EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Asian carp are a species of fish invasive to the Illinois River. To help advocate for their use as a food source, several locations around the Peoria area held cookouts offering neighbors a free taste.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources teamed up with Sorce Freshwater Company and the Midwest Fish Co-Op to offer Asian carp meals at nine locations in the state, including the East Peoria Levee District, and Kelleher’s Irish Pub and Eatery in Peoria.
The goal was to reel-in members of the community who may not think Asian carp is a good food.
“They have a very large misconception of what these fish are and how they taste, so we’re providing this product state wide so people understand it better, and understand these are a nutritious fish that are very healthy and tasty,” said Roy Sorce, owner of Sorce Freshwater Company.
“It is a mild white fish that is really kind of bland in taste, and it begins to take on the flavor of the seasoning that is used,” said Collen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Callahan says the Asian carp industry can benefit many.
“Now we have an opportunity here to not only feed the hungry and create another food opportunity and source, and selection on menu’s at restaurants, but also for job creation as well.”
She also says the work is not done, and while there have been many steps in the right direction, there are still more conversations and connections to be made.