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Cooking With Carp: Turning the Invasive Asian Carp into a Food Source

Asian carp is an invasive species in Illinois rivers. And though carp has a reputation as a bad fish for eating, the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry and Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently hosted an event to show off how the fish can be tastily prepared.

Asian Carp Cooking Demo

“We try to do healthy cooking demonstrations and they knew we would do that,” said Diane Renner, the executive director at Marie Wilkinson. “It was just delicious and it’s supposed to be full of protein and all the things you need.”

Chef Chris Koetke prepared carp burgers for the pantry’s clients and community leaders to try. He said besides being high in protein and omega-3s, there are other benefits.


“The Asian carp is truly the win-win-win of all fish,” he said. “First of all it’s in our rivers, clean rivers. It’s an organic fish, it’s wild fish. On top of that, the fish itself is an invasive species, so we’ve got to get it out of the rivers. And by getting it out of the rivers, we actually help restore the ecosystems, which helps sport fishing and everything else.”

Target Hunger Now!

With all these benefits in mind, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is promoting Asian carp as part of its “Target Hunger Now!” program. They hope to eradicate the species from Illinois rivers while also feeding the hungry.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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