26 September 2014

Your children will eat jellyfish for dinner

From an article in Modern Farmer:
About five miles offshore a crewmate spots, floating near the surface, a mat of gyrating grapefruit-sized globs that stretch the length of five city blocks, a slick so thick it appears as if you could walk on it.

These are cannonball jellyfish. Locals call them “jellyballs.” And they will be dinner. “Jellyballs have been very, very good to me,” says King, who has worked as a state trooper for the last 20 years, and might be the only jelly-balling cop in the country. This past season was particularly robust: King and his men caught 
an estimated 5 million-plus pounds of cannonball jellyfish. At what King says is this year’s price (seven cents a pound), this equates to $350,000...

These brownish Cnidarians (from the Greek knide, or nettle, for their ability
to sting) are now the state of Georgia’s third biggest fishery by volume, behind crabs and shrimp. The first cannonball jellies were commercially harvested off the Gulf Coast of Florida in the early ’90s, and since then Darien, Georgia, has become the epicenter of the industry...

At the Golden Island plant, the jellies are dried and shipped to China and Japan, where they are cut into long, thin strips and served in salads with cabbage and teriyaki sauce. If prepared right, the jellyfish are crunchy, like a carrot. Jellyfish are popular in China, along with other sea creatures like geoducks (those gigantic phallic clams from the Pacific Northwest) for similar textural reasons.

But these sorts of foods are being embraced well beyond Asia. And as climate change and the global industrial agriculture system continue on what many view as a doomed course, we may have no choice but to eat foods that make sense ecologically — or can at least thrive in a changed environment.
More at the link.  Photo credit Mary Wong.


  1. Suddenly have a craving for a peanut butter and jellyfish sammich.....

  2. As a species we will adapt to the ever changing environment and that's been the case for the hominid line for several million years. But will the earth be left with a civilization that appreciates Mozart, Shakespeare, Aristotle, Sun Tzu, and Elvis ?

  3. I love jellyfish! When I was growing up, it was regularly served as the first course of fancy Chinese banquet dinners, shredded and cold, with this lovely light vinegary sauce. It reminds me of the way they do beef tripe for dim sum, another favourite of mine :)

  4. Lobsters were considered poverty food not all that long ago, now they have their own restaurant chains. Just needs a bit more time, and catastrophic ocean damage, I guess.


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