Inside the Race to Build the World ’s First Commercial Octopus Farm

For decades, my father taught biology at Middlebury College in Vermont. One of his signature courses focused on invertebrates and, as a kid, I’d often tag along on class field trips to the Maine coast. Students would fan out across the rocky shore at low tide and count as many spineless creatures as they could—which, as it turns out, was pretty easy. There were dozens of invertebrate species to be found, including snails, crabs, starfish and, of course, lobster. I didn’t lay eyes on an octopus, however, until I was about 8. My dad sporadically hosted a lunch for his class, to which he brought an assortment of invertebrates. Students would discuss each specimen, identify its various parts, and then eat it. That year there happened to be leftovers, which my dad brought home for dinner. He reached into a plastic bag, pulled out a greyish-pink gelatinous blob, and put it on our kitchen table. My sister and I took note of the eight arms covered in dozens of tiny suckers, slowly realizing what was happening, as my dad fought to cut the meat, which had been poorly cooked, into manageable portions. It tasted like salty bubble gum, and my sister and I spat it out. In early 2017, some 20 years after first encountering an octopus, I went to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula to meet Carlos Rosas, a biologist who aims to revolutionize how those gelatinous blobs wind up on dinner tables. People are now eating more octopus than ever: annual global production has mor...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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