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We Know Our Sources: Rainforest Tilapia

February 28, 2019

Responsibly raised and delivered fresh from pond to plate in 24 hours or less, Rainforest Tilapia is a delicious, eco-friendly product you can now find in the Seafood Department of your local Heinen’s.

Tilapia is packed with an abundance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals—including a significant amount of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids—making it a wonderful option for those looking to include lighter proteins in their diet. With a mild, fresh flavor and unmatched versatility, you’ll be able to prepare a variety of tilapia dishes even the pickiest of eaters in your family will love.

Rainforest Tilapia - Sheetpan Meal

To help you get to know this source a little better, Rainforest Tilapia’s Gaudy Lara answered some questions for us.

What makes Rainforest different from other farmed tilapia or any other farmed fish?

Rainforest Tilapia is sustainably raised in the pristine, mineral-rich rainforest waters of Costa Rica. Our ponds breed pure, nutrient-rich fish that are luscious in flavor and free of impurities, additives, growth hormones and antibiotics.

Plus, our fish are socially responsible. Our tilapia go to work for Costa Rican ecologies—from the sustainable aquaculture practices that raise them to helping fund reforestation projects and community enrichment programs for the elderly. A purchase of Rainforest Tilapia does more than just bring smiles to the faces of your family members; it nurtures the plant, animal and human ecosystems of Central America.

Where and how are the tilapia raised? What makes this grow site unique?

Rainforest Tilapia are raised in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, and our water source is at Lake Arenal, an eco-rich volcanic reservoir fed by natural water tributaries along Costa Rica’s tropical Atlantic Coast. By harnessing the power of Costa Rica’s moving falls, rivers and streams, we can raise our tilapia in constantly flowing water, a unique breeding environment that gives our fish a rainforest-clean taste that must be experienced to be believed.

Our multi-use water recycling policy ensures waters from our fresh, flowing pools and canals is also sustainably recycled. The water first moves through hydroelectric power productions to create green energy and then into irrigation canals to nourish the sugarcane and rice fields of Costa Rica.

Let’s talk a little about sustainability. In what ways is Rainforest ensuring sustainability?

The entire country of Costa Rica takes sustainability very seriously, so consumers can feel really good about eating our tilapia. In fact, Costa Rica has been recognized by the World Energy Council as one of the most sustainable countries in the world.

At Rainforest, we focus on doing all the right things to ensure the health of our fish, our consumer and our environment. Here’s how we do it:

  •  99 percent vegetarian diet – Our tilapia eat a plant-based diet of mostly soy, wheat and rice husks.
  • 1-to-1 feed ratio – It only takes 1 pound of feed to raise a pound of protein, so compared to other proteins, our tilapia is unique in this regard.
  • Full traceability – We can trace the entire life history of each fish from farm to processing plant to market—seven generations back!
  • Reforestation projects – We plant between 100 and 300 native trees a year in the nationally protected biological corridors around our farms.
  • Zero waste policy – 100 percent of each fish is utilized after harvest.
  • Renewable energy – Our electric energy is 100 percent from renewable sources.

Can you give us some preparation tips or techniques?

As our fish produce hearty, thick fillets, they are incredibly versatile! We recommend pan-searing the tilapia with your favorite seasonings or even breading them to bake in the oven.

To learn more about Rainforest Tilapia’s sustainable farming operation and its products, visit its website at https://www.tilapia.com/ or speak with an associate in our Seafood Department.

By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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