Last week, Blue Star was present as the Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Inc. (PACPI) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) released blue swimming crab juveniles into the waters surrounding Bagunbanwa Island in the Philippines. Bagunbanwa Island is the ideal habitat for these BFAR hatchery-produced blue swimming crab juveniles.

Blue Star was happy to participate in the country’s first ever public-private sector partnership addressing the sustainability of blue swimming crab. We hope that initiatives like this one will continue to be successful and extend to other parts of the country.

Check out these pics of the crablets being released into the wild.

Good news from Indonesia. The NFI Crab Council received a communication from Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, stating that the 33 provincial governments have been instructed to initiate a minimum catch size of 8 centimeters for blue swimming crab. At this stage, the Ministry is asking fisheries, mini-plants and associations to implement the minimum catch size strictly on a voluntary basis, but this is a giant step forward for blue swimming crab sustainability.

Instituting a minimum catch size makes it easier for crab populations to grow. Crabs that are smaller than 8 centimeters long usually have not had a chance to reproduce. When these juvenile crabs are protected, the population has a chance to replenish and thrive.

Blue Star and others in the NFI Crab Council have been instrumental in pushing for progressive rules and regulations governing fishing practices in Indonesia. I am thrilled with the Ministry’s decision, and hope to see more legislation that supports marine life and environmental protections in the near future.

We had a fantastic time at the Boston Seafood Show last weekend. We were set up beautifully right at the entrance to the event, so we were excited by all the foot traffic that wandered by our booth. Michael Schwartz brought his culinary talents to Boston and showcased an amazing recipe for Blue Star Jumbo Lump Lychee Summer Rolls. Some lucky attendees also walked out with copies of Michael’s new cookbook. Here’s a picture of the chef in action:

We always have fun at this event. Having the opportunity to rub elbows with others in the industry and meeting new people really helps our business grow. We are always learning new things about how to provide you guys with the best products on the market, and that in and of itself makes the Boston Seafood Show and events like it so invaluable to us.

Boston Seafood Show

March 19, 2011

Blue Star will be represented at this year’s Boston Seafood Show March 20-22. Come visit booth #1105 to check out some delicious crab recipes from our chefs Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz. Some lucky folks that stop by the booth will walk away with a free cookbook by Michael Schwartz entitled Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat. You can also learn more about our sustainability efforts and our ever evolving green initiatives.

See you in Boston!

We are excited to be participating in the Boston Seafood Show this coming weekend. To celebrate the event, we will be revealing four brand new recipes by south Florida celebrity chefs Michael Schwartz and Michelle Bernstein on our Blue Star Lifestyle site. The two chefs have banded their culinary talents together to create some extraordinary dishes using some of your favorite Blue Star products. The recipes include: Blue Star Jumbo Lump Crab Ceviche with Aji Amarillo and Tostones, Blue Star Super Lump Lemony Risotto, Blue Star Crab Pot Pie and Blue Star Crab & Sweet Potato Hash.

Be sure to check out the recipes. Now that NCAA March Madness is upon us, you can put these recipes to good use at your next party!

The long-term sustainability of blue crab populations has long been a focus to us at Blue Star. We have always done our best to be as progressive and forward thinking as possible when sustainability is concerned. We are actively involved in creating and implementing new initiatives to make sure the condition of the blue swimming crab population stays at healthy levels for future generations.

Our hands-on involvement with organizations like the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has recently led to industry-wide changes that we believe will have a lasting, positive effect on the sustainability of blue swimming crab populations. The NFI Crab Council recently recommended to the entire membership body a proposal that urges companies to implement minimum size mandates to phase out the purchase and utilization of undersized crabs. As an executive member of this committee with full voting rights, Blue Star voted and helped endorse this proposal to protect blue swimming crab populations.

Some of you might be wondering how undersized crabs can have such an impact on the overall blue swimming crab population. Crabs of this size description are juveniles and haven’t had the opportunity to properly spread their seed (male blue swimming crabs mate several times in their lifetime, and females at this stage are not ready to mate). If juvenile crabs are caught, purchased and utilized without any restriction, overall populations would dwindle very quickly.

The Ramsey Family

January 13, 2011

Blue Star runs on customer satisfaction, and your feedback helps to keep our products tailored to your needs. We love to hear from you!

Last weekend I received an email from a customer. I was touched by her warmth and commitment to her family…so much so that I wanted to share her story with you. I encourage you all to check out the Ramsey Family Food Blog at www.chickiepea.wordpress.com.

I just wanted to send a Thank You to you regarding your crab meat sold in pouches. We have been devoted customers for about 4 years now, so this is long overdue.

I have two daughters with autoimmune disorders, which impacts our diet quite a bit with restrictions. We are gluten-free, pasteurized-dairy-free, dye-free, white-sugar-free…the list goes on and on and is ever-evolving as we learn more about triggers for them.

However, during the past 4 years, no matter what changes we have had to make, we have always been able to count on your products to be “safe” for us to eat. You make one of the extremely few “packaged” items we can consume in our household, and I wanted to commend you on your excellent products – for taste, for quality, for your standards, and for the sustainability/green factor, which also makes a big difference in the products we buy.

There have been many times over these past few years when you have ‘saved the day’ as dinner plans fell through and something burned, etc. and there in the fridge is a packet of crab that makes a quick and hearty meal for us when made into crab cakes or quickly stirred into some mayonnaise for a dip. What a convenience for people like us, who have to cook from scratch 3 meals + snacks every single day of the year. I can’t fully express my gratitude in an email sufficiently!!

Thank you again,
Ramsey and family
www.chickiepea.wordpress.com

Thank you Ramsey family for the kind words!

We are very excited to announce that Blue Star chef Michelle Bernstein is scheduled to appear on NBC’s The Today Show on Tuesday, December 21st. Michelle will be showcasing an exclusive Blue Star recipe for spaghetti and crab meat. This delicious and easy to follow recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday menu. The Today Show airs at 7am local time on NBC or you can CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

I noticed a troubling news story yesterday. A newly released report from UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) details a rise in carbonic acid in our oceans not seen in over 65 million years. Carbonic acid occurs as a result of the ocean absorbing carbon dioxide emissions (the ocean absorbs 25 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions). Too much carbonic acid has a negative impact on the ocean’s food chain, most specifically shell building organisms. The study indicated that if we continue to emit greenhouse gasses at our current rate, our oceans will be 150 percent more acidic by the end of the century. Additionally, many scientists believe increased acidity levels are negatively effecting coral reefs, which provides homes for 25 percent of marine species.

The bottom line is we can’t sit on the sidelines and let the environment continue to deteriorate. Bold action is needed, and Blue Star will continue to do our part to find and execute ways to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

I am sorry to report that once again, inaccurate and slanted journalism has given imported seafood a bad name. I fear that consumers watching the Today Show on November 17 have been misled into the false conclusion that imported seafood is not safe. In response to this disingenuous report, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) made a response video that points out each inaccuracy as it is being reported.

The Today Show story basically claims that imported seafood can lead to serious health problems, and encourages consumers to buy the better alternative: domestic seafood. The reporter makes numerous claims about the ‘dangers’ of imported seafood and uses a video of a poorly kept foreign fish farm as a source. The reporter also slams the Food and Drug Administration for its lack of oversight.

The truth is: This is just not true. Imported seafood is one of the healthiest and safest foods we can eat! There is zero evidence that imported seafood has made anyone seriously ill and not once in the past decade has there been a single recall that affected imported seafood. The FDA also has an impressive program in place to ensure that all (domestic and imported) seafood producers follow strict safety regulations.

The today show is one of the most watched morning shows in America with millions of viewers tuning in each week. It is disappointing that such a large news program would ignore their responsibility to report truth, and instead damage the reputation of imported seafood while confusing thousands of seafood consumers. And for what purpose?

In reality this is a story about protecting the domestic fish farmers & fishermen, not the public interest. The reporting is fraught with inaccuracies, lack of evidence, and ‘experts’ who have very close ties to domestic fish farmers and advocacy groups dedicated to stomping out foreign competition. And the video used as the crux of the story? It too was provided by the same special interest groups. Please watch the NFI’s response here, so you can understand how harmful faulty and irresponsible reporting can be.

The truth is that this isn’t a report on legitimate scientific data, or even plain facts, for that matter. This is a report based on a trade war and on the protectionism of the domestic fishing industry. Period. This is in poor taste at best, and severely damaging at worst.

NFI did a fantastic job of setting the record straight when it comes to the safety of imported seafood. I want to set the record straight, and reiterate their point, when it comes to Blue Star imported pasteurized crabmeat.

First of all, Blue Star is dedicated to food safety. We are in compliance with FDA’s stellar HACCP regulatory program and our product undergoes regular safety audits by the British Retail Council (BRC)& Cook/Thurber. Also, our crabmeat is not a harvested product, which means that we do not farm our crabs – no chance of pumping with hormones and chemicals.

Lastly, our biggest priority at Blue Star is the safety of our loyal consumer. My name is on every single can and pouch that we sell. I do this because I believe in – and can personally guarantee – the safety and quality of all Blue Star branded product. I eat it and my family eats it. Imported and domestic seafood is one of the healthiest and safest choices you can make when feeding yourself and your loved ones. It is a choice I make in my life, without hesitation.

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