News and Notes

Conway Kitty Loves Fish Hugger Sockeye!

20 January, 2017
I LOVE my cat. Seriously, picture in your head the crazy cat lady who talks to her cat constantly like a human and spoils him rotten... yep, that’s me  I don’t have human children, just my one, one-eyed fur-baby Conway Kitty. He’s a handful and has been since we adopted him, but I still love him to pieces.

Unfortunately, over the last couple of years Conway had been suffering from immune reactions to his food. He’s had several infections in his gums and his teeth, and last year had to have 6 teeth pulled. After that, I said “Enough is enough!” and decided I would go on the journey to making his food myself. I mean, I am a Holistic Nutritionist after all!

Let’s fast forward through a lot of research, a few recipe flops, and a bit of frustration to get to the good stuff! The crème de la crème of cat food recipes! My research indicated one of the most nourishing foods you can feed your cat is wild-caught salmon, so I decided to try using my beloved Fish Hugger Sockeye. I’m not always good about eating my Sockeye leftovers, so I figured I’d eat my portion of a filet, and make the rest into cat food for Conway.

While cooking this recipe, my cat was at my side constantly! He was just hoping for a morsel of something to drop on the floor. After I finished my recipe and gave him his first feeding, he DEVOURED the food. My cat NEVER devours his meals. He’s the finicky cat that eats some, walks away, goes back to eat some more, walks away again and so on. Not with this recipe! My cat ate the ENTIRE serving within just a few minutes and was begging for more. This wasn’t a one- time fluke either! The entire 14 servings of my new Sockeye Salmon cat food were ALL eaten in the same manner! I was blown away...

Then, enter his next round of food (which happened to be chicken and liver). I was feeling so proud of my accomplishments with the prior sockeye recipe, I was expecting the same results. Well, much to my dismay, Conway didn’t want one thing to do with the chicken and liver! As I set down his first meal of the chicken recipe, he totally snubbed it and just walked away! He came back into the kitchen crying & begging just hoping there was more sockeye to devour. Well, let’s just say the next few days of feeding were not much fun because he was stuck with the chicken and liver.

The coolest part of all of this was when I had my friend over after the week of sockeye salmon feeding. She complimented Conway on how beautiful his coat looked and how much healthier and lively he seemed since she had saw him a month prior! It was in that moment I realized how far he had come along in those 6 weeks since he’d had processed canned food. I truly believe food is medicine, and if you love your fur-babies like I do, I highly recommend making nourishing meals for them too!

The coolest part of all of this was when I had my friend over after the week of sockeye salmon feeding. She complimented Conway on how beautiful his coat looked and how much healthier and lively he seemed since she had saw him a month prior! It was in that moment I realized how far he had come along in those 6 weeks since he’d had processed canned food. I truly believe food is medicine, and if you love your fur-babies like I do, I highly recommend making nourishing meals for them too!

All The Best,

Susan Valandra & Conway Kitty

My Modern Monarch

Happy New Year!

29 December, 2016
Hello Phoenix! Just for fun, we'll be attending Roadrunner Park Farmers Market on Saturday, New Year's Eve. Hope to see you there!

AZ & NM December Schedule

29 November, 2016
Hi everyone! We'll be in Phoenix through this weekend (Dec 3/4), then we're off to New Mexico for the rest of 2016. Check out our events calendar for details.

The winter growers market in Los Ranchos New Mexico will be on Saturday, December 10 from 10am-12pm. If you'd like to place an order for pick up at this market, please let us know: 505.865.4097 or 602.286.9233 or send email

Hello Phoenix!

26 September, 2016
We're now back in Arizona for our fall farmers market season! Please join us now through December 5, 2016 at our markets and events. We're happy to help you put together a bulk freezer order. Give us a call 602.286.9233 or send email

Flower Festival @Los Ranchos Growers Market

22 July, 2016
Join us on Saturday, July 23 from 7am-12noon at the Los Ranchos Growers Market (6718 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos NM) for our 15th annual Flower Festival! Lots of amazing locally grown flowers, plenty of delicious veggies and fruits, live music, face painting and lots of fun for the whole family!

Phoenix in July

30 June, 2016
Hello Phoenix FishHuggers! We will be available at our Phoenix home (near Thomas Rd & 44th St) on Tues/Wed, July 19/20 for those who order in advance. We are accepting orders via email or phone 505.865.4097 (direct) or 602.286.9233 (message only, we'll return your call). Please place your orders by midnight on Saturday, July 16. Further inquiries are welcome.

Need to stock up for the Summer?

23 February, 2016
Your freezer will determine how long the product lasts. Food can maintain quality 2 years or more in a -20 freezer (a dedicated deep freezer, commercial is best, chest is best if space is available). A typical household fridge/freezer combo will average 0 degrees and your product will maintain quality for about 1 year.

What's your favorite wild salmon? Have you tried them all?

12 February, 2016
When we first started promoting our fish at farmers markets, salmon was all the rage. It was on every restaurant menu and in every supermarket across and country. The challenge then was that the only widely available salmon was farmed raised. Farmed salmon is a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon grown in net cages in the open ocean off the Pacific coast of Chile (mostly). You may have seen wild salmon canned or "fresh" in the fish counter on occasion. Back in the early 2000's, we spent many hours discussing the superiority of Wild Salmon over farm-raised with consumers. Well, times have changed rather quickly and now it seems that a large share of seafood consumers are well aware of the wild vs. farmed debate and consistently seek out sustainably harvested wild Alaska salmon. As you probably know, wild salmon has higher omega-3 oils and better nutrition, it's more eco-friendly and has a superior flavor and texture. What you may not know is that there are 5 species of Wild Pacific Salmon caught in the cold waters around Alaska. We're commonly asked, "which one is the best?" There is no simple answer, but we can certainly help you determine your favorite salmon. Here is a basic overview:

1) Sockeye or Red Salmon is the darkest red and has the most powerful salmon flavor. Due to it's high omega-3 oil content, sockeye is widely considered the "healthiest" salmon. These fish migrate tens of thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean during their 2-3 year lifespan. Sockeye is our favorite salmon for sashimi. Worldwide, sockeye is the Japanese preferred salmon.

2) Coho or Silver Salmon is slightly lighter, milder and has about half the omega-3 oil of sockeye. Coho tends to be juicy and flavorful when cooked. Coho is our favorite salmon for baking, grilling and smoking. Worldwide, coho is the American preferred wild salmon.

3) Keta or Silverbright Salmon is very mild and has only 0.6 grams of omega-3 oil per serving. Due to its mild taste we think keta salmon makes an excellent whitefish substitute with superior nutrition. The flesh turns a very pale pink when cooked and it does well with a sauce. Keta is our favorite salmon to prepare for guests who may or may not like salmon. Kids love it too. Worldwide, keta salmon is the favorite of Europe, particularly France.

4) Pink Salmon has traditionally been canned as it is the most abundant species of wild salmon. We recommend canned wild salmon over any farmed salmon every day of the week. Pinks have a 2 year lifespan and are the smallest of the 5 wild Pacific salmon species. Pink salmon has a high omega-3 oil content and provides a lot of high quality protein. It's our favorite salmon for chowder, salads and omelets.

5) King or Chinook Salmon is the largest and least abundant of the wild Pacific salmon species. It has a long lifecycle in the open ocean and the average king is over 30 pounds. King salmon is the state fish of Alaska and most of it is consumed in the state. It is a great source of omega-3 oil and is excellent cut into steaks. We didn't harvest any king last season, we suggest coho as the nearest substitute.

For many years, sockeye was our family's favorite. Now, we are better satisfied by rotating through the species for a little more variety. We suggest trying 2-3 varieties of our wild salmon and determine your favorite. ENJOY!

Ain't No Saguaro in Texas

3 February, 2016
Last year was a great year for honey production in central and southern Arizona. So far this year, there has been a good amount of moisture (our beekeeper got 3 inches of rain in the last storm) which will lead to a larger spring bloom in the desert. More rain = more flowers = more honey, thanks bees! We are currently offering 5 different RAW UNFILTERED ARIZONA honeys: Cactus Mesquite Blossom, Desert Wildflower, Saguaro Blossom, Cantaloupe Blossom & Alfalfa Blossom. Tastes and colors of each varietal are distinct and this is due entirely to the bees. In addition to these honeys, we are also offering our TOP 3 RAW HONEYS BY TASTE: Colorado Wildflower, Mountain Wildflower from northern New Mexico, and Purple Sage from central New Mexico. Come taste these honeys and consider purchasing a case of your favorite (mix and match is a great idea too). Honey is a whole food and although it will crystalize with cooler temperatures and age, it never goes bad. If you're interested in local honey as a fundraiser for your team, school or other group, please give us a call!

Open House & Honey Tasting!

2 February, 2016
Tuesday 3-7pm or by appointment at FishHugger's home (2031 N 47th St, Phoenix AZ 85008). Bring a cooler and bring a friend! It's a great time to stock your freezer: Wild Salmon & Seafood, NM Grassfed-Grassfinished Beef, Raw Local Honey, Bariani Olive Oil and SO MUCH MORE! As always, children and families are welcome. For further inquiry or to place an order, please call 602-286-9233.

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