Eat more fish heads!

Why We Should Quit Tossing Fish Heads And Eat ‘Em Up Instead. Yum!


March 07, 2014 3:06 PM
The head of a cabezon fish prepared by the author.

The head of a cabezon fish prepared by the author.

Alastair Bland for NPR

About a decade ago, I backpacked the coastal desert of Baja California, Mexico, feasting daily on snapper and corvina that I caught and grilled whole over driftwood beach fires.

The highlight, for me, were their heads, which oozed with sizzling fat and were packed with extra-tender meat along the jawbones, around the eye sockets, below the gill plates and in the cheeks. Even the eyeballs and the softer pieces of cartilage were delicious. I devoured all but their backbones and ribs, which I threw in the fire pit to char.

But most North Americans and Europeans miss out on the joys of fish heads, preferring to eat only clean, boneless filets. And with little demand for fish byproducts worldwide, most heads, tails and carcasses are processed into livestock feed or farm fertilizer or thrown back into the sea.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently called out the absurdity of this waste, suggesting it’s time to get more fish heads on people’s plates.

“We must ensure that these byproducts are not wasted,” Audun Lem, chief of FAO’s products, trade and marketing branch, said in a statement.

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About Brian Fulmer

Brian is the owner of Crossroads Property Management Inc. ( He writes six blogs and has written two books. He also works with various missions around the world. His first love is Guatemala.
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