Can you eat penguin? Do you know what they taste like? Keep reading below to know more about these sea birds and also some interesting stories and consequences around them.
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Can you eat penguin?
People used to eat penguins before but after the Antarctic treaty in 1959 by Herman Phleger, which was signed by 12 countries, it has become illegal now to hunt or harm the 18 species of penguins and their eggs. So, you cannot eat penguins for it is illegal to kill them.
The ancient history does show much evidence that people ate penguins during those times and even later on too there were much evidence and records of sailors having penguin meat, during a voyage. There is even one such account that, Dr Frederick A.
Cook boarded a ship once, the name of which was Belgica. It was exploring Antarctica. During its return to America, it got stuck in the ice and remained there the entire winter. Many penguins curiously flocked near the ship, as the food was over the people fed on penguins for survival.
Since eating penguins are banned so there always remains a curiosity in the mind about their taste. There happens to be a written mention about the taste of penguins. Dr Frederick A. Cook, the surgeon on that ship had written that it tastes of a piece of beef and also a mix of odiferous codfish and a canvas-blacked duck. Everything roasted in a pot with a sauce of blood and cod liver oil. This description of its taste helps us to understand that penguin meat either tastes fishy or like krill. Another reason for its fishy taste might be due to its food habits. Theyfeed on fishes, squids, krill and other small marine creatures.
Though it could be clearly understood that a large part of penguins’ flesh consists of blubber that not only keeps them warm but also helps them remain afloat on the sea. So, the only edible portion is the breast muscles, in a penguin. It could be safely assumed that, just like the taste of its meat, the eggs of penguins taste fishy too.
Penguins are known to be non-poisonous and non-harmful to humans. But it must be noted that like most seabirds, because of their atmosphere and diet, penguins have a high amount of sulfur in them. This surely doesn’t make the meat taste good either. And because seabirds are high in mercury so, eating too much of penguin meat may result in mercury toxicity. This is harmful to the lungs, kidneys and digestive system and might end up killing you.
Punishment for hunting penguins
By the Antarctic conservation act, only a scientist under a permit shall be given a consideration to use a penguin for the purpose of research or any other emergency need. Apart from that touching, a penguin is a punishable offence, under the law:
- Anyone who is found touching a penguin shall be entitled to a fine of $5,000
- Anyone who has been accused or been proven of harming or killing a penguin would be fined $10,000 and also be sentenced to jail for a year.
Interesting facts about penguins
- A group of penguins when in the water are called a raft. But as they come up on land, they are called a waddle.
- The black and white look of most penguins is a clever way to camouflage, called countershading.
- Penguins huddle together for warmth and also to protect themselves from predators.
- Unlike the bones of birds which are hollow, penguins have solid bones and it helps them to remain afloat on water.
- Penguins uses their feet like rudders helping them to control their direction while swimming. They can also walk up to 60 miles over sea ice.
- Many of the male penguins are known to gift female penguins, rocks. They do this to woo them. The female penguins use these rocks to build a nest.
So, it becomes evident from this research findings that one cannot kill a penguin or destroy its eggs too. It is a punishable offence under the law.
You can checkout another such interesting blog – can you eat prosciutto raw.