Sunday, November 27, 2005

The calcium connection, Las Vegas restaurants

"When the sun strikes your skin it produces vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is also found in fish oil and egg yolks, but few other foods." This statement struck me because of the fact that calcium in the diet could arguably be as important as Omega 3 fatty acid. After all who wants to get osteoporosis, that debilitating weakening of the bones. We really need our bones to hold our bodies in the right shape. Unless being a Darth Vader doesn't bother you.

I see "seafood sales gold veins" flying around the country.

So when says that fish oil is their third top selling health item, it's pause for reflection on how might Alaska benefit from the trend. Baby boomers are looking for a silver bullet to strike back at the growing awareness of their mortality. Fish oil is something that just HAS to be good for you. You can almost imagine squeezing the oil out of fish with a ringer washing machine. Even though I believe in taking a multi-vitamin, it's hard to imagine that all those vitamins and minerals are coming from a source that you could recognize as being natural, good for you and maybe even morally correct.

How many fish oil pills are being sold? Where does this fish oil come from? Is it really fish oil? What is the real omega-3 and vitamin D content of these pills? For food supplements, there is not a lot of regulation of potency. For all I know, these pills might be canola oil with a little synthetic vitamin D and some fish flavor thrown in to give a good fishy belch. Maybe the Fish Tech. Center in Kodiak knows. They might even be able to shed some light on how Alaskans can get in on this veritable gold rush.

We also have an article here on the rapid rise of everything Las Vegas, including restraurants. These are high end, just like everything else in Vegas. 62,000 jobs were created in Las Vegas last year. While in Los Angeles, scores of trendy restraurants have recently closed, they are opening right and left in Las Vegas.

Big buck Asians are skipping Rodeo Drive to head straight for Las Vegas and it's new high-end shopping and dining. Alaskans may have a hard time getting a vision for selling seafood to these folks, who will spend $4,000 on rare wine for a meal.

So, what am I saying, do Alaskan fishermen need to expand their vision? Probably. Do they need to find niche markets for themselves? Probably. When you rely on someone else to do this work and to have the larger vision for your product, you just cut your profits in half. Maybe more. When you're talking about HIGH-end seafood, you're talking about a GPS tracking device on the shipment, a courier to go with the load, packed in dry ice in excess luggage, paddlocked containers, 24 hours out of the boat, taxi service to the restaurant and cash on the barrel-head for the courier, and maybe a massage and dinner thrown in too.

See how just getting a new vision can help a program. Fisher folk need help getting the vision, that's about all. They can do the rest. After all, aren't high tech jobs going to countries now that we only saw in the National Geographic? The people might not have been the ones wearing the brass necklasses and that's about all, but you never thought they would have the tech jobs in a few years. So I guess American fishermen, with their Yankee ingenuity, can sell some top quality seafood to the neveau rich.

Might even help the trade imbalance, and besides, the guys that sold the $4,000 of wine don't have any problem charging the moon for their wares. I remember a 20 year old kid, that I met on the Kibbutz in Israel, made a bundle with a little ingenuity. He disappeared for a couple of days. Turns out he had gone to Jerusalem, bought a stamp collection, flew to Athens and sold it for a $10,000 profit, flew back and caught up on his sleep in the nicest hotel in Jerusalem.

These kind of guys aren't eating anyone's lunch, they are just charging what the market will bear, like everyone else. Ther's no moral high ground in selling low. Check out the parable of the wise servant.


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