Food is an everyday regular occurrence. Here, in the States, the average person usually enjoy food 3-5 times a day. Eating becomes second nature. It is something we don’t really think about often. We just do it. Our body gets hungry, it tells us, and then we stuff something in our mouths to satisfy our body.
Imagine what would happen when we actually think about our food. What if we think about how it tastes when it is not covered with flavors or additives? What about how the texture before and after we cook our food? What are the nutrients in our food and how do they affect our bodies?
When people eat locally grown foods the difference in their food experience is so large that they are forced to think of these questions. I have been trying, tasting, and comparing various foods from various local sources for about three years now. Most experiences have been absolutely amazing! Mind boggling amazing! I often ask myself the question, why do we even have store bought foods?
However, I have never had an experience like I did when I tried Fish Hugger’s grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon. You might be asking yourself, what is a fish hugger and what do they know about beef? Kenny, is the only Fish Hugger I know. He is pretty much a man in love with both fish and beef. He is a fisherman and a rancher. I guess you can say he is well rounded.
For most fishermen, the sea is filled up with enough fish to keep most fisherman occupied for a lifetime. But, Kenny, is not like most other fisherman. He grew up on a ranch in New Mexico as a cowboy and a rancher. Later on in life, he decided to become a fisherman. So, now he goes out to Alaska every summer to catch some fish and bring it back to New Mexico and Arizona. During the rest of the year he splits his time between New Mexico and Arizona selling beef and fish. Kenny is an energetic, fun loving, family man that happens to also be a cowboy, rancher and fisherman. You don’t see that everyday!
Kenny gave me some salmon and beef to taste. I did an little experiement and put it to the test! I compared the Fish Hugger’s wild caught salmon to Costco’s wild caught salmon. Both fish were marinated with a mixture made up of maple syrup, lime juice, salt, and rosemary. Then cooked in the oven on a flat tray at 375 degrees until cooked.
The difference between the fish was unbelievable!
Immediately, you will notice the difference in the size and color of the fish. Fishhuggers salmon is thin and had a deep red color. The store bought salmon is thick and also had nice red color but the red color wore off when we rinsed it. Which makes me think it was dyed but I honestly do not know for sure.
The smell and texture of each fish had distinct differences. Fishhugger’s salmon had no smell and felt smooth on both the scale side and the meat side of the fish. The store bought salmon had the typical fishy smell we all think of when we think of making fish. It also felt rough to the touch on both sides of the salmon.
Most people, know the Omega-3 fats, found in fish are beneficial to heart health, reduce inflammation, and even increase brain cognitively when it comes from a good source. But, if you do not believe me, check out what Everday Health has to say about it. This experiement opened my eyes up to the difference of fish fat depending on the source. Fishhugger’s salmon had visible healthy fat by the skin and the store bought salmon has a little fat by the skin. Even after both fish were cooked Fishhugger’s salmon still had a plenty of fat between the skin and meat of the fish. Where as, the store bough salmon had tons of fat on the surface of the fish.
The store bought salmon had a bland, flavorless tastes, tough texture, and an awful tasting skin. We never eat the skin of store bought salmon. On the completely opposite side, Fishhugger’s salmon fat, meat and skin combinatation gave the taste a multi-layer texture that statisfies your tummy while full filling your tastebuds. The fish itself was more filling and satisfying than any store bought salmon I have ever tried. It was so delicious I had to fight off my kids from eating all of it!
I have rarely eaten salmon that was fished by a local fisherman and I have never done a taste test comparison of salmon. But, I often eat local beef and I have done a comparison of local beef vs store bough beef. I awas prepared and expecting to enjoy Fishhugger’s beef just as much as I have enjoyed other local beef isn’t he past. But, I was wrong!
Kenny’s cows range and graze on thousands of acres of land in New Mexico. Most beef labeled grass fed in stores do not actually eat pasture grass. They are fed cut grass or hay while being contained within a certain area. Although that is better than grain and corn fed, cows grazing on thousands of acres as they would if they were wild is best.
Kenny’s beef is made from as much of the cow as possible. They use fats and ligaments that not everyone uses, as a way to add flavor to their meat and cut down on waste. As Kenny explained all of this to me, I nodded and followed along but figured it would taste the same as all of the other locally raised beef I have eaten. I was wrong!
Kenny’s beef was different all around. The color was not as red. The texture before cooking the beef was tougher. The texture after cooking the beef was softer. Kenny’s beef had much more fat content and the fat was a yellow color instead of clear/white like I am used to seeing. Yum!
I cooked the beefs by added a little salt to each and then stir frying it on a skillet. I took a taste of the Costco bought beef, it wasn’t bad. It was a little heavy to chew but that what I think of all beef. Overall, I could taste the salt and the beef tasted like beef I’ve had time and time again. Then, I tried Kenny’s beef and WOWZERS! It was like beef I have never tried before in my life! It was soft and light. Gave a fill feeling without the heaviness. It was so packed with flavor that I won’t even salt it the next time I cook it. Each bite tasted butter was mixed into the beef but it wasn’t. It was a pure beef flavor. It was literally the BEST beef I have ever tried! And, I’ve tried Kobe beef.
The next day we pulled the beefs out of the refrigerator to eat them for lunch and to my surprise, the fat from Kenny’s beef solidified into a thin crispy layer at the bottom of the container. I literally had to chip is away to get it to come out. That might scare people but for me, that tells me its good fat! It is fat that benefits the brain, heart, and ligaments in our bodies.
I know fat has a bad wrap but good fat is actually good for you. I personal classify good fat, as I classify all food…the least processed fat or food in general. If we think about how difficult and long of a process it takes to get vegetable fat from vegetables and then think about how easy it is to get animal fat from animals, it is clear that animal fat is healthier for us. We may need to limit the amount of fat we eat but as far as spoon for spoon, Kenny’s beef fat was way better than any store bought, highly processed fat you will ever find. Just in case you don’t believe me, the Weston A Price foundation has many articles about fat and human health. Here is one of them.
The Fishhugger’s food is another great example of how buying local food is not only better for our health, economy, and community but is also better for our taste buds! If you have not already, try some local beef and let me know what difference you smelled, saw, and tasted. If you already have eat local beef, what is your favorite thing about it?