I went to the (curiously early) Earth Day Teach-In at UM last Thursday and saw examples of the dread Asian Carp on display. These are actually 3 species of non-native carp that are taking over rivers in the central US. There’s great fear they will (or have already) get into the Great Lakes and destroy the fisheries.
Looking at seventy-pound beast, I thought, “There has to be a use for that.” It’s not commonly eaten by Midwesterners, as it’s tricky to bone and named, well, “carp,” though apparently it makes good gafilte fish.
But there are other uses for fish than just eating them straight. What about…
- Pet food
- Fish food (for trout, salmon, and other carnivorous farm fish – feeding them soy and corn, like cattle, makes their lipid profile look much more like factory-farmed beef than salmon)
- Fish meal, for fertilizing gardens
- Fish oil
It turns out, some people are already cashing in on these ideas, and also finding ways to market them for eating.
- Making fish oil with no heavy metals and no smell
- “Better than smoked salmon”
- How to bone a “silverfin,” plus recipes.
I worry a lot about invasive species, especially the ones with no nutritional value, but sometimes I think invasives could be a solution, if we’d just get over our preconceptions. There was a contest in Illinois to see how many fish one could catch by simply letting them jump into the boat. The record holder had over 200 of these fish jump in his boat in an hour. That’s a lot of free protein…sounds like we might be overlooking the #1 predator for these things. Us.