Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: Interview & Review

I eat fish four to five times per week. Most of it falls into the category of fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. These carry some of the highest levels of bio-available omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.

I’ve written about the importance of these fats for brain health, fighting inflammation, a strong heart and healthy skin. But what if you can’t stomach fish?

Fish oil supplements should do the trick, right? Not likely.

Most are made with chemical fillers and the oil inside those capsules is rancid. Fish oil is super sensitive to heat, light and air, causing rancidity to occur very quickly during extraction of the oil from the fish. By taking a fish oil pill, you’re likely doing more harm than good.

The Rosita family in Norway is changing all that. After years of practice and research, they have developed a delicate way to extract fish oil that protects it from rancidity. The result is Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO).

I recently interviewed Archie Welch of Organic3, a US distributor of EVCLO, to learn more about their process.


BB: Where is the cod sourced and how is this done sustainably? 
AW:
Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and Rosita, the family that makes it is based in Northern Norway where most of the cod fishing for the Atlantic ocean is done. Norway has strict quotas on how much cod can be caught. They also have agreements with Russia on protecting certain fishing grounds.  In the last few years they’ve reached cod populations that match what they had back during WWII. It’s a big upswing in the cod populations… and if they keep their quotas in line they see no reason why those shouldn’t keep climbing.

Norway still has some very clean waters, obviously oceans are not pristine like they used to be…but as far as the catch of the cod, they are pretty clean. We do put them through natural processes that take out any heavy metals or pesticides. But for the most part, very little has to be done.


BB: Can you describe how the production process protects the delicate oil and nutritional value?

AW: A lot of the oils you buy on the market are highly, highly processed. They go through a lot of high heat, solvents and chemicals and they pretty much damage all the nutrients but it makes it self stable. Which is why when you go into a health food store you’ll find it on the shelf and not in the refrigerator.

What Rosita does, because this is a whole food, is protect the oil and keep out all the rancid factors, which is very difficult. Cod liver oil is very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the DHA and EPA, and those oxidize extremely quickly. They’re polyunsaturated fats, very sensitive. If you don’t protect those right from the very start, they’re going to go rancid.

How they do that? They control the process from the fishing right to the end product in the bottle. The Vikings way back when, observed a phenomenon, that when you catch a deep water cod or any fish that you’re going to extract the liver and bring it up to the surface and get the liver harvested almost immediately; with the difference in pressure from the deep ocean and the difference in temperature, all you have to do is bring the liver out of the fish and the oil exudes on it’s own. And that is just because of the difference in pressure. So that’s what Rosita does.

(Rosita) lets mother nature exude the oil without any heat, no chemicals, no solvents, no pressure, and from there they filter it, similar to coffee filters just to get any particular matter out. Before (extraction) they inspect all the livers to make sure they’re only using the healthiest livers.

Rosita only uses the Atlantic Cod, or Gladius Marine. Historically it is documented to be the most healing.


BB: Are there any additives or supplements in the oil?
AW: To keep it fresh they do add one drop of a combination of rosemary herb and full spectrum vitamin E that helps to protect it from oxidizing. We keep the bottles small so they’re consumed long before the oil goes rancid.

(Rosita) never uses any metal, they never let the livers or oil touch metal. They use ceramic knives for harvesting the livers. They keep the temperature and the lighting down in the bottle facility. They nitrogen flush the bottles and cap it without any oxygen. That allows us to ship without any cold packs, but once it’s received the consumer needs to refrigerate it and especially after it’s been open it needs to be refrigerated. All these factors go into keeping the rancidity issues at bay.


BB: Why is it labeled Extra Virgin?
AW: Anytime you have anything to do with cod liver oil in Norway it has to go through the Norwegian government. We had to send all the oils to NOFIMA and government backed institutes and labs for testing all the fish oils. They were all highly impressed with what Rosita was doing since they weren’t using any heat. It was a throw back to the way they used to harvest livers and create cod liver oils. They were so impressed that they allowed them to use the moniker, Extra Virgin. It’s the only Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil in the world.


BB: What is the self life and what do you recommend for proper storage?
AW: If unopened, you can store it up to a year in the refrigerator. For longterm storage, you can put it in the freezer and it will extend it another 6 months to a year. It can go 2 years in the freezer. Once open you have about 3-4 months before it will start turning.

No flavors are added to EVCLO, we want people to taste the freshness and know when it’s starting to turn. If we add flavors it may mask the rancidity and we want people to know exactly what they’re getting.


BB: What are the benefits of EVCLO?
AW: A high dose of vitamin A, one of the highest doses of natural vitamin D3 of any food in the world (not synthetic) and a healthy dose of EPA and DHA.


It’s because of companies like Rosita that we have access to high-quality, nutrient dense foods.

Norway has one of the world’s lowest levels of depression and they credit it to the heavy doses of omega 3s in their diet. Contrast that to America where we have high levels of depression and consume a very small amount of fish.

Rosita is a company that I trust and I believe their fishing methods are responsible and sustainable.

I love EVCLO for it’s healthy source of omega 3, vitamins D and A that comes from a whole food source. It’s a great alternative for those fish-haters out there. The taste is pure and light and yes it does taste fishy. But wouldn’t you want something coming form fish to taste fishy? That’s how you know it’s the real deal. The other alternative is to eat the whole fish so you make the choice.

How do you get your omega 3s? Do you eat seafood or take a supplement? 

 

Click here to get FREE SHIPPING on Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil through May 27th!

Learn more about EVCLO here.

You can listen to the entire interview on Episode #11 of Wellness Beets Podcast.

Click to listen now.

 

*This post contains affiliate links. These help me keep the blog and podcast running so I can keep providing all the insights and info to y’all! Thanks for your support! 


Resources:

Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/fish-oil-claims-not-supported-by-research/?_r=0

NOFIMA, http://nofima.no/en/

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

A little late for Mardi Gras but I’m always in the mood for cajun spices. My foodie palate was set by my parents, who where heavily influenced by the flavors of New Orleans. We would take weekend trips to the festive city, solely for the purpose of eating. The weekend was spent feasting on the city’s finest. Oysters, jambalaya, blackened fish and world famous gumbo. Those cajun flavors will never leave me.

This recipe is made with canned salmon to keep things simple. It’s one of those items I always have stocked in my pantry to ensure I eat enough omega 3s. The nutrition power that is omega 3 fatty acids continues to amaze me. Some psychiatrists are even beginning to prescribe omega 3 fats as a substitute or enhancer for antidepressant medications, 1 gram per day of EPA or EPA+DHA. Our brains are 80 percent fat, the highest of any organ, and a high proportion of these fats are the long chain omega 3 (EPA and DHA). So omega 3s are critical for normal functioning of adult brains.

Wild caught canned salmon has a high percentage of omega 3s than the farmed variety. Use this guide to help you find one. Two brands I trust are Wild Planet and Vital Choice. Many offer it with the bones still in as well. This is the one you want to buy. All those bones provide extra calcium and if you have difficulty getting enough of this important mineral, canned fish is a good way to get it. Four ounces of canned fish with bones provides a third of the 1000 milligrams you need in a day.

For the mayo in the recipe, I recommend making your own. Watch my 1 Minute Mayo video and see the magic of emulsifying!

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip
Serves 6
Spicy salmon dip with cajun flavors.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 15 oz can wild caught salmon - with bones
  2. 2 tbsp mayo - homemade preferred
  3. 1 tbsp canned coconut cream
  4. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  6. 3 tsp hot sauce
  7. 3 tbsp finely chopped celery
  8. 3 tbsp finely chopped onion
  9. ¼ tsp salt
  10. ¼ tsp pepper
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. ½ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Remember to keep the bones in the mix for extra calcium! They dissolve with enough vigorous stirring so you’ll never taste them.
  2. Serve with raw celery, red pepper and carrot sticks.
  3. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/

Resources:

The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World–Why They Work and How to Make them Work for You by Daphne Miller M.D. 2009.

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

 

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

6 Tasty Sardine Recipes

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It’s not easy getting enough omega 3s in your diet. Fish contains the highest amounts and we should be consuming at least three 4-oz. portions of oily fish per week. That’s a lot of fish! If we want to keep our omega 3 to omega 6 ratio balanced though, there is no easier way to do it. I wrote about the importance of this balancing act for combating inflammation in a previous article.

Goodbye inflammation, hello sardines! Sardines contain more omega 3s than almost any other fish. These tiny fish pack in the nutrition. One of the very few natural sources of vitamin D, high in vitamin B12, selenium, calcium, Coenzyme Q10, iron, taurine, and protein, sardines are proven to aid in a healthy body. They’re been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, alleviate arthritis symptoms, slow the growth rates of cancer cells, and even help battle depression. Pregnant women should up their intake during the later stages of pregnancy. An increase in omega 3s is required for fetal brain and central nervous system growth. Little fish equals big benefits.

Mercury risk is much less of a concern too. Their small size and short life spans prevent them from accumulating high levels of mercury.

1 Can of Sardines Contains
:
omega               3 1.3g
protein              24g
vitamin D         172g
vitamin B12      8.2g
calcium             214g
iron                    2.05g

When I mention sardines, I watch as friends scrunch up their nose in auto response. I ate them all the time as a kid. Granted, as I’ve mentioned before I had quite the palate for a five year old. I refused the kid’s menu and would beg my parents for raw oysters. So naturally sardines were a favorite. The only thing I loved more was canned smoked oysters. Y.U.M.

Now I know, they’re not in most people’s palate, so I put together a list of delicious recipes for entry-level sardine eating. Even if you have to get out the old school clothes pin for your nose, do it. Your body is thanking you already. You can easily mask the fishy flavor by covering them in sauce or mashing them into a salad dressing.

Buy Wild Caught
I eat Wild Planet Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All of Wild Planet’s seafood is sustainably sourced and is approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program. For sardines, they only source them from the Pacific Ocean, specifically near California and Japan. Ones from the Atlantic are now at risk from over-fishing. Since sardines grow to reproductive maturity in 1 to 2 years, they are less at risk of over-fishing than the larger game such as tuna, which does not mature until 8 years.

Show some sardine love.

Recipes

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Photo by WholeLiving.com

Lemon-Herb Sardine Salad by Whole Living


Grain Free Sardine Fish Cakes by Ditch the Wheat

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Photo by ditchthewheat.com
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Photo by theprimitivehomemaker
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Photo by eatdrinkpaleo.com
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Photo by ketodietapp.com

 

 

Avocado & Sardine Tapenade (AIP) by The Primitive Homemaker

 

 

 

 

 

Sardines Forshmak Deconstructed Salad by Eat Drink Paleo

 

 

 

 

Paleo Stuffed Avocado by Keto Diet App

 

Sardines in Spicy Moroccan Tomato Sauce

Sardines in Spicy Moroccan Tomato Sauce
Makes 2 servings.

½ cup onion – chopped
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ tsp salt
½ cup black olives – pitted and halved
2 cans sardines

►Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat for 3 minutes until onions become translucent. Reduce heat to low and stir in tomatoes, all spices and black olives. Saute together for 5 minutes.
►Gently place the sardines in the pan. Scoop up the sauce and pour over each fish. Only cook 1 or 2 minutes then serve immediately. Make sure to remove the boy leaf before eating!
►Serve with salad greens and top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Sardines in Spicy Moroccan Tomato Sauce
Sardines in Spicy Moroccan Tomato Sauce
Resources:

How much omega-3 is enough? That depends on omega-6. http://chriskresser.com/how-much-omega-3-is-enough-that-depends-on-omega-6

Pacific Sardines, http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/detail/414/sardine-pacific-purse-seine-us-canada-sardinops-sagax?type=pacific&q=Sardine,%20Pacific

Atlantic Sardines, http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/sardine?type=atlantic&q=Sardine,%20Pacific

USDA Sardine Nutritional Profile, http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4544?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=sardines

Fish and healthy pregnancy: more than just a red herring! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9077255

The influence of sardine consumption on the omega-3 fatty acid content of mature human milk. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16532150