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Fiddleheads should be farmed. High in Omega 3

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  • Fiddleheads should be farmed. High in Omega 3

    Research scientists in Nova Scotia say fiddleheads should be cultivated commercially because of their high nutritional value.

    The ferns grow in the wild along wet riverbanks and streams in the spring, and are considered a delicacy in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

    John DeLong, with the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Kentville, said scientists are just discovering how nutritional fiddleheads are even better than blueberries, the gold standard for antioxidants.

    "When we tested the activity, we found that they were twice as strong as blueberries with regard to this antioxidant activity. We didn't expect that, that was very surprising to us," DeLong said Wednesday.

    Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals linked to the development of a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's.

    Test results also showed that fiddleheads are packed with another nutrient, omega-3 fatty acids, DeLong said.

    "They have a unique fatty acid that plants don't normally have, which is only found in fish," he said.

    This nutritional science is laying the groundwork to develop the plant into a possible niche crop that could be farmed

    "You can grow them as a cash crop, so I think enterprising farmers out there should think about that. Maybe an acre of fiddleheads could be a viable crop for them," DeLong said.

    His colleague, Bob Prang, also a research scientist with Agriculture Canada, said as people recognize the health value of fiddleheads, farming makes more sense because increased demand could put pressure on ferns in the wild.

    "The problem with all natural crops is that people just go take what they want and they don't put anything back into it. That is a fear on my part, that some of these stands that will be over picked," Prang said.

    But, only ostrich ferns produce edible fiddleheads and proper cleaning and cooking is a must. Fiddleheads are best boiled for about 10 minutes.



    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia...#ixzz0o6TEwrDa

  • #2
    Very interesting. I wonder if we can find the seeds and grow them in the backyard.

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    • #3
      We grow ferns in our flower bed. We transplanted them.

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      • #4
        I saw them in the grocery store yesterday, and haven't a clue as to how to cook them! Will have to get some next time I see them.
        SW: 235
        CW:220
        Rough start due to major carb WD.

        MWF: 1 hour run/walk, 1.5 hours in the gym - upper/lower and core
        Sat/Sun=Yard/house work, chasing kids, playing
        Family walk every night instead of everyone vegging in front of the TV
        Personal trainer to build muscle mass & to help meet goals

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        • #5
          I gotta call bs on the omega 3. That's going to be alpha-linolenic acid unless we have some mutant space plant on our hands.

          Do we?
          Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

          Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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          • #6
            @Stabby according to this article it is EPA.

            http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=63104

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            • #7
              Ahaha! I wonder if we'd see the same in a venus fly trap, always eating little bugs and things.
              Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

              Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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              • #8
                fiddleheads are awesome. They're in season 'round these parts right now and I recently ate at a restaurant where they served thai coconut fiddlehead soup. It was pretty grand.
                I grok, therefore I am.

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                • #9
                  Fiddleheads totally rule... they sell them at a farm near me. Blanch, then saute in bacon fat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar for a flavor explosion...

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                  • #10
                    Hmm this is interesting! I tried them for the first time this year and wasn't a fan, but maybe I should give them another try. Blanched then sauteed in bacon fat sounds great, especially paired with balsamic vinegar!
                    You are what you eat,
                    and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan

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                    • #11
                      Ooh - I saw them in the store last night, but balked. I do try to get a "new" veggie every week (this week was bok choy) - next week's veggie will probably be fiddleheads. Think they would do well in coconut oil or pastured butter?

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                      • #12
                        If you are what you eat, does this make you all a bunch of fiddleheads?

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                        • #13
                          Only if eating donkey makes you a jackass.
                          Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                          Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We finally got some this year, just before a big freeze, which really limited our crop. Got a few more that survived the freeze but it was a small harvest this year. They'll be a precious treat. Hopefully next year will be better.

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                            • #15
                              Just had some last week sauteed in bacon fat and then served with balsamic vinegar as feanor suggested. We had them along smelts one of our friends caught. Interesting that most people who know of good spots to harvest fiddleheads guard the secret with their life, but I don't mind as long as they share them with me!
                              You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

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