0.5 ug/g total mercury. That’s why we are proud to tout our superior fish at Sea Fare Pacific as a highly nutritious choice with no mercury concerns. Here is a great link to read more about the OSU research project: Tuna Goes to Market
What’s the difference between albacore and chunk light tuna?
Albacore, often referred to as “chunk white”, are one of the safest fish you can eat provided they are caught in the US Pacific or Canadian Pacific since they are younger and therefore have had less time to build up high levels of mercury. Meanwhile, “chunk light” tuna is a blend of different species that often include meat from high-mercury bigeye tuna, along with less contaminated yellowfin. Therefore, it’s best to avoid “chunk light tuna. Instead, stock up on troll-caught albacore like Sea Fare Pacific’s that are safe to eat and loaded with nutrients.
Is your tuna more expensive?
Yes, but we are confident that you will agree that our superior nutritional value, gourmet quality and fresh taste make Sea Fare Pacific well worth the price. Unlike most other commercial tuna brands sold in the grocery stores that are “twice cooked” with added water, soy and vegetable broth, our 100% white meat tuna is hand-packed in its natural juices with no fillers or preservatives. And some of the supermarket brands contain up to 45% water, so you are also really only getting half as much meat. We only cook top quality pacific albacore tuna at Sea Fare Pacific once to preserve all of its nutritious natural oils. We then hand fillet and hand pack our albacore in our earth-friendly pouch in Coos Bay, Oregon.
Is your tuna Kosher?
Being located on the South Coast of Oregon, it very difficult to maintain a Kosher certification because of the travel costs to get the plant re-certified every time we run a shrimp product. We do completely sanitize the plant between allergens, but it still takes a Rabbi to inspect. Maybe someday if we have a local Rabbi that could perform the inspections.
Is your tuna dolphin-safe?
Absolutely! Sea Fare Pacific is committed to sustainable fishing habits. Unlike most of the popular commercial tuna brands in the supermarket, we never use the long-line fishing method or nets which often catch unwanted fish like dolphins, sharks, and turtles. We only catch our albacore with hook and line, one at a time, which is the only way to guarantee dolphin safety and keep the entire ecosystem safe. The bottom line is if you eat troll-caught Sea Fare Pacific albacore you will be supporting the U.S. fishing families, helping keep our oceans healthy and eating the most nutritious tuna available with no mercury concerns! Here is a link from Oregon State University to learn more about this: Tuna Troller’s article
Is your tuna turtle safe?
Yes, turtles are caught primarily in the south pacific and areas where they are fishing in tropical waters with long lines. This is also where certain companies are also targeting the adult breeding (large) fish. Our jig fishermen do not encounter turtles here in the North Pacific.
Can the pouches be mailed as gifts?
Yes indeed! We are sure most will agree that fresh, wild-caught pacific albacore makes a wonderful gift. In fact, our gourmet tuna is approved to be mailed to the military overseas where cans are not allowed.
Do you produce for other brands?
Yes, we do Private Label manufacture canned and pouched seafood items for other brand names.
Do you sell your products direct?
No, we sell through distributors that stock certain stores and we sell through Amazon.
What do I do if I’m not happy with the product?
Please contact us at 541.266.8862 or email Sales@oregonseafoods.com Regardless of where you purchased the product if you are not happy with your purchase we will make it right (that’s just who we are). Please contact us and if need be give us a few days to get back to you. We stand behind everything we produce. We are a small family-owned fish processor that appreciates their customers.
Have your products been consumer tested?
Yes, we work hard to make sure we produce the highest quality gourmet albacore on the market. We have numerous groups sample our products while in development, and we fund a consumer sensory test at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon.
Where are the large 4lb pouches primarily used?
They typically get sold to stores that produce tuna fish products for their delis as well as to restaurants, universities, and hospitals (as examples). Wherever foodservice operations are looking for a clean healthy tuna fish product in a pouch for their kitchen, this pouch would be an excellent option.
Where can we purchase your products?
Typically they can be found at the Specialty Natural grocery stores and larger stores that have space dedicated to higher-end products. We do have more distribution in the western US. They are available online as well.
Why can’t we purchase your products in my local store?
A lot of stores require fees to place products. We strive to keep our prices as low as possible at the store shelf. The stores requiring fees force us to raise the wholesale cost to cover those additional costs and we simply do not have that big of margin in the products. The best scenario is that our customers will be firm in requesting our products and the retailer will bring them into their store without charging us additional money.