Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe

Fish Dish of the Month

Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are a great way to get several healthy ingredients in one delicious serving. I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of fruits, vegetables, seeds and sweeteners for a while now and this Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie is definitely one of my favorites. It combines antioxidant rich fruits, fiber rich chia seeds and the secret most powerful of the ingredients, in my opinion, is Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Orange Burst Omega-3 liquid fish oil.

Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil Good In Smoothie Recipe

  Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil

  • 660mg EPA + DHA Omega-3 per teaspoon
  • 220mg Omega-7 per teaspoon
  • 5mcg Astaxanthin per teaspoon
  • Naturally contains Vitamins A & D
  • Naturally orange flavored

Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil Good Omega-3 for Smoothies

Other Wiley’s Finest Fish Oil Benefits

  • 100% Sourced and Purified in USA
  • Family owned and operated company
  • NSF 3rd party tested and certified for quality and purity
  • Satisfaction guaranteed signature on every box

Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil Good in Smoothies

Here is a photo of the nutrition facts for your reference. Click to see larger image.

Now onto the delicious smoothie recipe! 

Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe Ingredients


1 cup frozen mango fruit chunks

1/2 cup cubed apple slices

1/2 medium banana

1 tbsp black chia seeds

1 tsp Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil

1/2 tbsp agave nectar

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2-3 ice cubes (optional)

Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe Measurements

Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil Good for Smoothie Recipe


Measure ingredients and add mango, apple, banana, chia seeds and agave nectar into a blender. Add Orange Burst Liquid Fish Oil and almond milk. Place lid tightly on the blender and pulse for 10 seconds and then blend on high for 60 – 90 seconds.

Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe Blender

If you need it thicker you can add 1-2 ice cubes and blend an additional 30 seconds or until ice is crushed.

Apple Mango Citrus Omega-3 Smoothie Recipe Pouring

Serve smoothie in your favorite tumbler or glass and enjoy! This is a sweet treat for any time of day or even after a workout. If you have any leftover, be sure to refrigerate and enjoy within 1-2 days.

What does Marine Stewardship Council certification mean?


by Sam Wiley


You may not have noticed it on our package, but the blue check mark on the front of every box is called the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel. This is a prestigious and difficult to obtain certification: by our count (as of Feb 23rd 2014), only 27 fish oil supplements are MSC certified out of the thousands of different Fish Oil supplements sold worldwide.

First off – what is a fishery?  A fishery is defined as a geographic area, a species, and often a specific catch method. So for instance, Bering Sea / Aleutian Islands (area) Alaska Pollock (species) Pelagic Trawl (catch method. Don’t confuse a fishery with a fish farm (we get this a lot) – that’s called a hatchery! When we’re talking about a fishery, we’re talking about wild caught fish.

Here’s what MSC certification of a fishery means:

  1. Fish are caught Sustainably – MSC designs an exacting and rigorous fishing practices standard that looks at bycatch, environmental impact, and healthy stock levels fisheries management science,
  2. Independent 3rd party audit of supply chain – First, the fishery has to be certified that it meets the MSC’s standard. Then, individual fishing companies have to be audited that they comply with the standards. Then, any company who wants to use the MSC Ecolabel on their package has to be audited that their ingredients can be traced back all the way to the boat that caught the fish.
  3. Guaranteed Species – The MSC’s Chain of Custody auditing and inspection program guarantees we only use the species in our formulas that we say we do.

In the case of our Wild Alaskan Fish Oil supplements, it means that the fish used to make our fish oil were actually wild-caught in well managed US waters by American fishermen – no funny business here. They are guaranteed to be Wild-caught (not farmed). The MSC’s Chain of Custody program is important: a 2011 study by Consumer Reports estimated that 20-25% of all fresh and frozen seafood is mislabeled by species. That’s why we list the species name on our label (Alaska Pollock Theragra chalcogramma) – no generic, catch-all species list for us (mackerel, herring, sardine, and/or anchovy) – it’s important to us that you know where your supplements come from and who caught them.

Meet the Fishers: U.S. Alaska Pollock

I highly recommend you watch this great video from the MSC about Alaska Pollock: Meet the US Alaska Pollock Fishers

MSC Ecolabel scoring criteria

Isn’t the MSC mark just greenwashing? Nope! Far from it! In fact, a recent Accenture study commissioned by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) found the MSC to be the best rated and most transparent of all sustainable fisheries certification standards in the world.  Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana, notes in his book  The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World, that the world needs seafood as a source of healthy protein. Andy notes that the world doesn’t have to be running out of fish – with good fishery management practices we can enjoy the sea’s bounty for many generations to come.

The challenge for each and every one of us to consistently choose fish from fisheries which use good fisheries management science and responsible catch methods. The MSC has a tagline they require on product packages, ‘Together we can help protect fish stocks for the future.” That may sound corny, but its true.  That’s our family’s commitment to using Wild Alaskan Fish Oil  for our supplements – we want these fish oil supplements to be available for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Fish Dish of the Month: Tuna Noodle Casserole

Fish Dish of the Month

Ed Note: Fish is not only a great source of EPA and DHA Omega-3s, but it is also a good source of protein and minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. Since most people don’t eat fish every day, our fish oil supplements are a great choice to get a daily intake of EPA & DHA Omega-3. The Wiley family thinks you should both take fish oil supplements AND eat sustainable fish as often as possible. On those days that you do have the opportunity to eat fish, we’re here to help with some recipe ideas. Enjoy!

Tuna noodle casserole is a classic American dish that has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Growing up my parents never made this dish because they had too many bad memories of eating “cat casserole”. When a 1950s approach with low quality canned tuna and condensed soups is employed, a tuna noodle casserole can run the risk of smelling like cat food. However, high quality canned tuna and a simple white sauce will make this an instant family favorite.

We’ve talked about taking care when selecting tuna before. Most common brands of canned tuna are sourced from fisheries with management issues. We recommend using tuna from U.S. & Canada west coast fisheries that are troll and pole-line caught, meaning the fish are caught one at a time resulting in very little by-catch. Excellent canned tuna brands include Wild Planet, and Henry & Lisa’s . It’s well worth noting that these brands which only cook their tuna once, often have twice the amount of EPA & DHA per serving that other mass tuna brands have because its not lost in the cooking process.

My husband (full disclosure: I just cooked the pasta. My husband was the real cook.) uses this Food Network recipe as a base with some modifications.

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 can mushrooms (4 oz) (substitute 6-8oz fresh white or cremini mushrooms)
  • 2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp yellow curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 pound Organic whole wheat macaroni, cooked to package directions
  • 2 cans (5 oz) tuna
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
Veggies, tuna, and whole wheat pasta are the primary ingredients.

Veggies, tuna, and whole wheat pasta are the primary ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Heat 1 part olive oil and 1 part butter in a skillet until butter foams. Add mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have released their water. You may reduce the butter and increase the olive oil, but do not use more butter than olive oil. I like to use butter for the flavor, but the milk solids will burn unless you use at least 50% olive oil when sautéing.

Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and butter to remove excess water and add flavor.

Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and butter to remove excess water and add flavor.

Heat oil in dutch oven or large skillet. (Use a dutch oven if you have one because then this is truly a one pot meal.) When oil is hot, add carrot, onion, and celery and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic to pot for no more than minute, stirring the whole time to avoid burning the garlic. Add flour and stir until there are no lumps with the veggies. Add the milk and broth to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Be sure to use at least 2% milk in the white sauce for it to thicken properly – skim is not going to cut it. We prefer to use whole, grass-fed milk for everything (Snowville Creamery is our favorite local Ohio grass-fed dairy ) Reduce pot to simmer and stir until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and curry powder to sauce mixture.

Stir the sauce mixture until thickened

Stir the sauce mixture until thickened

Add broccoli, corn, cooked pasta, grated cheese, and tuna to vegetable-sauce mixture and stir to combine. (Note: you can and should add the tuna can juices to the broth if the tuna was not packed in water or oil, i.e. like Wild Planet’s tuna)  Top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

The one pot meal is a thing of beauty.

The one pot meal is a thing of beauty.

You can use frozen vegetables in lieu of fresh if necessary. You can use up to 3 cans of tuna in the dish and most pastas. This is a casserole so you can use what you have on hand.

This meal really hits the spot on a cold winter evening. It is easily a family favorite in our household because it has all the favorites: pasta, fish, and corn. I also really like this recipe because it makes lots of left-overs, at least for our little family.

The Omega-3 Effect



The Omega-3 Effect

Helpful, Engaging, Relevant

Last Christmas, my brother-in-law gave me William and James Sears’ book The Omega-3 Effect: Everything You Need to Know about the Supernutrient for Living Longer, Happier, and Healthier as a present. I am a “reader,” but I have to admit that the boring, orange cover and the topic of the book didn’t really invite me to settle down near the fireplace with a hot chocolate, ready for a good read. I had heard of something called omega-3s, but I had no idea what they were and why they were relevant to me. It wasn’t until a few weeks after Christmas when I was flat on my back with a fever that I reached for my gift. I felt duty bound to read the book, and I figured now was as good a time as any. At the very least, I thought the topic and what I assumed would be highly scientific language would help me fall asleep.

My first impression of the book couldn’t have been more wrong. The Librarian’s cliché is true: don’t judge a book by its cover. Once I started reading, I didn’t put the book down until I finished it. I am a reader, but I am also a writing teacher. When I was reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was reading one of the most well-written non-fiction books I have ever read. What do I mean by that?

The book included scientific information about the importance of omega-3s in a healthy diet. But a real plus was that I actually understood the scientific information. As William Zinsser says in his famous On Writing Well, scientists should write like people. The authors of The Omega-3 Effect write like people for people. The writers use clear prose, active verbs, and personal examples to convey their ideas.

The book made me laugh. When the good doctors explain how omega-3s help develop brain muscle, promote heart health, and stabilize weight, they make their points by using humor and, sometimes, even humorous illustrations.

The book made me empathize with others. The doctors explain how I can help my kids’ future health now by including more omega-3s into their diets. When the writers describe how omega-3s can help a person recover from surgery, they share how their own family members benefitted from reduced recovery time after surgery.

Because the authors make sure the facts they relate can be appreciated by the science and health novice, they also persuaded me to believe that what they have to say about the importance of omega-3s in a person’s diet is relevant to me.

I wanted to have a healthier heart, a more quickly firing brain, healthier kids, and a body that could recover from physical stresses much more easily. The book gave me practical advice for incorporating omega-3s into my diet. The authors describe how the “S” diet—a diet rich in seafood, salad, seasonings, and supplements—could assure a diet rich in omega-3s and a healthier me. The doctors demystify the world of omega-3 supplements and explain how I can be sure I am purchasing a supplement that actually contains what my kids and I need.

This book was helpful, engaging, and relevant. It is so good that you could curl up by the fire with your hot chocolate. You could relax and read this book on the beach. You’ll learn; you’ll laugh; you’ll empathize. By the end, you may even resolve to live a healthier life. And the best part, after reading this book, you’ll know how to do it!

Michelle Wood holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When she is not reading about omega-3s, she spends her time preparing for the classes she teaches at a liberal arts university in Ohio. Her husband and two children bless her everyday with love and good times.

To order the Omega-3 Effect book:  Click Here.

Listen to what Dr. William Sears has to say about Omega-3s!

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What’s unique about our Orange Burst product?


What makes Orange Burst a unique product?

Orange Burst is made from Wild Red Pollock oil. Why do we call it Wild Red Pollock oil? Isn’t Pollock a whitefish? Alaska Pollock has a diet that consists of young crab, krill, scallops, and other Pollock. They actually eat a relatively similar diet to salmon. However, Pollock’s unique physiology accumulates Astaxanthin (chiefly from Krill) in its liver, not in its flesh.  In fact, Pollock oil has a richer, redder and more vibrant color than a typical salmon oil!  You can learn more about the Alaskan Pollock at FishWatch U.S. Seafood Facts.

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From Left to Right – Typical Fish Oil, Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil (without added Astaxanthin), Wild Pollock Oil

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant from a family compounds known as carotenoids. Probably the most well-known carotenoid is B-carotene; it is commonly found in carrots, which are the source for the name ‘carotenoid’. Astaxanthin is the pigment chiefly responsible for giving salmon, krill, and shrimp their distinctive color.  So much research has been done on Astaxanthin; new science is continuing to come out about its role in inflammation, eye health and heart health. Read more about the 5 reasons to take Astaxanthin every day at Huffpost Healthy Living. The Astaxanthin in our Orange Burst product is naturally present in the raw Fish Oil – not added from an algae source like some other brands will do to make an Astaxanthin label claim in their salmon oils.

Advanced Purification by our Family – Purification of fish oil presents a quandary – how can we remove environmental contaminants and not damage or remove the nutrients?

All raw fish oil (and krill oil) have detectable levels of contaminants from persistent organic pollutants, so they require purification. Also, even the freshest and purest fish oil has a fishy taste and odor. Alaska has some of the purest and cleanest ocean waters on earth, but all of the fish oils (Salmon, Cod, Pollock, Anchovy, etc) that we’ve ever tested in our lab have some detectable levels of PCBs and environmental contaminants in the raw (crude) oil.

Some brands that offer Wild Alaskan Salmon Oils as ‘extra-virgin’ or brands that offer fermented cod liver oils claim that molecular distillation damages the oils, bleaching the color and removing the micronutrients. This isn’t really accurate.  The statement is true only in the same way that with a stove and a fry pan, an inexperienced person can easily overcook and burn a fresh piece of fish. By the same token, the same cooking tools and piece of fresh fish in the hands of an experienced chef can be the most nutritious and best tasting meal you’ve ever had.

We use carbon (activated charcoal) and silica based adsorbents combined with very careful molecular distillation to make an extremely pure, un-concentrated fish oil. Our family and the talented and experienced individuals who work with us have decades of experience in purification and distillation, enabling us to separate the environmental contaminants from the EPA & DHA essential fatty acids and micronutrients of the pure Alaska Pollock oil.

Purified but not concentrated. While our products such as Peak EPA are made from Omega-3s concentrated from Pollock Oil, Orange Burst is made from oil that is processed as minimally as possible. Many individuals value a product that can deliver a high dose of EPA & DHA in a single pill (like our Peak EPA product), but others want an oil that is processed as minimally as possible, plus with a great non-objectionable taste and odor that makes it easy to take day after day.

Although the concentration process (such as that used for Peak EPA) unavoidably removes the micronutrients naturally present in Pollock oil, Orange Burst follows a simpler process. While a concentrated product such as Peak EPA is designed to give you the maximum dose of EPA & DHA per softgel serving, Orange Burst has all of the fatty acids naturally present in the fish – same as you would get if you ate a piece of Pollock.

Lower levels of poly unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of Pollock has more mono-unsaturated fatty acids (such as those found in olives and avocados) than oily fish such as anchovies. This means that the oil has a milder taste and is more resistant to oxidation (more stable) than many other fish oils. This helps to keep it tasting fresh long after it is opened. A serving of Orange Burst has a 240mg dose of Omega-7 Palmitoleic acid, which is a beneficial fatty acid also found in Sea Buckthorn Oil. Research on the benefits of Omega-7 is just beginning to emerge, but heart health benefits and skin health are exciting new areas of study.

Natural Source of Vitamin A & D . Both the Vitamin A & the Vitamin D in Orange Burst are naturally present in the fish oil- we don’t add them from synthetic or other natural sources like some brands of Cod Liver Oil.

Triglyceride Form. The fish oil in Orange Burst is unmodified and 100% in the triglyceride form. Some brands claim that the triglyceride form is more bioavailable than the ethyl ester form (such as Peak EPA).   GISSI and JELIS intervention trials were done on the ethyl ester form.

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Fish Dish of The Month – Grilled Sockeye Salmon ala Wiley

Fish Dish of the Month

Disclaimer.  I am not Bobby Flay.  I do not make my living in challenging aspiring hipster wannabe chefs to a grilling competition. I have never shouted “Bam!” when throwing a pinch of spices on some food.  I do not drive a bright red convertible around the country looking for the most unique diner dish available.  However, I have from time-to-time, been known to slowly close my eyes after sampling a dish I created and say something like “Man, that’s righteous. You knocked that one outta the park, Dan.” while giving myself a Guy Fieri-esque fist bump.  Now, as we enter Kitchen Stadium let us say, in the words of my father (the chairman)…

Allez Cuisine!

The secret ingredient today is Sockeye Salmon.  Okay, so what we’re making today is a grilled sockeye salmon that for the sake of this blog, we’ll call “Wiley’s Finest Grilled Salmon”

Why sockeye?  Well, in my humble opinion, the deep red color and high Omega-3 oil content of sockeye salmon (sp. Oncorhynchus nerka) make it a really premium and excellent tasting fish.  It’s also very healthy.  A 6oz portion of sockeye salmon might have as much as 1500mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3s!  Salmon is also a “robust” fish and will stick together when grilling – some species of whitefish and cod tend to flake apart under the stresses of grilling.  Of course, this recipe will work any salmon, but make sure that you choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon.  This guarantees that you’re sourcing a sustainable, healthy fish for your meal.

Why grilling?  The smoke and charring generated during the grilling process adds a unique flavor dimension to the fish without overpowering the natural flavor of the salmon.

Where should you get your sockeye?  Sockeye from Alaska’s Copper River salmon run is prized around the world for its flavor and deep red flesh.

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Starting in mid-June every year, you can get fresh Copper River sockeye flown in for about 6 weeks or so at most major grocery chains and club stores.  The Copper River salmon run is relatively short, so if you’re thinking of skipping that traditional Omega-6 fowl we call a Thanksgiving Turkey this year, you’d best head to the freezer case.  I like to get a whole side filet of salmon with the skin on, but in many grocery and club stores, you can buy individually vacuum-packed 6-8oz portions.  Try to get frozen portions with the skin still on, as many of the healthy Omega-3 fats lie in the darker flesh right next to the skin.  Also, the skin helps to protect the flesh of the fish during grilling, so it acts as a protectant against the high temperatures.

On to the recipe:

Parts List:

  • Fresh or Thawed Sockeye Salmon Filet, cut into 6-8oz portions.
  • Potlatch Seasoning (make a batch for later use)
    • 3 parts chili powder
    • 3 parts black pepper
    • 1 part ground cumin
    • 1 part crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 part celery salt
    • 1 part garlic powder
    • 1 part onion powder
    • 1 part dried oregano
    • Kosher Salt
    • Maple Syrup (brown sugar will also do in a pinch)

Let’s get started.

Prep the fish.  Get it thawed (if frozen), wash it off in cold water, then slice into those 6-8oz portions I mentioned earlier.  Pat dry with a cloth towel or paper towel.

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Sprinkle kosher salt over one side (flesh side) of the fish.  Don’t hit salt on both sides as this can make the fish WAY too salty.  Trust me on this one.  You want to enjoy your salmon!  Then follow that up with a liberal sprinkling of the potlatch seasoning (recipe above).  You can rub it in a little to make sure that the flavor takes.  Now, let the fish sit and soak in that flavor for a little bit.  The salt will tend to pull moisture out of the fish and will wet the spices down nicely.  Drizzle maple syrup over the fish and let it sit on a plate.  If you don’t have maple syrup, not a problem!  You can substitute brown sugar and just rub a nice coating over the fish.  Let it all sit for a little while.

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Fire up the grill.  You can use charcoal or propane.  Charcoal will give a more complex, smoky flavor to the meat, but you have to be patient.  I’m not a super patient kind of guy, so I prefer propane.  Heat the grill up to about 350-400deg F.  If it’s the right temperature, you should be able to hold your hand for 3-4 seconds above the grate without pain.  Make sure that the grate is scrubbed clean of all the previous day’s grilling residues.

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Once you have the grate cleaned off and the grill is nice and hot, put a little bit of oil on the grate.  You can put some olive oil on a paper towel and rub it on quickly, or use a spray-can to put a light coat of oil on the grill.  This is just to make sure that things don’t stick where they shouldn’t.  If the oil burns off in a flaming inferno….the grill is too hot.  What you want to see is just a wetting of the grate and maybe a little smoke coming off the grate.

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If the grill is greased and the temperature is right, then let’s go fish.  Drop those fillets directly on the oiled grate, skin-side down.  Turn the heat on “medium” and close the hatch.  Let the salmon cook for about 4-5 minutes.  (Rule of thumb – 4-5 minutes for about every ½” of fish thickness).  After 4-5 minutes has passed, open the hatch and check the cooking progress.  At this point, you should see the skin beginning to char and the edges/corners of the salmon starting to turn a golden brown from the caramelized sugars.

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At this point, this is a choose-your-own adventure.  You can either let the fish ride where it is or flip it over.  What I usually do is to flip the fish over and get the searing effect of the hot grill directly on the flesh of the fish.  I let it cook like that for maybe another 1-2 minutes and then flip it back on the skin for the final 2-3 minutes.  If that’s too dicey for you, then just turn the heat down a hair and let it hang out where it is for another 3-4 minutes.

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The fish is done when the outside of the flesh is opaque and moist.  It should flake apart easily when you press on the thickest part with a fork.  I’m a sashimi fan, so for the most exquisite flavor and texture, the center of the fish should be slightly translucent (medium-rare).  However, if the thought of slightly rare fish is a little off-putting…..well, just keep those filets on the grill until the flesh is opaque all the way through.  Controlling the cooking end point is tricky without making the fish overdone and dried out, so I always opt for medium rare.

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Pair it with some rice or mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus or green beans, and you’ve got a dinner fit for an Alaskan King.  Bon Appetit!

Featured Retailer: Mustard Seed Market


Ed. Note – From time to time, we ask our contributors to highlight some of the amazing stores our Wild Alaskan Fish Oil products are sold in. We are extremely proud to be a small part of the many thousands of natural products offered by these stores.  Their commitment to natural products and healthy living is evident in every aspect of their store – if you’re located near one of these great stores that we feature, we encourage you to visit and see for yourself.

Mustard Seed Market in Solon, Ohio
This afternoon, I drove (all by myself!) to our local Mustard Seed Market in Solon, Ohio to buy our weekly groceries. I cannot even express what a pleasure it was. I listened to NPR and Tom Waits, not Raffi (Remember Raffi? I checked out one of his albums at the library, thinking it would be all cute and nostalgic. Haha). I didn’t have to locate any hidden, closet-sized restrooms for my recently potty-trained three-year-old. No one demanded my phone (or my shopping list, or my keys) only to wail and cast it upon the floor in disapproval when said demand was met (That’s my toddler, by the way; the three-year-old is a bit better behaved then that. Generally, anyhow.) I waltzed along, lingering over purple carrots and fist-sized watermelon radishes like I had nowhere else to be, no upcoming naptimes to worry about, no tummies demanding food—tummies which, even at their emptiest, can manage only about three peas or four thousand M&M’s.

Rainbow Carrots
One indicator of a good grocery store is its produce section. Does everything look fresh? What organic options do they stock? Is there a wide variety of colors and flavors offered? We humans naturally find bright colors and good variety appealing, which is the basic logic driving the enormity of pre-packaged offerings available. It always helps me turn down the junk when the first thing I encounter in a store is this:
Leafy Greens
You don’t even have to like kale to covet a bunch of this.

The fruit section, too, was amazing. I snagged some fair-trade bananas, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen offered before. They even got me to consider the fact that I have never purchased a starfruit in my life, and to imagine how much my daughter would love biting into a sweet, juicy star (our children are always with us, aren’t they?).
I bought one, of course.

Directly behind the produce is a wall of bulk, fairly traded coffee beans.
Equal Exchange Coffee
This particular coffee is sold by an organization called Equal Exchange. According to their website, Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 “to challenge the existing trade model, which favors large plantations, agri-business, and multi-national corporations; support small farmers; and connect consumers and producers through information, education, and the exchange of products in the marketplace.” There’s a good deal more information on this site detailing their methods for insuring fair and honest trading practices.

I also snagged myself a bar of this fairly traded dark chocolate with Congolese pili-pili chiles. For the workers.
Pili-Pili Chocolate
It packs a surprising punch.

One of the best ways to save on products like spices, grains, beans, and sometimes even coffee, is by buying in bulk. Here, Mustard Seed does not disappoint. They have several aisles of bins containing everything from lentils and couscous to granola and gluten-free pasta. They even have this impressive collection of bulk spices:
Frontier Spices
Here we see spices by Frontier, a natural products co-op. I love their products. They are processed without radiation or ethylene oxide chemical sterilization, both of which are standard practice in the spice industry. They sell a huge variety of herbs and spices, and are commonly available in jars, little bags, or bulk, even in smaller natural grocery stores. And the bulk prices are unbeatable.

The next few aisles of the store deal in packaged staples. All throughout this section, Mustard Seed has little coupons hanging from the shelves or tucked next to the products. Bob’s Red Mill guarantees all of their products to be GMO-free, and offers a wide range of certified-organic options. They are also one of the few commonly available (and decently priced) sources for alternative flours and my go-to brand for my two favorite flours: whole-wheat pastry and white-whole-wheat (a whole wheat flour made with white, rather than the more typically used red, wheat).
Bob's Red Mill 2
A Great Selection of Bob’s Red Mill

Moving along through the store, we come to one of my favorite sections: oils and vinegars. Nothing adds dimension to a simple meal like choosing these two correctly. Balsamic vinegar we have discussed before, so I won’t go into detail with that one here. Instead, I’d like to focus on a little-known treasure: ume plum vinegar.
Ume Plum Vinegar
This particular vinegar is sold by Eden Foods, an absolutely fabulous company located in Clinton, Michigan. According to Wikipedia, Eden Foods is “the oldest independent organic food producer in the United States.” Their alternative pasta line contains everything from spelt spaghetti and rye spirals, to brown rice udon and lotus root soba.

But this ume plum vinegar is a particular gem. It is deliciously salty, lightly sour, and richly savory, all at the same time. It is an excellent replacement for malt vinegar on fried fish. We’ve even used it as a condiment on homemade tempura with great success.

Of course, one of the main draws of a store like Mustard Seed is the supplements section, and for a good reason: a regular grocery store simply cannot compete with the variety of products and brands offered. The very center of Mustard Seed is its supplements. Here, for example, is one piece of the fish oil selection:
Fish Oil Selection
And, of course, our very own Wiley’s Finest:  Caught by American fisherman, purified by American workers. The products are manufactured to the highest US and international quality standards and display the Marine Stewardship Council certification that indicates sustainable fishing practices.
Wiley's Finest Fish Oil
Another benefit to buying supplements at a store like Mustard Seed is that they carry a whole range of less-mainstream remedies. One in particular that I noticed is Floradix, an organically-derived iron supplement that, compared to other common iron supplements, is substantially easier for the body to absorb and happily free of the more—uncomfortable—side effects. I found it invaluable during both of my pregnancies.
Now, no trip to the grocery store is complete without something to placate my resident tyrants children, and for that, no one fits the bill better than Annie’s Homegrown. As far as I am concerned, there are three major things here to love:
Annie's Cheddar Bunnies
white cheddar bunnies, for mom the kids,
Annie's Macaroni and Cheese
organic Shells & White Cheddar (because non-staining is a significant consideration in choosing a meal for toddlers), and
Annie's Organic Ketchup
organic ketchup. Yes, ketchup. My kids will eat any vegetable or piece of meat when they are allowed to coat it in ketchup (although this does negate the non-staining factor mentioned above), and the awesome thing about the “organic” label is that it excludes any GMO’s. No genetically modified corn syrup in my ketchup, thanks.

Unfortunately, I have neither time nor space to discuss Mustard Seed’s cheese selection (heavenly) or its amazing assortment of craft beers (can I just say that I LOVE the craft beer revival?).

You’ll have to go and check it out for yourself.

Ed note: And if you live in Northern Ohio but aren’t close to their Solon location, Mustard Seed Market and Cafe also has an equally large and beautiful store in North Akron, Ohio, with a third location destined for the Highland Square neighborhood of Akron in late 2014.

Why Alaskan Fish Oil is safe and not contaminated by radiation


by Sam and Dan Wiley


Some of our customers have asked us: how do I know your fish oil is free from radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant?

The quick and simple answer is: our Wild Alaskan Fish Oil supplements (and actually ALL of the seafood from Alaskan waters) is safe and free from harmful radioactive contaminants. But, we’re guessing if you’re reading this, you’re looking for a more detailed explanation.

The two most important questions are:

  1. Are the levels of radiation in Alaskan Seafood elevated because of the Fukushima accident? The short answer is no.  The radioactive isotopes formed from Uranium-238 decay have not been shown to bioaccumulate in Alaskan fish & seafood.
  2. Are radiative isotopes present in Alaskan Seafood at unsafe levels? No.  These specific radioactive isotopes are not present in Alaskan Seafood (which is caught thousands of miles from Japan).

Before we delve into the specific details for these two questions, let’s get some basic physics out of the way:

What is Radiation? Radiation, or more accurately, radioactive decay, is when an atom emits a particle (such as an alpha or beta, or gamma particle). Alpha particles trigger nuclear fission. Certain atomic isotopes, such as Uranium 238, will split into two other atoms when stimulated by an alpha particle (this is called fission). This controlled fission reaction is used to power nuclear power plants around the world (such as Japan’s Fukushima Daichi plant) When nuclear fission occurs, uranium decays into many different radioactive isotopes, most commonly Iodine-131 and Cesium-137. These radioactive isotopes don’t stay radioactive forever, but go through a process called decay where they continue to emit alpha, beta, and gamma particles until they are no longer considered radioactive.

The measurement of radioactive decay from a radioactive substance is called “half-life”. As a point of reference, Iodine-131 has a radioactive half-life of only about 8 days, whereas Cesium-137 has a half life of about 30 years. Any Iodine-131 is long gone by the time your food will have reached you, so Cesium-137 is the isotope that we want to be sure is not present in our food.

How is Radiation Exposure Measured? Radiation exposure is measured in units called a “Sievert”. An annual dose of 1 Sievert is estimated to cause a 5% increase in the risk of death from cancer over the lifetime of the individual (1). 1 in 5 lifetime causes of death (we all die from something) are from cancer. So exposure to 1 Sievert in the course of a year (a truly massive dose) would increase your risk of death by cancer about 5%.

To keep things in perspective, we need to describe the extremely small units of radiation we are talking about.  As mentioned previously, 1 Sievert is a truly massive dose, about 13% of a fatal radiation dose (8 Sieverts). There’s two units that we’ll cover:

Micro-Sievert: 1 μSv = 0.000001 Sievert = 1 millionth of a Sievert

Milli-Sievert: 1 mSv = 0.001 Sievert = 1 thousandth of a Sievert

However, I can start to see your eyes glazing over, so let’s use a new unit to measure radiation exposure: The Banana.  Yes, that ubiquitous yellow fruit has an embarrassing secret that makes for good party conversation.  Bananas are radioactive!


Eating a banana exposes you to about 0.01 microSievert (µSv), or 1/100th of a μSv which is about 0.000003% of one’s average yearly radiation intake.

So, let’s talk about some everyday sources of radiation exposure in terms of bananas.

Getting a dental X-ray – 5µSv…or 500 bananas!

Flying for 6hours from New York to LA… 4000 bananas!

Getting a Mammogram… 40,000 bananas!

Average yearly radiation dose (rocks, soil, sun, food) …300,000 bananas!

And you thought science was boring and dry!  It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “I’m going bananas”.

The food we eat inevitably exposes us to radiation. The question is not “How do I eat radiation-free food?” but rather, “How much radiation exposure (dose) from my food is too much?”

So, back to our first question: Are the levels of radiation in Alaskan Seafood elevated because of the Fukushima accident? The answer is “no” and here’s the reason why:

Radiation is naturally present in fish from natural, non-nuclear sources. Researchers at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station published a fascinating study that looks at levels of cesium-137 isotopes in migrating bluefin tuna caught off of the coast of San Diego, CA in August 2011 and August 2012, 5 months and 18 months after the Fukushima accident respectively.  They were able to detect increases in radiation present specifically from Fukushima, but the elevated levels accounted for only 0.2% of the total radiation naturally present in the fish.  Here’s a quote form their study:

Consumption of 200 g (a typical restaurant-sized serving) of PBFT contaminated with 4.0 Bq·kg-1 dry weight of 134Cs and 6.3 Bq·kg-1 dry weight of 137Cs (mean values for PBFT caught off San Diego in August 2011) resulted in committed effective doses of 3.7 and 4.0 nSv, respectively (Table 1). To put this into perspective, the combined dose of 7.7 nSv from these two Cs isotopes is only about 5% of the dose acquired from eating one uncontaminated banana (assuming 200 g weight) and absorbing its naturally occurring 40K (28), and only about 7% of the dose attributable to the 40K in the PBFT. (2)

The study goes on to hypothesize a worst-case scenario: what if a subsistence fisherman who eats 273 lbs of seafood in a year (5 times more than average US consumption) were to eat only this affected bluefin Tuna for an entire year? It concluded the fisherman would receive about 2.8mSv additional per year (from natural sources), but only 4.7 μSv specifically from Fukushima radiation, or 5 millionths of the dose necessary to increase their risk of death from cancer by 5%, or about 12% of the radiation exposure he would get from a single flight from Los Angeles to New York.

Our second question: Are radioactive isotopes present in Alaskan Seafood at unsafe levels?

Radiation limits in Food. Long before the Fukushima incident, the FDA established DIL (Derived Intervention Levels) for food – the action limit is 1200 Becquerels/kg of Cesium-137. A Becquerel is a weird unit that measures the amount of radiation (remember – alpha, beta, or gamma particles) emitted by a substance. The FDA’s official laboratory test method can be found here.

US Government Testing– As a result of the Fukushima accident, the FDA now regularly monitors radiation levels of two basic categories of food:

1. Seafood caught in US waters

2. Food imported from Japan, both land-based food (vegetables, meat, etc) and seafood.

Both food imported from Japan and US caught Seafood have been tested by FDA for radioactive nucleotides – over 1313 samples of Japanese food have been tested. 199 were seafood – all of the samples except one were free of cesium-137, and of the one where cesium-137 was found, it was far below the FDA’s established DIL.

FDA had tested 1313 samples, 199 which were seafood or seafood products. 1312 samples had no Iodine-131, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, or other gamma-ray emitting radionuclides of concern (FDA)

Migratory Fish populations. Some fish populations, such as albacore tuna, migrate thousands of miles across the Pacific from areas around Japan to the US Pacific coast, and back to the South Pacific islands. Other fish, such as Alaska Pollock (our fish oil products come from Alaska Pollock) do not migrate, sticking within a few hundred miles (or typically less) of their breeding and spawning grounds in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Image courtesy Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Image courtesy Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

It’s important to understand that the radioactive pollution involved from the Fukushima plant is literally analogous to peeing in the ocean.  The enormous volume of the Pacific Ocean (estimated at 188,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons) vastly dilutes the much smaller volume of radioactive pollution emitted from the Fukushima plant. Even water only 18 miles off of the coast of Japan has been tested to meet US FDA drinking water standards for radiation levels. By contrast, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where most Alaskan seafood comes from, is 2687 miles away from Fukushima, which is 150times farther than the safe water tested 18 miles from the coast of Japan.

At Wiley’s Finest, we want you to be informed about the safety of our fish oil supplements.  We stand behind the safety and quality of our products and want you to know that we have been monitoring the unfortunate situation in Japan and how radiation might possibly affect our products.  We can get a little geeky about the science, but that’s just part of the passion that gets us so excited about Omega-3 EPA and DHA in the first place.

Some further reading:

FDA Response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Facility Incident

Woods Hole Scientist: Fukushima Leak Not Affecting U.S. Seafood

Fukushima Radiation – Little Impact on Alaska Seafood



  1. Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects, World Nuclear Association, 19 Oct 2013.
  2. “Evaluation of radiation doses and associated risk from the Fukushima nuclear accident to marine biota and human consumers of seafood”, Fisher, et. al. PNAS 2013

Fish, Flax, Algae, or Krill


 by Chris Speed

Fueled by consensus among global experts that omega-3 deficiency is one of the biggest health challenges to the future of humanity, (1) the fish oil and flax oil markets have grown considerably as they aim to address this pervasive dietary problem. Joining the cause are algae and krill oils that seek to provide consumer choice.


It is important to realize that regardless of source, omega-3’s exert their important and essential effects when they are ultimately incorporated into cell membranes (2). Popular and emerging sources provide three main omega-3’s; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Whether a consumer chooses fish, flax, algae and/or krill should not be the real public health issue, as long as they obtain a source that is right for them and promotes adequate consumption (3).


Although consuming all types of omega-3 is important and add to the body’s overall pool of essential fats, EPA and DHA from marine sources appear to be structurally more important to the integrity of every cell wall in the body and exert greater anti-inflammatory effects than ALA found in flax and other plant forms (2). Most Westernized diets contain very high levels of omega-6 intake which prevent the body from converting ALA to EPA and DHA, making it very important for consumers to seek out the preformed long chain fatty acid forms (4,5,6)


As it currently stands the vast majority of omega-3 research has been carried out on fish oil derived EPA and DHA. No other nutrient has been tested as rigorously and shown to be safe and important throughout many disease management processes, let alone be used daily for proactive disease prevention purposes (3).


Although fish sourced omega-3’s have enticed consumers for many years, algae and krill oils are two competitors that have impressive sales growth potential because they have come to market underpinned by clinically proven health benefits and excellent marketing.


Algae oil is relatively new to the omega-3 industry and provides the long chain omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA. They are a great choice for those seeking vegan sources of omega-3, have been featured in some compelling health studies and are now produced at a volume that meets the growing market’s needs (7).


Krill oil supplies a phospholipid form of EPA and DHA, which appears to be better utilized by the body than other traditional sources (8) and is appealing to health-seeking consumers because it also provides astaxanthin, a naturally occurring pigment that is also found in salmon and pollock oils (9,10). Like fish oils, krill oil has been shown to promote cardiovascular health, support a healthy inflammatory response and play key roles in proper cell structure and function (11). The Achilles heel for krill however is that it provides a low concentration of EPA and DHA and requires several servings to match a similar dosage of fish oil.


Regardless of the source, the sustainability platform of omega-3 oil sources have been increasingly questioned throughout the natural food industry (12) despite the existence of brands approved by rigorous environmental groups such as the Marine Stewardship Council (13,14,15) – the iron clad guarantee of sustainability.



Although fish oil will continue to be a driving force in the omega-3 industry it will only continue to achieve this by being “clinically proven”, safe and highly sustainable. Unfortunately very few brands can tout all of these product qualities and consumers should be urged to seek them out so that future generation can ultimately address the global, pervasive public health crisis of omega-3 deficiency.



(1) Omega-3 Summit (sourced on July 24, 2012)

(2) Lands, W. (2012) Consequences of Essential Fatty Acids Nutrients. 4, (1338-1357).

(3 )

(4) Tur JA et al (2012) Dietary sources of omega 3 fatty acids: public health risks and benefits.Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun;107 Suppl 2:S23-52.

(5) Gibson, RA et al (2013) Docosahexaenoic acid synthesis from alpha-linolenic acid is inhibited by diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 88,139–146,

(6) Brenna, JT et al (2009) a-Linolenic acid supplementation and conversion to n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in humans. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 80, 85–91


(8) Schuchart, JP et al (2011) Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations – a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil. Lipids in Health and Disease 10:145

(9) Takaichi S et al (2003) Fatty acids of astaxanthin esters in krill determined by mild mass spectrometry. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 136(2):317-22.


(11) Ulven, SM. (2011) Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers. Lipids. 2011 Jan;46(1):37-46


(13) (7)