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Nutritional Tip: Keep the Fish Bones

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During my recent travels, I was surprised to come across sardine tins displaying “Without Bones” on their packaging!  


For years I have been explaining to my Bootcampers that dairy isn’t the only source of calcium, which is actually rather fortunate, because otherwise where would our dear ruminating friends find their source of calcium?  


Here is the big secret: in the lush grass of their green pastures … calcium-laden salad, in fact! 


In any case, all this time I have been explaining that there is more calcium in a tin of sardines than in an entire liter of milk, and today I am betrayed by a marketing idea hatched by sardine canners. Perhaps they should write “Without bones and without calcium”? 


What’s more is that just like the bone gives flavor to ham or to your Sunday roast, the little sardine bones give the filets a delicious nutty taste. The canning and the slow maceration in oil for several months, or better, for two to three three years, soften these bones, so they are perfectly safe and easy to eat. My grandmother wouldn’t serve them until they had been preserved for four years, and that’s after having turned the tins over every six months as well! 


So skip the boneless and pack in all the flavor and nutrition you can get! Mashed with a fork, with a drop lemon or some vinegar, and you have a dish full of Omega-3’s and calcium that will satisfy even the most demanding taste buds. So hey, there aren’t just Omega-3’s in sardines! 


Dear sardine canners, if you want to produce boneless sardines, the right is yours … but think of all those consumers out there who actually enjoy their sardines with bones and calcium! 


Photo courtesy of LeBootCamp

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