eli5 why are sardine bones edible while most other fish bones can harm you if you eat them?

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eli5 why are sardine bones edible while most other fish bones can harm you if you eat them?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Isn’t is due to the fact they are canned? I know you can eat bones from canned salmon, so…?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Canned fish like sardines and salmon are cooked for a few hours at 100°C, and then cooked for a few more hours at a higher temp. This ensures that the canned food is sterile and will be safe to eat years or potentially decades later. The fish is cooked for so long that the bones soften enough that they can be eaten safely, there’s no risk of them injuring your digestive system. 

Leaving skin and bone in the can has the added benefit of providing additional vitamins, minerals and healthy oils. Humans tend to be super picky about what we eat, animals are far less picky. They eat the skin, the organs, even some of the bones because there’s more vitamins and minerals in the parts humans don’t want to eat. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sardines are like the softies of the fish world. They have really tiny, soft bones. These little guys are typically canned and cooked to a point where their bones are super soft and completely edible. They’re so soft that you can chomp through them like they’re not even there.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If the bones are soft they don’t cause harm. There are ways to prep the smaller bones of other fish to be edible, but it’s not commonly done. I personally enjoy fried fins quite a bit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Adding to other comments, young fish have tiny bones.
When you fish in a river, you can eat any fish under 1 inch whole without a thought. Guts included

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sardines have very soft bones. Even grilled sardines can be eaten whole (maybe not the insides as they taste very bitter) contrary to some people saying that the canning process is needed.

Anonymous 0 Comments

All bones are edible – some people like to eat chicken bones. The issue with fish bones is that they’re very small and very sharp and can injure the oesophagus if swallowed.

Sardine bones though, are hair-thin and very soft and so much less likely to be capable of piercing your throat, and you can just chew through them without issue when the fresh fish is cooked. If they’re canned, even the spine becomes so soft it crumbles to the touch, so it’s a non-issue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

For whatever reason all I can think about is the Coles brand tinned salmon I see at work, and I guess they’re legally required to have a warning that it includes bones or something because on the back of the can it has a big warning section that’s phrased like “WARNING: Coles brand tinned salmon with soft edible bones is a great source of dietary calcium.” Like, technically, warning given but dammit if we can stop ourselves from advertising ourselves