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Asian carp dinner to raise awareness of threat

Asian Carp
Asian Carp

Michigan is one of five states taking the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to court to prevent the Asian Carp from getting into the Great Lakes. Organizers of an environmental advocacy group and chefs at a Grand Rapids restaurant want the same thing, but have a different approach. Chefs at a Grand Rapids restaurant are serving Asian Carp at an event Tuesday night to benefit efforts to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

Rachel Hood is Executive Director of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. "We'll be bringing attention to this issue and helping to articulate why and how we need to stop the Asian carp from entering our ecosystem and the Great Lakes." The council is bringing in state and federal experts - including John Goss. He's responsible for coordinating the federal response to keep the carp out of the lakes.

After the discussion, chefs will prepare the fish 5 ways, including carp Cesar salad, carp and artichoke meatballs, carp cured in salt and lemon. Sometimes rebranded as silver fin or Kentucky tuna, Rachel Hood admits it's surprisingly good. "It has a slight sweetness to it like scallops or crab meat, and a really nice texture. It's really buttery. It's really, really delicious," Hood said.
Owners say the dishes will not be a permanent part of the menu, no matter how delicious they may be. Both the restaurant and the council are hoping the natural barrier between the Mississippi and Great Lakes' watershed is restored.

Money raised will go to the non-profit council. The event is at San Chez Bistro in Grand Rapids from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.