Friday, July 25, 2008

Local (Seattle) Loki Salmon V. Huge Industrial Bumblebee

Walking around Seattle's various farmers markets you can't help but notice the prevalence of Loki Salmon (pronounced "Low-Key"...): whether it's the Bellevue Farmer's Market on Thursday's, the Columbia City Farmer's Market's on Wednesday's or the University District Market on Saturday' well as the West Seattle, Lake City and Magnolia Farmer's Markets...Loki Salmon is there. Dylan is your man to see - knowledgeable, friendly, passionate and diligent...he's the perfect "rep" for a great local brand and for his family business that is Loki.

High end (higher end) canned salmon is something I had yet to experience. I was curious to see how it would hold up, both in price point, flavor and overall quality to the traditional store bought brands.

Bumblebee products have been good to me over the years - I grew up as a kid on their tuna fish sandwiches. I still love their products. Even though their below salmon shots don't look all that appealing, the taste and value are fare to really good. But as we become more conscious and aware of our food quality and origins - how it's caught, harvested, raised, etc, it becomes increasingly harder to opt for an easy or cheaper option and more necessary to make choices that support values of preservation and respect for our environment and I daresay, the animals and sentient beings that are the object of our consumption.

(Didn't mean to get on a soap box there...)

To really get the Loki story - and an understanding for "artisan" fish products and "process" that Loki proudly and diligently represents, read this:

The story is a great one, but here are the main points. The pictures below are an echo chamber and bass line to the words of Pete Knutson and his family business: it's just a better product!

Pete Knutson and Loki Salmon..."respect the water". They are almost alchemists in the process.

"You really have to respect the fish when they come out of the water, because they come out of the water perfectly."

"Over the years, he's seen giant fishing operations devastate salmon populations and cut deeply into a way of life. Profits have dwindled for many small fishermen as the large operations flood the market with inexpensive, often farmed fish. "There's some very cheap fish out there, and they make a superficially nice fish, but it's like a synthetic industrial product," treated with antibiotics and other questionable practices."

Long ago, Knutson spent seven years fishing on big boats, but didn't like it, because big business didn't bring the same concern for quality that a small fisherman, like an artisan, brings. Fish have to be treated properly and gently, he says.

"I've been working on the same stocks for 20 years, by the same beaches. I know my fish well," he says. "I can get the fish on ice much faster — in 45 minutes, while it takes many large-scale processors two or three days. Our fish typically are less than 48 hours old when they hit the dock in Ketchikan, and then it's just a few more hours by plane to Seattle."

Knutson considers it his duty to work hard for the environment. "I have extracted a lot of fish from the water, so I have an obligation to give something back to the fish," he says. "I've got this incredible responsibility to treat fish in a beautiful, sacred manner. And it makes me sick to see any kind of waste."

The proof is in the pictures below...

( Comparing Loki Salmon to Bumblbee Salmon - a huge industrial purveyor of salmon food products)

( Loki on the right - Bumblee Bee on the Left - Loki appears as whole pieces and much "cleaner"...)

Bumble Bee - chow, chopped, mangled....

And once again...Loki

Sphere: Related Content


Unknown said...

James, Thanks for your posting on Loki vs. Bumblebee canned salmon. We love the unsolicited endorsements of our farmers market customers! I wanted to let you know that we just relaunched our website with much more information than before. We have linked to your enthusiastic blog entry on our Links page, I hope you will check it out.


Erik Bell

Raymone said...

Thanks Erik. Tell Dillon hello - I've talked to him a few times at the farmers markets...