Archives for the day Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Palette’s Food Market Guide; Fish

you have already know, our stumpy little dog “Palette” is on fresh food
diet a.k.a. raw diet,and she eats wide variety of foods.

 It was 5 years ago when we started raw feeding adventure with Palette. I still remember how much I was nervous about the bone I handed it to her on the very first day as I hear her crunching down the bone.

 Despite my nervousness and worry thoughts about digestive issues, it was quite smooth ride with only a few bumps for us and,she took the menu as if she were eating them from long time ago.

 When we have started feeding raw diet menu,our lady vet was worry about nutrition especially balance, and she was suggesting us to set up the appointment with canine nutritionist to talk about menu.

 However, once she saw her after the diet switch, she was amazed about clean white teeth and shiny coat and more and, I remember she was telling us that we are doing great job with Palette and, I was very happy to hear her saying so.

 After the first vet visit since the diet switch, I think I have got them curious about the diet and I was asked many questions from what to feed,how much to feed,organic/non organic,where we get meat from etc …by her boss.

 I saw them writing down memo on Palette’s medical history sheet in the patient file.

 I still remember how much the boss had surprised look on his face when we answered him that we feed 14 kinds of protein source

 She got her own freezer and, I can stock it up with big bulk purchase meat/bones etc with less variety of food,but I personally chose to stock up with variety of foods that we can feed throughout the week.

 Therefore, if you look at Palette’s weekly menu list, you will find that she is getting good variety of foods throughout the week.

 For example, here is one weekly menu for Palette.

Sun: Pork Heart,chicken liver,sardine,duck feet*

Mon: Pork heart,Turkey heart,sardine,chicken feet*

Tue:Fish (Cod),ostrich liver,egg,portion cut chicken (bone-in)

Wed: Pork tongue,Pork boneless meat,Goat liver, egg, portion cut chicken (bone-in)

Thur: Pork tongue,Pork boneless meat,Elk liver, portion cut Turkey (bone-in)

Fri: Lamb boneless meat,beef liver/beef kidney,portion cut rabbit (bone-in)

Sat:Lamb boneless meat,buffalo liver,portion cut rabbit (bone-in)

* Chicken/Duck feet fed to Palette is only 1 feet,and we do not feed pile of poultry paws.

 I admit that she eats better than us, but now and then,when we get something for her, we get something for ourselves as well,and it is fun tasting adventure for us as well.



I love fish! Me eating sardine.It is sooo good!

 Palette loooves seafood and, as you see in the weekly menu list, I feed oily fish like sardine 2 times a week as part of combo meal. Then, since she likes fish,I feed another wild caught fish as variety for fish;in the weekly menu week above, it was cod.

 Now and then, I hear about some people are having trouble locating fish,so I thought that with this “Palette’s food market guide” series, I would like to give you tips on how to locate the fish you can feed to your furry friends.

 If you were to introduce fish to your dogs, put your priority on oily fish such as sardine,mackerel,herring,and salmon because those oily fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids and great fish with great benefit of feeding them.

 King of natural source of omega 3 fatty acids is mackerel,actually.Grocery store and restaurants push “salmon” as heart healthy and high in omega 3 fatty acids foods,but Mackerel has 2991mg omega 3 fatty acids in 4 oz fillet. Wild salmon in 7
oz has 3996mg. So, that means, 4 oz of wild salmon has about 2797mg of
Omega 3 fatty acids, a little lower than mackerel.

 I keep those omega 3 fatty acids rich fish as staple in her diet, and rotate them over the 4 weeks. Sardines,herrings,and mackerels are whole fish and others are fillet form to feed Palette.

 Palette eats head,guts,bone and everything when I feed a whole fish. With mackerel,the fish size is more than Palette’s one sitting meal and,I usually end up cutting them to her portion.

 You can feed canned fish if you prefer,but I prefer to feed fish not in the can because
of salt added in the water. The salt in the canned fish is not as high as
salt in kibble bag,but I prefer to feed as natural/fresh as possible.

 Feeding wild caught fresh salmon,trout,steelhead and other salmonids from Pacific Northwest..

you feed wild caught salmon, trout,steelhead and other salmonids fish,
there is one thing you should know about and be careful about how you
feed them to your dogs.

If you got wild-caught FRESH salmon or trout or steelhead from Pacific Northwest,you need to
them for a few weeks before feeding them to avoid salmon poisoning.

the fresh wild caught salmon/trout/steelhead from Pacific Northwest
will kill the parasite that can cause salmon poisoning, and you do not
have to worry about salmon poisoning from fresh wild caught salmon from
Pacific Northwest.

 If the fish were previously frozen, the product label cards on the counter should have it written so.

 If you were not sure about it,ask the fish guy. The same product label cards also tell you whether fish in the question is wild caught or farm raised along with product of origin.

 Farm-raised salmon does not have to be
frozen before feeding. Since I prefer wild- caught fish over farm-raised fish,I don’t buy farm raised salmon.

 With sushi grade fish fillet such as Ahi Tuna (sa-shi-mi), salmon etc..,which normally sold to public for sushi and served raw to humans,then I am comfortable giving them raw to Palette and, I would not worry about freezing/not freezing.

 When I make seared Ahi Tuna, I give Palette a little bit of that, and she loves them.
 If you worry about wild caught salmon, you can cook them and you don’t have to worry about salmon poisoning.

Check out Asian stores near you..

 Back home in Japan, we eats all kinds of fish,and if you go to grocery store there, you will find more whole fish than fillet fish. I think you find more fillet fish than whole fish at regular grocery store here in the states.

 Therefore, best place for you to look at is Asian market in your area. They should have huge fish counter and, you will see variety of fish on the ice.

 If your state has Hmart, it is a good store to check out.

 Last time I have visited them, I got some mackerel from Denmark and those looked very fresh and good size (24 oz in average). I was very happy about it.I think it was about $2/lb.

 The fish was on ice and,we could pick the fish from the bunch and, fish there looked fresher.

**** Do you know how to pick the fresh fish? ****

 When you choose the fresh fish,very first thing to look at is the eye.  Below is what you look for in the eye

** Are they clear? Are they cloudy?

** Are they bulging? Are they sunk?

 Cloudy/white eyes indicate old fish.

 Second thing to look at is the skin.

** Are they shiny? Are they dull?

** Are they loose scale? Are they tight scale?

 Dull,loose scale indicate old fish.

 Third thing to look at is fresh.

** Poke with tong that is used to pick up your preferred fish from the case, and see if the fish meat feels tight/firm. It should feel like plump,tight/firm and almost bounced back kind of feel to it if the fish were fresh.

 Fourth thing to look at is gill.

** Are they reddish?

 Fresh fish should have reddish under its gill and when you cut the fish,blood should comes out.

 Old fish does not give out blood when you cut them and gill does not look reddish color. Often times, they are sticky/slimy.

 Also, you should look at ice too. Ice where fish are placed on should be clean.

 If you could sniff at the fish,you could sniff at the fish and it should not be fishy smell but sea smell.


 Before the mackerel from Hmart, I used to get them through local coop, but then I noticed that mackerel size delivered to coop getting smaller,smaller each time. Each fish was supposed to weigh around 12 oz to 14 oz but previous mackerel I got from coop was 6 oz to  8 oz per fish;almost half the size described in the product page.

 Although fish was getting smaller, we were still paying the price for the fish weigh between 12 oz to 14 oz, plus that particular batch of Mackerel did not look that fresh compared to previous delivery or the ones from Hmart.

 Therefore,we decided that we will be sticking to Hmart for now with Mackerel although it takes 2 hours drive one way, and it is kind of far from our house.

Check out the local coop in your area..

 If your area has coop near you, it is certainly a good place to check out as well. Often times, because many people get together and order in bulk,it will be very cost effective.
 One of the items I would like to get through the local coop in our area is sardine. Palette’s favorite brand of sardine is called “Nigel” and they are product of Portugal.

 I used to get the brand through Oma’s pride distributor, but I had bad experience with the distributor in AL (took them 28 days to complete my single order), and they have got lack of communication, and I stopped ordering through them.

 Good thing is, since our local coop order Oma’s pride products, I will be able to order through the coop. I tried ordering it but unfortunately,at that time, it was out of stock and I have not being able to get the Nigel brand sardine yet through the local coop.

 Therefore,when I found out that I cannot get the sardine through the coop, I have tried sardine from raw food supplier in East coast.

 Well, Palette loves sardine but it was a paw down.. It took about 30 minutes to eat them.. She is not as enthusiastic as she would for Nigel brand sardine..

 One thing I noticed is that, their sardine looks different,and quite small compared to the one we are familiar with. They are typically about 4″ or so and smallest one I found was about 1.5″ or so. Then,they are not as plump as the one from Nigel brand.

 1 sardine of Nigel weighed 3 oz in average, but I need 4-6 sardines to make this sardines to 3 oz weight.

 Also, if you compare the picture above or Palette’s video  (Palette and sardine) here where Palette is eating sardine, you can see the color of the fish,size and marking is different.

 I am not sure if it is different kinds of sardine but it got different smell to it too. It smelled like.. a fish right out from the fish tank..

 Sardines from supplier in East coast..

 I have got 2 lb more left and, once they are gone, I am thinking about waiting on her favorite brand of sardine through the local coop again and hopefully,she gets to have her favorite brand of sardine. Or ,I could try different place to see if any other places got paw up sardine Nigel brand sardine or the ones she would love.

Do you know how particular fish is called  in Japanese??

 At Asian market, sometimes, the package is typed the way we call the fish for
as in Japanese fish name,and if you know how we call them,it might comes handy for you for the fish hunt.

 Here are some of the names you can look for.

Mackerel: Saba (pronounce sa-ba)

Sardine; Iwashi (pronounced I-wa-shi)

Salmon; sake (pronounced sa-ke)

** I noticed that many people here in the states call “ke” as in “KEy”,but “ke” should be pronounced as in “KEnnel”.

Smelt; Shishamo (pronounced Shi-sha-mo)

have never seen fresh sardines at Asian store in our area. It is very strange because sardines are very popular fish back home in Japan. You can
ask the perishable product manager at local grocery store too and see if
what kinds of fish/meat they can get it for you.

 One store I
know of that can order sardines are Wegman’s.

 I talked to the manager and
he looked for the fish and, I asked for frozen one with the brand
name (Nigel brand is the one Palette loves,product from Portugal) and he
was told by distributor people that they have only fresh ones,not

 Therefore, if I had only sardines I wanted to restock and nothing else,
ordering local through grocery store is another option for me.

 He said to give them 48 hours for checking the availability and delivery,and minimum order is 5 lb sardine.

Checkout local seafood market..

 I have never been to fish market yet,but if your area has fish market,you should check out and see what they can offer you. You should find variety of whole fish and fish fillet.  

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May 01, 2012 | 0 | Uncategorized