Why are more people eating gelatine? and what about fish gelatine?

With the huge increased interest in eating whole foods, eating a clean diet, eating more traditional type foods and healing your body through food more people are starting to add gelatine to their diet. Making bone broths is the most common way people are adding gelatine into their diet. It’s cheap and easy to do and you can do it in your own home from waste products.


Source Wikipedia

Why would you want to add gelatine to your diet?.

Gelatine can help people with digestive problems and help heal a damaged gut by normalising your stomach acid and healing the stomach lining, this in turn could potential relieve/ reduce allergic reactions to certain foods such as gluten or help heal a leaky gut.

Gelatine is full of glycine and proline; together these amino acids are used to make collagen. Collagen keeps our skin firm and gives it shape. Who doesn’t want younger looking firmer skin? Collagen also keeps our joints supple and reduce inflammation which is fantastic if you suffer from any joint related issues or want to keep joint issues at bay.

Gelatine may also help people who suffer from sleeping problems sleep better. It is proposed that eating gelatine before bed can help people get to sleep faster and have a more restorative sleep.

So where does gelatine come from?

Contrary to popular believe gelatine is not made from hooves. It is made from leftover skins or bones from the meat industry. There is, however, a lot of concern about eating products from conventionally farmed animals not only due to the hormones and antibiotics used in growing these large animals but also due to the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease) scare a few years back. This certainly has seen meat consumption drop (I must add the risk of catching BSE from consuming gelatine appears to be very unlikely. In March 2003, the Scientific Steering Committee of the European Union stated, ‘‘The risk associated with bovine bone gelatin is close to zero”).

Not to mention the environmental impact these farming techniques are having on our earth from waterway contamination due to animal waste products and fertilisers used on the land they graze; to rainforests being cleared to grow crops for animal feed. Did you know know it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat? Wow!

Gelatine is a wonderful way to use up a by product from an industry that creates thousands of tones of waste every year. It is much better to eat nose to tail then only use the best bits and discard the rest. So if you’re going to use gelatine/meat it is always best to buy pasture raised or free ranged.

Or even better why not eat gelatine made from fish? 2.3 million tonnes of fish are thrown away in the North Atlantic and North Sea every year! Wow that’s a lot! 40 to 60% of all fish caught in Europe isdiscarded every year! Why is so much fish thrown out? It’s either the wrong size, wrong species or because it wasn’t supposed to be caught in the first place. So what are we going to do with all this fish waste what if we use it rather than throw it back in the ocean as a dead waste product? What about all the bits of fish that are leftover after we have taken the good bits? What about the skins, fins, heads or tails?

What if we used it to extract collagen from? I’m not saying don’t use cows, pigs or horses to make gelatine but we live in an age when more people are reducing their meat consumption so why not get your gelatine from fish waste? Fish gelatine contains as much if not more glycine and about the same levels of proline as pig gelatine. Therefore it contains about the same or more collagen and so using fish for gelatine you get a good yeild from a free/ waste product.

Since a lot more people are health conscious and are eating a lot more traditional foods using the gelatine in fish just makes sense. It’s cheaper, there is a huge amount of waste fish out there; about 7.3 million tons a year!, it’s a more environmentally friendly option, people of all religious orientations are able to eat fish, so you can buy powdered gelatine or even better buy a whole fish and cook up the skin, bones and fins to make a bone broth. So go out and buy yourself a fish today.


Chris Kresser
Feeding 5 k
Dr Mercola
Weston A Price
Karim. A. A. and Bhat, R. (2009) Fish gelatin: properties, challenges, and prospects as an alternative to mammalian gelatins Food Hydrocolloids 23, 563–576
Yamadera, W., Inagawa, K., Chiba, S., Bannai, M. Takahashi, M., and Nakayama K. (2001) Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Sleep and Biological Rhymnes, 5 126-131


PS in case this post might seem a little odd for a vegetarian to write about it is actually an assignment I had to write for my Biochemistry paper while I am studying to be a nutritionist. And so as requested by you my dear readers I’ve added it to my blog. I hope you like it and it gives you some food for thought.

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