Will Americans Develop a Taste For Asian Carp?

by Annie Shao, age 17

   With the increasing poverty rates in Illinois and the rapid spread of Asian carp in U.S. freshwaters, encouraging Asian carp consumption in America may be a solution that addresses both of these problems. Unfortunately, most Americans wouldn’t dream of eating Asian carp because of its unsightly appearance.
   Aside from its ugliness, many are still reluctant to feast on these fish because of their notorious reputation as an invasive species of Midwest waters.
   So to jump start the new campaign of eating Asian carp, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hosted a public tasting event in Chicago, at which Louisiana chef Philippe Parola prepared gourmet Asian carp dishes. The fried fish cakes and Creole-spiced fillets helped counter some people’s Asian carp aversions. Many compared the taste to that of other familiar fish such as salmon and tilapia.
This campaign is also supported by nutritionists because Asian carp has low mercury levels and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which improves cardiovascular health.

[Sources: Wisconsin State Journal; Associated Press]

Great article Annie! I gotta say, as terrifying as Asian carp are, your article does kind of make me want to give it a taste... – ClaireMadison (2012-01-19 19:20)