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To deal with the ever-looming invasive python problem, Florida officials are considering issuing an advisory on how to eat them.
“With a stir-fry you can add fresh ginger, garlic and vegetables of your choice and serve it over rice,” Fox News reported water management district python hunter, Donna Kalil, saying. “Generally, when I pressure-cook it for that, I’ll add some applesauce, spice and hot pepper, which gives it a nice flavor.”
Florida has been dealing with the invasive species for such a long time now that they are having to come with new and clever ways to remove the snakes. Florida wildlife officials announced in August that 5,000 Burmese pythons had been removed since the elimination programs were established three years ago.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) November 20, 2020
The only problem with advising the public to eat the snakes, however, is that the snakes are very high in mercury. Nearly eight times higher than want the EPA recommends.
“We were not used to seeing numbers like that,” U.S. Geological Survey research scientist David Krabbenhoft told the Palm Beach Post. “These guys are just loaded with mercury.”
The Environmental Protection Agency currently has guidelines on how to prepare and eat fish that is high in mercury. Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eric Sutton, says he’s got a team conducting mercury tests on the meat right now to learn how it can also be consumed safely.