Friday, June 16, 2017

Food matters: Tilapia virus, saturated fat in a bottle, a vital kitchen tool and more

WILD BREAKFAST: There is absolutely no reason to eat farmed fish when North Jersey supermarkets and restaurants offer an abundance of wild-caught fish, including these broiled whiting fillets served with eggs, home fries and toast ($7) at the Golden Grill, 1379 Teaneck Road, Teaneck.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Tilapia Lake Virus is decimating the popular farmed fish in Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.

Imported farmed tilapia, which is widely available in North Jersey markets and restaurants, is the second-most traded aquaculture species (after carp), and one of the world's most important fish for human consumption, according to SeafoodSource.com.

Tilapia Lake Virus "is a newly emerging and highly contagious virus associated with significant mortalities in tilapia, which is spreading among both farmed and wild stocks," according to the online report.

"The virus belongs to the same family of viruses as infectious salmon anemia, which has caused considerable losses to the salmon farming industry."

The report quotes the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization as saying the virus doesn't pose any risk to human health, "but the loss of fish through mortalities poses a concern for global food security and nutrition."

"The low price of tilapia, its omnivorous diet, tolerance to high-density farming methods; and previously strong resistance to disease help to make this fish an important protein source, especially in developing countries and for poorer consumers," says reporter Nicki Holmyard.



GREEK TO ME: A grilled wild Sockeye Salmon fillet from Costco Wholesale with pesto, non-fat Greek yogurt and fresh herbs, served cold with a homemade tzatziki sauce (non-fat Greek yogurt, water, minced garlic, chopped cucumbers, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and fresh mint and oregano).

Go wild

The good news is that a wide variety of wild fish, both whole and fillets, are available in North Jersey at big and small stores, including Costco Wholesale in the Teterboro Landing Shopping Center off of Route 46, The Fish Dock  on Closter Dock Road in Closter; and H Marts in Ridgefield, Little Ferry, Englewood and Fort Lee.

Until early October, the Teterboro Costco is offering fresh wild salmon as an alternative to artificially colored farmed salmon, most of which is raised with harmful human antibiotics.


Sale on grass-fed beef

Starting on Sunday, ShopRite supermarkets are offering fresh, free-range, grass-fed Australian Whole Beef Tenderloin for Filet Mignon at $6.99 a pound with a store card, a discount of $3 a pound.

Typically, the whole beef tenderloin from Nature's Reserve weighs 5 pounds or more. You can cut it into individual filet mignons or slice it thin for Korean-style barbecue, and freeze it for later use.



BAD FAT: If you're not getting enough artery clogging saturated fat in your diet, the ShopRite on Forest Avenue and Route 4 in Paramus sells it by the bottle. Ghee is clarified butter, which is used in many Asian Indian, Arabic and Iranian dishes.
MORE FATS: Bottled Beef Tallow, Pork Fat, Pork Lard and Duck Fat also are available at the Paramus ShopRite.
UNNATURAL TASTE: Dannon's Oikos Blended Greek Yogurt has only 6 grams of fat per container, the lowest I've found, but it tastes as if it has an artificial ingredient. These containers were on sale at the Paramus ShopRite for $1 each, but at the Teterboro Costco, an instant coupon lowered the price for 18 containers to 50 cents each.
NO ADDED SUGAR: Finding bottled pasta sauces without added sugar is getting harder all the time, but Whole Foods Market's 25-ounce jar of 365 Everyday Value Marinara Pasta Sauce for $1.99 is made without the sweet stuff -- which has the potential to clog heart arteries just like animal fat -- and is free of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
DON'T CLEAN UP WITHOUT IT: I keep this kitchen tool handy, hanging on my dish rack, to scrape off bits of food on plates and silverware that can clog dishwasher filters or for removing burned food in pots and pans. I've had it for years, so don't ask me where I got it.
PREMATURE SIGN: 99 Ranch Market has already put up a sign at the Hackensack Avenue entrance to the Home Depot Shopping Center in Hackensack, but the store won't open for months, judging by the two men I saw working on Thursday in the stripped-down interior of the old Pathmark supermarket, above and below.
FROM CALIFORNIA: 99 Ranch Market, part of a Chinese-owned chain based in California, will be entering a crowded Bergen County market and competing against a large number of Korean supermarkets.
OUT OF BUSINESS: Patisserie St. Michel on Queen Anne Road in Teaneck's West Englewood Section-- the first French bakery to open in Bergen County -- closed at the beginning of the year, the merchant next door said on Thursday.