Are you ready to eat jellyfish? Is it the next sustainable protein?


OK, when I first started looking into the eating jellyfish thing I didn't realize what I was in for. I remember as a young kids walking along the shores and popping the jellyfish that had dried up on the beach. I've been stung while swimming but I never considered eating them.

Well it might be time to reconsider Jellyfish. With the warming oceans Jellyfish blooms are on the rise. The number of blooms is causing havoc with power plants, fish stocks and the fishing industries.

There is an overabundance of jellyfish in the oceans today. There are roughly 25 to 30 species of jellyfish that are edible and they've been consumed in many Asian countries for centuries.

So what about North America or Europe. It seemed ironic that I found out jellyfish from the state of Georgia was processed and ship from the U.S, to Japan, China and Thailand. Yet it isn't common to see it on the menu in North America.

But does it taste good? I've read that it has a slightly salty taste and chewy consistency, depending on how it's prepared. There's even a Japanese company, Tango Jersey Dairy, that produces a vanilla and jellyfish ice cream. How about a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish ice cream that uses calcium activated proteins that react when they are agitated.

Jellyfish are roughly 5% protein (6g per 100g) and according to a fairly recent study they seem to be eaten by more marine predators than we had previously thought. And may be more important as a food source.

A Paradigm Shift in the Trophic Importance of Jellyfish?

Scientists are reconsidering the jellyfish as its impact on our environment becomes more severe and they become more abundant.

Would you consider eating Jellyfish on a regular basis as an additional protein source?

Jellyfish as a food
Jellyfish swarm kills 300,000 salmon at Uist fish farm

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How about a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish ice cream that uses calcium activated proteins that react when they are agitated.

I could definitely get behind that! I'm a huge fan of all things food. Especially water bugs. I have a major affinity for Snow and King Crab. I also like oysters, mussels and of course, lobster. Calamari has grown on me quite well the past several years too, so, I can totally see myself nomming on some jellies.

As for their spike in population, haven't we over-fished a few other ocean dwellers that perhaps fed on them - say maybe the atlantic salmon and perhaps a tuna or two? I'd even go as far to say some whales got blubberized that probably didn't strain out the jellies in their baleen. Just a thought.

Oh for sure. We are decimating the natural fish eco systems. The research that I mentioned was showing that there are more ocean predators that actually eat jellyfish than we had previously thought... it also might account for what so many are dying from eating plastic as they cant differentiate between a floating bag or a jelly.

I read an article about a fishing trawler that almost capsized because the net they were pulling up was full of large jellyfish, some weighing upwards of 400lbs.

Who knows what is causing the blooms, warming oceans, over fishing, combination likely. We might be able to help, if it was more widely used. Lots of research going on in the food sector on make them more palatable. LOL, feels like the start of the TOFU jerky days (or TOFU leather) - heck of a lot better now... just a matter of time - Jelly Jerky :-)

Hmm, I'd have to be pretty hungry before I ate a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich. I think I'll pass, too many calories in peanut butter. And I'm pretty sure jellyfish do not have fins and scales, not kosher.


peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich

That's a good question @ironshield...but I think you are right that they can't be Kosher because of that(no fins or scales).

I was also wondering about the vegan aspect too. They are invertebrates and they do not have brains, hearts, gills, bones, or blood. Would they be considered as a protein source by someone that was a vegan?

Any vegans that can comment?

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Hi Jason, great article and just to let you know that Jellyfish is quite a staple here in Thailand. Often eaten at breakfast various other seafood soups.
Sorry, have you tried it?
Errr NO, I don't eat seafood at all so it's not going to happen lol

Cool, no I'd like to try them but have not had a chance. I've been stung by them, but have never had the opportunity to eat them...

This is and example of what I would see as a kid on the beach after a bloom.

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