Adding Asian Carp to Peoples' Palate

Illinois wants to serve the invasive species as a healthy, cheap option in food banks. But first, people must be willing to eat it.
by | September 26, 2011 AT 4:30 PM

Plankton-eating Asian carp swim in dozens of waterways near the Great Lakes. If they ever break the electric fish barriers, they could decimate food supplies, starve out native species and threaten a $7 billion fishing industry. One solution to preserving native fish, while addressing the problem of hunger, is to offer Asian carp at food banks. But people's aversion to eating a 100-pound fish is getting in the way. So, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has launched a campaign to try to change people's minds (and palettes) about eating and cooking Asian carp, reports the Associated Press. The agency has hired the help of Louisiana chef Philippe Parola to show people how to cook the fish that DNR says is not only cheap but nutritious. The fish is low in mercury and high in omega 3-fatty acids. A name change could help change perceptions -- Parola has been calling the fish 'silverfin' instead of Asian carp.