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Old 12-23-2020, 08:08 PM   #1
Snakes on a plate: Pythons might be deemed safe to eat in Florida

Snakes: They’re what’s for dinner. Or they could be, if Florida scientists determine that it’s safe to put snakes on a plate.

The effort is part of the state’s ongoing attempt to cull pythons, an invasive species, so they stop disrupting fragile ecosystems, fish and wildlife, experts said.

We would like to use consumption as another way to encourage people to remove pythons in Florida if the meat is safe to eat,” Carli Segelson, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “The study will help ensure that is safe.”

It all boils down to mercury. If the snakes’ flesh contains too much of it, then it would be a thumbs-down. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Health are jointly investigating the snakes’ mercury levels to determine whether it’s safe to eat them.

Mercury is a natural occurring element in the environment, and it is high in the Everglades,” Python Elimination Program manager Mike Kirkland told CNN. “Mercury bioaccumulates in the environment, and you will find high levels of mercury at the top of the food chain, where pythons have unfortunately positioned themselves.”

The invasive species took hold in the 1980s, most likely from released pets, authorities suspect. Since then they have decimated the small-mammal population of the Florida Everglades, prompting public and private efforts to curb their populations. They’ve turned up under car hoods, among many other places.

Authorities have tried everything from a Python Bowl, which netted 80 snakes over 10 days earlier this year, to hiring actual citizen python hunters to reduce the burgeoning population.

One of those, Donna Kalil — who quit her real estate job to hunt pythons full time for the South Florida Water Management District — has been eating the meat for some time

Kalil makes python jerky or uses it in stir-fries, she told the Sun-Sentinel. It also makes good chili, she said. Kalil suggests pressure-cooking the meat to eliminate the rubbery texture. After 15 minutes, it’s ready to be sautéed with onions and garlic, and added to pasta sauce.

The taste? Somewhere between pork and, what else, chicken, she says.
Old 12-23-2020, 10:06 PM   #2
Better that than throwing them into a landfill. The hides should also be turned into leather.

If we're going to kill them we should use them.
Old 01-21-2021, 10:39 AM   #3
Why dont they just use them for dog and cat food?
Old 01-21-2021, 11:41 AM   #4
Originally Posted by cornchips View Post
Why dont they just use them for dog and cat food?
While the FDA has not issued food safety standards for mercury levels in dog and cat food, you still do not want them eating it as it's just as dangerous to small mammals as to humans.

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