Drinking fish bladders

During my television viewing of Emeril Lagasse on his Planet Green show, I’ve been noticing this commercial for Bill Nye’s new show called ‘Stuff Happens‘. In the commercial, I’m always caught off guard with Bill asking people if they would drink ground up fish bladders. This sounds gross right? I felt I had to clear the air and figure out the misconceptions.

First off, I’m a Bill Nye fan. He was an original member of the Almost Live! crew for goodness sakes! Almost Live is legendary for Seattleites and he was Bill Nye The Science Guy afterall! He’s a super smart dude who makes learning and science super fun and interesting. So I’m not bemoaning him – if anything I’m just annoyed at people’s perceptions.

When Bill was talking about drinking fish bladders, I’m sure he was referencing Isinglass. What’s Isinglass? Well it is indeed fish bladders and it’s often used in making beer and wine. It’s used to clarify alcohol, helping remove the yeast sediment, sort of like a filter. It’s not for all beers, and it predominantly follows British-style ales.

I first learned about while trying to learn about the myth of Guiness beers. I came to learn of isinglass and it’s use in beer and wine. I didn’t really have a problem with this, but I could see that if I was vegetarian (especially one of those strict, militant ones)  this would be a problem. Luckily, these folks have kept a handy little list that breaks down most every type of beer that would or would not be suitable for vegetarians. That said, Wiki says that most of the isinglass is gone by the time the beer is drank, but it is something to think about nonetheless.

So yeah, there you have it, my little science lesson for the day. Now you know, and as the dudes from GI Joe told us, knowing is half the battle. I’m still looking forward to checking out Bill Nye’s show.

11 thoughts on “Drinking fish bladders

  1. Cool! I was wondering what food contained this. I just saw the commercial on TV and was curious enough to google it and found your fantastic answer, thanks!

  2. Why are Americans so squeamish about silly things like seafood and meat? Seriously, it’s not like they don’t eat the rest of the animal. I think it’s stupid that they use that to sell the show. Aren’t there more interesting science facts than that? I agree that this wouldn’t bother me unless I was a vegetarian. (I respect vegetarians, but I don’t people that are squeamish about everything.)

  3. Chia, I think you should spend less of your time worrying about what other people find makes them squeamish. I mean really, you don’t “respect” people who are squeamish. Why do you even care? You need to get a life. This is an interesting fact whether or not you find it so.

  4. Focus, why do you even care what Chia thinks? You need to get a life. Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if it’s not one that you share.

  5. MIKE, you missed the point and need to get a life. Why do you care that Jean-Pierre thinks that Focus needs to get a life because he thinks Chia needs to get a life because he has no respect for Squeemish-Americans? Who are by the way, a minority protected by hate laws…

  6. Learn to count 5th Dumb Poster… you’re the 4th.
    Bill Nye’s the guy. I perused his IMDB. Anyone who studied with Sagan, invented for Boeing and was a”High-Fivin’ White Guy” is interesting.

  7. Oooops… that should read 3rd Dumb Poster… you’re the 5th.
    Now… technically, am I still the 6th, or do I now qualify as 7th?

  8. Bill Nye is the man…. I find that I have become addicted to the Green Channel… I just wish they got some more funding for new programing.

    And Almost Live!, while Seattle’s first, did find it’s way to Comedy Central for awhile. So more know of it than you might think.

    We had to make up for the fanny pack, you know…

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