A Russian likely lad has decided that what the world really needs is seal sausages. And why not, there’s all that free meat floating around in the ocean and the flesh is high in Omega 3 and all that. Low in fat too – that’s all off in the blubber. So, why not grind up the beasties and eat them?[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] A controversial new business that makes sausages out of seals on Russia’s Pacific coast has prompted an outcry, with more than 160,000 people signing a petition in protest. While commercial seal hunting has been on the decline in the West after decades of animal rights campaigns, an entrepreneur in the Magadan region believes it’s an “empty niche” ripe to be exploited. In response, thousands of Russians have spoken out to insist that “seals are not sausage”. [/perfectpullquote]
It’s true, seals are not sausage. But they are something you can make sausage out of. And having, in the past, consumed Russian, even Soviet, sausage I’d argue that they’ll taste rather better than the normal stuff:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Seal meat in general is lean, containing less than 2% fat. This fat is mostly MUFAs, long- and very long chain omega-3 PUFAs. Also, the meat is high in protein and has an amino acid composition that is well balanced.[/perfectpullquote]
Aren’t we all supposed to be eating less meat but healthier meat?[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Taste-wise, seal meat has been described as being akin to rabbit or dark meat chicken, and fans of its flavour tend to be people who grew up eating it[/perfectpullquote]
On the other hand perhaps we should be congratulating Russian politicians of the past 30 years instead:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The government of the remote region announced last month that a private company had killed 137 seals to produce sausage, which it dubbed “Kolyma know-how” in reference to Magadan’s Stalin-era name, when the area was infamous for brutal gulag work camps. “Such food wasn’t produced even in Soviet times. The meat of captured animals went for feed at farms raising Arctic foxes and mink,” it said in a statement seeking to drum up investment. “But according to dietitians, seal meat possesses not only a good taste, but also nutritional value.” [/perfectpullquote]
That the Russian public – 160,000 of them at least – are protesting against this shows how far food supply has come since Boris Yeltsin abolished the state monopoly of it back in 1991.