Can You Eat Goldfish? Health Effects

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Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Share My Kitchen

Although you might think of goldfish only as temporary pets that are fun to look at now and again, they can be a bigger part of your life! Goldfish make excellent pets for young children to learn about the responsibilities and roles of life. They will not cause any allergic reactions like dogs or cats. You don’t also have to worry about them when you’re out of town.

You Probably Should Not Eat Gold Fish

Many fish species are popular in many different cuisines, but is it good to eat goldfish? You should think twice about it. Although they can be cooked like other freshwater fishes, they are not the best choice for dinner.

Quick History of Goldfish in Culture & Cuisine

Unexpectedly, the history of goldfish is long and rich! These fish are basically a domesticated form of the wild East Asian carp. They have been bred over many years to develop a particular color and shape. These fish have domesticated for the first time in China over a thousand years ago. The Chinese bred them to be food. Japan soon followed the lead and started similar domestication practices in the 16th century. Goldfish became a popular ornamental aquarium species in Europe over the next few years. They were also established in the United States by the end of the 19th century.

Spiritual Value Of Goldfish

Goldfish were historically bred to eat, but they also have a high spiritual value. It was common for fishermen to keep brightly colored goldfish they caught in order to release them into Buddhist “mercy ponds” in the 19th century. Then, the monks were responsible for caring for the fish and protecting them from any predators (birds, cats, or humans).

Free Goldfish

The U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries offered free goldfish from 1884 to 1894 to help promote them. These fish became very popular and abundant in the United States. The government gave out approximately 20,000 goldfish per year before the program was stopped.

When Did Goldfish Become Popular?

Furthermore, goldfish farming gained popularity in the Midwestern United States region around the end of the 1890s. Indiana was home to the first goldfish farm in the country, established in 1899. The same operation is still in existence today, and they have been raising and selling ornamental goldfish and Koi for more than 90 years. Goldfish are not bred in America for food, but their ornamental value and beauty have made them part of the national cultural fabric. Nowadays, they are usually won as prizes at county fairs across America, and they are a popular choice for young children as a pet. They are also a popular addition to outdoor ponds and aquariums around the world.

Reasons Why People Want to Eat Goldfish

There are a few reasons you might be curious about what a goldfish tastes like. Perhaps a popular snack cracker inspired you, or perhaps you enjoy the taste of other fish, and you are curious to try goldfish. No matter what the reason, goldfish can be eaten and won’t cause any long-term health problems. However, there are risks to eating a goldfish, cooked or raw.

Why goldfish is unhealthy to eat?

You will find fish, such as trout, tilapia, and salmon on most restaurants’ menus, but you are unlikely to see goldfish. This is simply because they aren’t the healthiest or tastiest fish option. Also, there is a stigma against goldfish being eaten. But, you can still opt to cook goldfish, or to eat one raw.

Goldfish Swallowing Trend

Over the past decade, “goldfish swallowing” became a trend, and it has seen a rise in popularity. It involves swallowing whole live goldfish. This is a common bar trick or dare, but it can cause health problems. It also leads to a slow and stressful death for the fish. Moreover, the live goldfish can carry dangerous parasites, such as intestinal worms which can be transmitted to humans.

Goldfish can also transmit harmful bacteria to other people. These bacteria can be transmitted to people whether the fish are cooked OR raw. It is, therefore, important to think carefully before you decide to eat a goldfish. It is not worth the risk to know if they are tasty, healthy, or even safe to eat.

Reasons Why People DO NOT Want to Eat Goldfish

You might be curious to know what a goldfish tastes and smells like. It is likely that such a culturally important fish, with such rich history, tastes amazing. Right? Well, perhaps not! The goldfish you have today may not be as tasty as you think, even though they were first bred to eat thousands of years ago.

Goldfish Stinks

The majority of domesticated goldfish today eat algae, detritus, and highly processed pellets and flakes. Most of these flakes and pellets that you find at the pet store are made with ingredients, such as fish meal, squid meals, and other unappetizing additives. It has a pungent, unpleasant odor! This type of diet of a modern-day goldfish would make it taste similar, if not identical, to the pellets and flakes it has consumed. You would need a lot of seasoning.

If you want to eat goldfish catch it in the wild

If you’re serious about eating a goldfish, catching it in the wild might be the best thing to do. It is the “best” way to obtain a goldfish for eating, but it is not the wisest choice. Goldfish, like carp and other fish, take on the flavor of the water they swim in. Therefore, don’t expect goldfish to taste as good as tuna or trout. Even if the fish is caught wild, it will likely have a strong taste of mud and other debris, even when fully cooked. These beautiful fish are stunning to look at, but they won’t please your taste buds. There are much more delicious fish that are safe, healthier, and less controversial to eat for dinner.

Golfish: Live & Let Live

If you have goldfish as pets in an aquarium or your backyard pond, they can add a lot of value to your life. Many fish owners find it a peaceful pastime to watch their fish swim in their natural habitat. They can also live up to ten years, and become a valuable companion in your life. Furthermore, studies have shown that watching goldfish can reduce anxiety, and lower blood pressure.

The common belief is that a fishbowl can be used to house a goldfish for its entire life. Although they are usually sold when they are young and very small, they won’t be this small for long! They become much bigger than most people realize, so they require more space. A large aquarium is okay, but a small backyard pond will allow your fish to reach its maximum size. Moreover, a larger, more varied habitat will make your goldfish happier. It will also provide proper oxygenation and quality water (which is something a fishbowl cannot do).

Most people don’t know that goldfish can be pretty smart. It is common to believe that goldfish can only remember for three seconds. However, this is not the case, at all. Goldfish can actually sense time, and even remember their daily routines. You might notice a difference in your goldfish’s energy and mood when they wake up each morning, just before their breakfast. If they are fed at the same time every day, they can anticipate when their food will arrive. Furthermore, many people are aware that you can train Koi to enjoy being hand-fed and interacting with humans. You can also do the same with goldfish!

Your goldfish will also live a long and healthy life if you give them the love, attention, and environment they need to thrive. Goldfish can bring joy to a person’s life, and make great companion animals over time. Moreover, they are stunning to look at, and they have an interesting history of evolution alongside humans. They make great pets, are easy to keep, and can be very hardy. Other fish species are great to eat, but goldfish provide more value when they’re alive.

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