Dining

The Lionfish King

Whole Foods will soon offer invasive seafood lionfish in stores
Photo: Anthony Sokolik via Flickr
Lionfish

There's nothing like an up-and-coming, terrifying-looking, venomous fish to get you out of a tired salmon seafood routine.

And here it is: Whole Foods is going to start selling lionfish, a highly invasive species, sometime within the next six months. The South Pacific native has been shoring up in places like Florida and the Caribbean, threatening the already-dwindling number of marine animals present. Though it has a poisonous spine, lionfish isn't dangerous to consume and has received the stamp of approval from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch. And there's plenty of lionfish to go around—so much, in fact, that they've begun eating each other.

The high-end grocery store, which recently announced its less-expensive sister store, is no stranger to sustainable options. It's shifting to selling slower-growing chickens in an effort to bring light to the underrepresented, though important, poultry welfare issue.

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Lionfish will be offered only at West Coast Whole Foods locations to start, with the eventual goal of hitting all Whole Foods locations. But East Coasters can still see what the fuss is about at New York sustainability leader Norman's Cay, where grilled and fried whole lionfish is served.

By taking it out of the waters and putting it on our plate, we can help preserve marine biodiversity. And it doesn't hurt that it tastes mighty fine with garlic and a squeeze of lemon.

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