More Oysters, Please

National Geographic

My wife and I go to this chain seafood restaurant in our local area once in a while. I won’t disclose the name of the place since it will elicit a slew of criticism from the seafood purists out there (to be fair, I do frequent the local mom and pop seafood joints). It’s not great seafood, but it’s the only place within 50 miles where I can get a nice plate of fresh oysters on the half shell. Well, I guess I should say I USED to get oysters there. Lately every time I ask, they are out of the delicious mollusks. Because of that, you may think I would want less people to eat oysters so I can have my share. On the contrary I say, eat more oysters please, and here’s why…

 

Oysters Are The Original Fast Food

What else can you simply pluck from the bottom of the ocean, shuck open, and slide into your gullet? Yeah, we can eat fish raw, but it takes some processing. Oysters you can just open and eat. Indigenous peoples have been eating them for centuries. When Europeans came over for the first time, they were amazed to find Long Island covered with discarded oyster shells. And all along both coasts we can find evidence of ancient native settlements by the mounds and mounds of shells. An all you can eat buffet. I’m jealous.

 

Oysters Are Good For You

Aside from the old wives’ tale that oysters can boost your libido (which science says isn’t true but we’ll be the judge of that, thank you very much), eating them actually can give you some great health benefits. The bivalves are loaded with zinc, which boosts your immune system, helps prevent acne, eases rashes, and strengthens your bones. Try getting that from fast food.

 

Oysters Are Good For The Planet

There is a lot of controversy out there right now about the safety of farm raised fish. Some farmed salmon suffer tremendously unhealthy living conditions and are fed toxic substances. Fish from the different areas around the world are contaminated by industrial wastes. In other fish, additives are put in to preserve the fat that may be lost in processing. The accumulation of contaminants and other dangerous substances makes them many times more poisonous than any other food available in a normal supermarket. With Oysters, this kind of contamination does not occur. Unlike fish, oysters don’t need to be fed, and thus do not further deplete wild seafood stocks. Instead, oysters behave like sponges, absorbing and filtering their food from the water around them with no additional assistance needed. Oysters never generate waste or pollute the water, even in densely packed beds. Quite the reverse, they remove nitrogen and helps with water clarity.

 

If We All Eat More Oysters, There Will Be More Oysters

I know this sounds antithetical to my cause of amassing more oysters for my own general consumption, but it’s true. If more people ate fresh oysters, more people would get the bright idea to farm more oysters. And then all would be right in the world. Oh, yeah, that world peace thing would be good too.

 

Sources: elementseafood.com | foodrepublic.com | youtube | inahalfshell.com

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