Fish eggs, the forgotten food superstar!

It’s time to give some incredibly healthy foods the attention they deserve. Over the coming months, we will be highlighting foods that we feel have not had the spotlight that they should.

Fish eggs have been prized by native peoples around the world as a sacred food. Native peoples of South America would travel for weeks over long distances from their mountain villages to the sea to get the eggs, dry them and carry them home. The eggs were given to women to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and happy, well-nourished babies and children.

They were the first “prenatal vitamin”. Combine them with some liver, bone marrow, and egg yolks and you will have the ultimate menu for a healthy pregnancy.

The Inuit are incredibly fond of fish eggs, especially salmon. The eggs are sun-dried and stored for consumption during the year. In Alaska, the Tlingit mothers feed salmon eggs as one of the first solid foods to their infants at eight to nine months of age. They believe, and rightfully so, that this food provides that it provides the nutrition that is needed to help the children properly develop and gives the kids a palate that is ready for a lifetime of seafood.

This is a wonderful practice. Getting kids to prefer healthy, nutritious foods, rather than sweet ones is a great way to set them up for a lifetime of health and good dietary habits.

In his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, based on his work traveling the world to see the effects on the dental health of modern foods, replacing traditional ones in the diet of native peoples, Dr. Price (One of the people who do not get enough credit for the incredible research and work they did) wrote:

“In many of the primitive tribes living by the sea, we found emphasis on the value of fish eggs… for ensuring a high physical development of growing children... through reinforcement of their mother's nutrition.”

As modern foods replaced the traditional nutrient-dense foods the dental health of native peoples declined rapidly.

Throughout the world, cultures that had no contact with each other came to the realization that fish eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods to promote a healthy pregnancy and happy children. Let’s bring that knowledge back to the modern world.

Fish eggs are rich in many nutrients including important fat-soluble nutrients vitamins A, D, E, and K2 as MK-4. They also contain omega fatty acids EPA, DHA, DPA, ETA, and many others. For those looking for a source of omega-3 to support a healthy brain, eyes, pregnancy, and children's health, fish eggs are by far the best choice.

When choosing fish eggs to eat. You want wonderful vibrant and fresh or frozen wild-caught fish eggs. Choose eggs from wild-caught fish like Alaskan Salmon or New Zealand Hoki for the most nutritional bang and delicious flavor. To see our recommended sources of fish eggs, check out our shopping guide.

One of my favorite fish roe is from the Hoki (Macruronus Novaezelandiae) fish. It is wild-caught from the pristine clean waters around New Zealand’s shores. Locally known for their sweet flavor and shiny blue scales, these fish have virtually no toxic pollutants such as mercury and other heavy metals. Hoki is sourced from one of the best-managed fisheries in the world, certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the global gold standard for sustainability. Just like the specialized soldiers of the 17th century chosen for their throwing prowess and strength, our fish friends are named because they are strong survival creatures.

Wild Alaskan salmon roe is another wonderful choice. It generally comes in three types and they are all so incredibly good for you:

  • Keta Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta): Pale red with strong orange overtones, keta salmon roe is the most popular type of salmon roe, regarded for its flavor, long shelf life, and signature “pop” in the mouth.

  • Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus Gorbuscha): Orange with a subtle rose hue, pink salmon roe is valued for its sweet, mild taste, and long shelf life.

  • Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka): Bright red and significantly smaller than that of the other salmon species, sockeye salmon roe can have a slightly bitter natural finish and has a shorter shelf life due to the natural fats found in the yolk of the eggs.

So how do you eat fish roe? Many people get nervous about eating fish roe because they have never had it or have only seen black eggs in a can, like caviar in a movie.

  • Eat it right off a small wooden spoon.

  • Don’t eat fish eggs with a silver spoon, it can cause them to have an off-taste.

  • Top hardboiled eggs

  • Top sushi

  • Top avocado toast (damn Millenials and their avo toast)

  • Serve over freshly made rice

  • Serve on top of a canape with creme fraiche

There are lots of ways to enjoy fish roe, get in the kitchen, and experiment. Trying something new is half the fun! This food is definitely one you need to add to your diet asap.

Even kids love it!

While fish eggs are a wonderful food, many people are squeamish about eating them or do not have access to them. So the next logical step was to find a good supplement for them so that everyone could have them in their diet.

While I had been recommending fish eggs to people for years, finding a supplement of them proved more difficult than I thought it would be.

There were and are lots of fish egg supplements on the market, but none of them provided the full potential that this incredible food had to offer.

They suffered from several drawbacks. The first was that most of them are heavily refined to concentrate one or another part of the fish eggs This heavy refining process removes many of the beneficial compounds and constituents leaving the supplement lacking and far from offering the true benefits that the whole food had to offer.

Other companies attempted to keep the whole food intact but used drying methods that were high heat which caused a loss of nutrient value and rancidity.

The final issue that came up was the issue of sourcing. Ethical sourcing of products is a core tenet of what we do at Rooted Nutrition. Many fish egg supplements currently on the market were sourced from fish whose origin could not be fully determined or were from polluted sources causing the eggs to have excessive levels of contamination with heavy metals.

Not being able to verify the source of the fish eggs was a very bright red flag. When sourcing supplements it is incredibly important to us to be able to verify where the ingredients come from so we can ensure that the people harvesting them are well taken care of and that the environment is not harmed in the process. Generally, when companies go to great lengths to hide their sourcing, they are up to no good or they themselves have no idea where the materials are coming from.

For years I was unable to find any fish egg supplement that did not have these issues, so I had basically given up on finding one. Then a few months ago we got word from one of our suppliers that they were going to be making a fish egg supplement. I was very excited to hear this (yes I am a big nerd), but a bit nervous because of all of the issues in the past with fish egg supplements.

The company was very upfront with its sourcing, this is always a good sign. The fish eggs for this supplement are sourced from the clean waters around New Zealand. This was a great first step. New Zealand has some of the cleanest waters and strictest environmental standards in the world. We source many of our products from there.

The fishery where the Hoki fish are caught is Marine Stewardship Council certified. MSC certification is the strictest and best independent certification of a fishery. MSC certification ensures that a fishery is properly one and protects the environment for years to come. You can read about their standards and the fishery where these fish are caught here.

So now that we could verify the sourcing of these eggs and see that they were from a clean source we moved on to the next step. We needed to verify that they did not have high levels of contamination from things like heavy metals, PCB's, and radiation. Third-party testing on the product showed that it was incredibly clean and free of high levels of contamination and rancidity.

The final portion we needed to verify was that it was genuinely whole food and properly dried to ensure it maintained its incredible nutritional value. The company was also completely transparent about its process for making the supplement. After harvesting the eggs are washed and cleaned. After cleaning the eggs are put into a freeze drier. After freeze-drying, the eggs are ground into a powder and put into a capsule. That's it, nothing added or taken away. Freeze-drying is a low-temperature process that preserves the vast majority of the nutrient value in the eggs.

Since the omega fatty acids in fish eggs are primary in the phospholipid form and contain all the needed cofactors found in the whole food they are easily to digest and absorb as well as have no fishy burp up! Say goodbye to fish burps and hello to good health!

I am so excited to be able to offer this amazing food in a proper supplement form for the first time ever!

Check it out here.

The Hoki eggs used in the supplement.

So no excuses, get this wonderful food you in right away. Not just once, but on a consistent basis so that you can experience the health benefits that few other foods can match! Your body will thank you.

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