Fish massages are the secret to sustainable caviar
The old way of getting caviar: Kill a fish and steal its eggs. The new way: Give a pregnant sturgeon a stress-relieving aromatherapy massage and, once she’s completely relaxed, her eggs’ll just pop right out. Repeat massage every couple years.
There are no hot stones or bamboo flutes, but that’s the gist of a big breakthrough in caviar. This no-kill method is a huge improvement over waiting for a fish to turn 10 or so, then killing it as soon as it gets knocked up (RUDE). The deets from NPR:
The new method, being practiced at a small farm in Loxstedt, Germany, called Vivace GmbH, involves first viewing a sturgeon’s eggs by ultrasound. If they are deemed ready, a signaling protein is administered to the sturgeon several days before the egg harvest.
This … “induces labor” and releases the eggs from a membranous sack in the belly cavity. At that point, the eggs can be pumped from the belly with gentle massaging.
This ultra-fancy, no-kill caviar IS more expensive than normal — up to $135 an ounce instead of about $105. But it’s a dumb luxury food based on exclusivity, so foodies probably won’t mind … and besides, SOMEbody’s gotta pay for the scented candles.
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