Eat Your Fish Heads: Curb Food Waste by Munching on This Fishy Dish

Mar 10, 2014 08:51 AM EDT | By Ian Powell

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It's not a commonly consumed food in most parts of North America, and a majority of Europe. In fact, fish heads tend to be seen as food waste--something to be thrown away from the rest of the edible animal. But that may soon change. According to NPR, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has just recently said that this amount of waste is absurd and that people should eat fish heads.

Fish heads, tails, and carcasses are being thrown into oceans or made into fertilizer or animal feed, and that is just simply wasteful.  According to a report published in Trends in Food Science and Technology, Norwegian fisherman alone dumped 220,000 tons of fish parts back into the sea. That's why the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization hopes for more people to put fish heads on their plates.

There are actually a few incentives to chow down on fish noggins--and not just for a waste-not want-not mindset. Studies have revealed that fish heads are incredibly nutritious, and contain extra-high levels of vitamin A, iron, zinc, calcium, and the ever-so-popular omega-3 fatty acids. Adding fish heads to the dinner table adds a healthy food source, saves fishing companies money, and would also reduce pollution.

Some nations have been sending their fish heads to parts of the world where people do eat them. In Africa and Southeast Asia, fish head consumption is very common. Now, Norway, the U.S, and Scotland have all taken a business-like approach, and started sending their fish parts frozen to those regions.

So to recap, should you go out and buy fish heads? Not only do many parts of the world believe you should, but so do scientists researching their nutritional value, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Eating fish heads would help with waste, be healthy for you, and simultaneously help save the worlds fish supply, and the cleanliness of our oceans. 

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