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SEAFOOD FACTOIDS
Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content along with a negligible cholesterol content.

BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD DANGERS:

Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content and has negligible cholesterol content. But let’s not forget that eating seafood can also pose some serious health risks due to risk from chemical contamination. Here are some health hazards of eating fish. If you are a seafood fanatic, there are some rules you need to follow. People with impaired immune system, diabetics, children and the elderly have to be particularly careful. Limiting intake of large, predatory fish like shark and king fish will also limit the absorption of heavy metals. Most pathogenic seafood-related infections happen when the fish is not cooked properly. So cook the fish thoroughly and stay away from raw fish dishes.

1) Some seafood may contain heavy metals (See Great Lakes Seafood Dangers below). Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium have been found in some seafood, especially those at the top of the food chain like marlin, tuna, shark, swordfish and king mackerel or surmai. Even trace amounts of environmental pollutants like arsenic from industrial releases, batteries, paints and dyes find their way into marine life. Excessive and unregulated intake of such fish containing these heavy metals can result in your impaired cognitive, mental and physical health. Studies say that the cardiovascular benefits of fish are undone by the presence of these heavy metals in seafood. Mercury poisoning through seafood can also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases in women.

2) Seafood may contain parasites. Seafood can get contaminated by parasitic pathogens under certain circumstances like faecal pollution of aquatic life and water pollution caused by industries, homes and restaurants. It is mainly seen among populations that eat raw or undercooked fish preparations like sashimi and sushi. Seafood parasites include Anisakis simplex and cestodes (tapeworms) which cause health hazards like allergic reactions, intestinal perforations, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen. People with compromised immune systems, defective liver functions, diabetes and the elderly are particularly at risk.3 Here are some reasons why you should eat sardines.

3) Seafood can cause bacterial infections. Bacteria belonging to the vibrio, salmonella, shigella, Clostridium botulinum, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus species can contaminate seafood. These pathogens cause a host of gastric health problems like diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

4) Seafood can cause viral infections. Seafood can also carry infectious viruses like norovirus and heaptitis A virus, which attacks the liver. Norovirus infections are usually self-limited, but can cause can cause a range of health problems like fever, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain and body aches. Hepatitis A virus can cause infections that can last for several weeks to months. In some rare cases, hepatitis A virus can cause acute liver failure in older adults.

5) Seafood may contain organic toxins. Organic contaminants are natural or manmade chemicals such as Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs): dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. These dioxins accumulate in the fatty tissue of fish and are passed on to us when we consume them. More than 90 percent of human dioxin exposure is through diet: dairy, meat and fish products. These chemicals are known for causing immune damage, hormonal fluctuations and cancers. It can also be transferred from mother to child through placenta and breast milk.

BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD SELECTION:

#1 RULE: If something smells fishy - IT USUALLY IS!

#2 RULE: READ THE LABEL & CHOOSE WISELY!!!!!! Do you REALLY want to eat something that is wild-caught in the Yellow River in China where inspection is just a word & not a process?

FRESH SEAFOOD:

Only buy Seafood that is refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice that is not melting. Seafood should smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or ammonia-like. A fish’s eyes should be clear and bulge a little. Whole fish and fillets should have firm, shiny flesh and bright red gills free from any milky slime. The flesh should spring back when pressed. Fish fillets should display no discoloration, darkening or drying around the edges. Some refrigerated seafood may have time / temperature indicators on their packaging, which show if the product has been stored at the proper temperature.  Always check the indicators when they are present and only buy the seafood if the indicator shows that the product is safe.

SELECTING SHELLFISH:

Look for the label: Look for tags on sacks or containers of live shellfish (in the shell) and labels on containers or packages of shucked shellfish.  These tags and labels contain specific Information about the product, including the processor’s certification number.  This means that the shellfish were harvested and processed in accordance with national shellfish safety controls. Shrimp flesh should be translucent and shiny with little or no odor. Discard Cracked/Broken Ones: Throw away clams, oysters, and mussels if their shells are cracked or broken. Do a “Tap Test”: Live clams, oysters, and mussels will close up when the shell is tapped. If they don’t close when tapped, do not select them. Check for Leg Movement: Live crabs and lobsters should show some leg movement even if VERY slight. They spoil EXTREMELY rapidly after death, so only live ones should be selected and prepared.

THAWING FROZEN SEAFOOD:

Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, seal it in a plastic bag and submerge it in COLD water, never warm or hot.

BACK TO TOP           COOKING SEAFOODS: 

OVERCOOKING SEAFOOD MAKES IT TOUGH & RUBBERY! Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF.  If you don’t have an instant-read food thermometer, there are other ways to determine whether your seafood is done:

FISH: The flesh should be opaque and separate relatively easily with a fork.

SHRIMP: The shell turns a light pink and the body just barely begins to curl into a circle. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

LOBSTER & CRAB: The shell turns a bright red. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

SCALLOPS: The flesh turns opaque and firm.

CLAMS, MUSSELS & OYSTERS: The shells open during cooking. Throw out the ones that don’t.

BACK TO TOP           GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD:

Go to your local DNR Office and get a copy of "The Michigan Fish Advisory". ALL dangers will be explained fully (that is, if you "trust" the Michigan Government).

Catfish, Suckers, Carp, Etc. (i.e. ALL Bottom Feeders) from the Great Lakes are generally unsafe to eat. These fish can have dangerously high amounts of chemicals, including PCBs, dioxins and mercury. These chemicals accumulate in the fat and flesh of fish. As a result, eating some types of fish too often can result in health problems. The "safest" fish in the Great Lakes are any Salmon or Trout that is under 30" in total length. Older fishes have had a longer time to accumulate those pollution chemicals.

If your seafood is NOT from the Great Lakes, check with your local Department of Natural Resources. They should have documentation available that explains any inherent dangers of consuming locally caught fish.

REDUCING YOUR RISKS:

Adult Men (15+) & Women (55+): Eat one meal per week of Great Lakes Fish. Pregnant (or could be) Women & Children: Eat 1 meal per month of Great Lakes Fish.

#1): Trimming and cooking off the fat can remove up to half the chemicals.

#2): Choose smaller, younger fish that are lower in chemical contamination.

#3): Stick to Bluegill, Lake Perch, Walleye, Bass, Pike, Smelt, Whitefish and Crappie.

Mercury is the most dangerous health risk, by far. The good news is that all fishes swim upright and Mercury is HEAVY, so over time, it naturally migrates towards the bottom of the fish. Trimming off and discarding the belly meat will dispose of the majority of any Mercury present in the fish.

BACK TO TOP           SCALLOPS:

There are really only two different types of Scallops readily available in the mid-west: Sea Scallops and Bay Scallops (some fresh, but most are frozen). Bay Scallops are small (about 1/2" in diameter), smooth textured and very sweet. Sea Scallops are very large (over 2" in diameter), a touch textured and "ocean" flavored. Day Boat Scallops and Diver Scallops are the freshest and most desirable. ALL others are either several days old and / or chemically treated - still quite good, but the quality IS compromised. There are two "retailed versions" of each type of Scallop: Dry and Wet. Dry Scallops are usually Ivory, Pink or even Orange in color - These are the ones you want to buy. Wet Scallops are usually pure white in color - and have a chemical additive to force them to retain water, which is good for retailers, but BAD for cooks - They are IMPOSSIBLE to sear properly which is VERY important for Sea Scallops, but not so much for Bay Scallops. A small pointed piece of meat may still be attached to the round side of a Sea Scallop, It is the very tough little muscle that closes the shell. It should have been already removed. If not, peel it off with your fingers and discard.

SEA SCALLOPS: Require patting dry and then quickly searing them on both flat sides over high heat. They need to be just warm in the center for tenderness.

BAY SCALLOPS: Make an excellent substitute for Shrimp in ANY Shrimp Scampi or stir-fry Recipe.

BACK TO TOP           OYSTERS:

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.

Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a delicacy. Some types of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle. Windowpane oysters are harvested for their translucent shells, which are used to make various kinds of decorative objects.

Jonathan Swift is quoted as having said, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster". Evidence of oyster consumption goes back into prehistory, evidenced by oyster middens found worldwide. Oysters were an important food source in all coastal areas where they could be found, and oyster fisheries were an important industry where they were plentiful. Overfishing and pressure from diseases and pollution have sharply reduced supplies, but they remain a popular treat celebrated in oyster festivals in many cities and towns. Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a variety of drinks. Eating can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added. Poached oysters can be served on toast with a cream roux. In the case of Oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. They are sometimes served on edible seaweed, such as brown algae.

Care should be taken when consuming oysters. Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhaps lemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: salty, briny, buttery, metallic, or even fruity. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate. North American varieties include Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Oregon, Duxbury and Wellfleet from Massachusetts, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, Pemaquid from Maine, Rappahannock River from Virginia, Chesapeake from Maryland and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Variations in water salinity, alkalinity, and mineral and nutritional content influence their flavor profile.

OYSTER DANGERS:

Oysters can contain harmful bacteria. Oysters are filter feeders, so will naturally concentrate anything present in the surrounding water. Oysters from the Gulf Coast of the United States, for example, contain high bacterial loads of human pathogens in the warm months, most notably Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In these cases, the main danger is for immunocompromised individuals, who are unable to fight off infection and can succumb to sepsis, leading to death. Vibrio vulnificus is the most deadly seafood-borne pathogen.

Unlike most shellfish, oysters can have a fairly long shelf life of up to four weeks. However, their taste becomes less pleasant as they age. Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption or cooking. Oysters that do not open are generally assumed to be dead before cooking and therefore unsafe. There is only one criterion: the oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell. Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand, may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as "clackers".

It was once assumed that oysters were only safe to eat in months with the letter 'R' in their English and French names. This myth is based in truth, in that in the Northern Hemisphere, oysters are much more likely to spoil in the warmer months of May, June, July, and August. In recent years, pathogens such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus have caused outbreaks in several harvesting areas of the eastern United States during the summer months, lending further credence to this belief. The consumption of oyster’s are forbidden by Jewish and some Islamic dietary laws.

BACK TO TOP           CRAB:

Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen) usually hidden entirely under the thorax. They live in all the world's oceans, in fresh water, and on land, are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, and have a single pair of pincers. Many other animals with similar names – such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs, and crab lice – are not true crabs.

Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and consumed worldwide, amounting to 1.5 million tons annually. One species, the South Korean Blue Crab (Portunus trituberculatus), accounts for one-fifth of that total. Other commercially important crabs include the Chesapeake Bay blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), the Florida & San Francisco Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), and Scylla serrata, each of which yields more than 20,000 tons annually.

In some crab species (mostly Dungeness), meat is harvested by manually twisting and pulling off one or both claws and returning the live crab to the water in the belief that the crab will survive and regenerate the claws (testing has shown that a large percentage do survive & grow new claws).

BACK TO TOP           KING CRAB:

King crabs, while not truly a crab, are included in a taxon of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the sweet taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the Alaskan red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), a very large species, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 plus ft (1.8 m). Its natural range is the Bering Sea around the Kamchatka Peninsula area, between the Aleutian Islands and St. Lawrence Island. It can now also be found in the Barents Sea and the European Arctic, where it was intentionally introduced and is now becoming a pest.

BACK TO TOP           MUSSELS:

Mussel is the common name used for members of several families of bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval. The word "mussel" is frequently used to mean the bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads ("beard") to a firm substrate. A few species (in the genus Bathymodiolus) have colonised hydrothermal vents associated with deep ocean ridges.

Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years. About 17 species are edible.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS:

Nowadays, freshwater mussels are generally considered to be unpalatable and are almost entirely not consumed, although the native peoples of North America ate them extensively and still do today. In the USA during the Second World War, mussels were commonly served in diners and eateries across the country. This was due to the lack of access to red meat (such as beef and pork) for the general public, in relation to the aspect of the American wartime rationing policy concerning food, with much of the meat available being sent to aid the US military war efforts abroad. Instead, mussels became a popular substitute for most meats (with the exception of chicken).

Although mussels are valued as food, mussel poisoning due to toxic planktonic organisms can be a danger along some coastlines. For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of dinoflagellates (red tides), which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.

BACK TO TOP           LOBSTERS: 

Lobsters have long bodies with muscular tails, and live in crevices or burrows on the sea floor. Three of their five pairs of legs have claws, including the first pair, which are usually much larger than the others. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate. Commercially important species include two species of Homarus (which looks more like the stereotypical lobster) from the northern Atlantic Ocean, and scampi (which looks more like a shrimp, or a "mini lobster") – the Northern Hemisphere genus Nephrops and the Southern Hemisphere genus Metanephrops. Although several other groups of crustaceans have the word "lobster" in their names, the unqualified term "lobster" generally refers to the clawed lobsters of the family Nephropidae. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobsters or slipper lobsters, which have no claws (chelae), or to squat lobsters. The closest living relatives of clawed lobsters are the reef lobsters and the three families of freshwater crayfish.

Lobsters live up to an estimated 45 to 50 years in the wild, although determining age is difficult. In 2012, a report was published describing how growth bands in calcified regions of the eyestalk or gastric mill in shrimps, crabs and lobsters could be used to measure growth and mortality in decapod crustaceans. Without such a technique, a lobster's age is estimated by size and other variables.

Caught lobsters are graded as new-shell, hard-shell, or old-shell, and because lobsters which have recently shed their shells are the most delicate, an inverse relationship exists between the price of American lobster and its flavor. New-shell lobsters have paper-thin shells and a worse meat-to-shell ratio, but the meat is very sweet. However, the lobsters are so delicate, even transport to Boston almost kills them, making the market for new-shell lobsters strictly local to the fishing towns where they are offloaded. Hard-shell lobsters with firm shells, but with less sweet meat, can survive shipping to Boston, New York, and even Los Angeles, so they command a higher price than new-shell lobsters. Meanwhile, old-shell lobsters, which have not shed since the previous season and have a coarser flavor, can be air-shipped anywhere in the world and arrive alive, making them the most expensive.

Lobsters are caught using baited one-way traps with a color-coded marker buoy to mark cages. Lobster is fished in water between 2 and 900 metres (1 and 500 fathoms), although some lobsters live at 3,700 metres (2,000 fathoms). Cages are of plastic-coated galvanized steel or wood. A lobster fisher may tend as many as 2,000 traps. Around year 2000, owing to overfishing and high demand, lobster aquaculture or pond farming expanded. However, as of 2008, no lobster aquaculture operation had achieved commercial success, mainly because of lobsters' tendency towards cannibalism and the slow growth of the species.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY:

Orange Roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), also known as the red roughy, slimehead and deep sea perch, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead family (Trachichthyidae). The UK Marine Conservation Society has categorized orange roughy as "vulnerable to exploitation". They are found in 3 to 9 °C (37 to 48 °F), deep (bathypelagic, 180-to-1,800-metre (590 to 5,910 ft)) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean (from Iceland to Morocco; and from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to off Durban, South Africa), Indo-Pacific (off New Zealand and Australia), and in the eastern Pacific off Chile. The orange roughy is notable for its extraordinary lifespan, attaining over 200 years. It is important to commercial deep-trawl fisheries. The fish is a bright, brick-red color, fading to a yellowish-orange after death. Like other slimeheads, orange roughy is slow-growing and late to mature, resulting in a very low resilience, making them extremely susceptible to overfishing. Many stocks (especially those off New Zealand and Australia, were first exploited in the late 1970s), became severely depleted within 3–20 years, but several have subsequently recovered to levels that fisheries management believe are sustainable, although substantially below unfished populations.

ORANGE ROUGHY HEALTH RISKS:

Due to their extended longevity, therein lies the problem. MANY man-made contaminants sink to the depths that orange roughy live in. their long life increases those contaminant levels in their bodies GREATLY. Likely, orange roughy are the most contaminated seafood you can consume. Avoidance is the recommended solution.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

=== JUMP TO INFORMATION (CLICK ON UNDERLINED TEXT) === -- SEAFOOD DANGERS -- SEAFOOD SELECTION -- COOKING SEAFOODS -- -- GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD -- SCALLOPS -- OYSTERS -- CRAB -- KING CRAB -- MUSSELS -- -- NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS -- LOBSTERS -- NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY --
MAIN
The Recipes and information contained in these pages are for private use only. They are NOT to be used commercially or published.
SEAFOOD FACTOIDS
Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content along with a negligible cholesterol content.
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BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD DANGERS:

Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content and has negligible cholesterol content. But let’s not forget that eating seafood can also pose some serious health risks due to risk from chemical contamination. Here are some health hazards of eating fish. If you are a seafood fanatic, there are some rules you need to follow. People with impaired immune system, diabetics, children and the elderly have to be particularly careful. Limiting intake of large, predatory fish like shark and king fish will also limit the absorption of heavy metals. Most pathogenic seafood-related infections happen when the fish is not cooked properly. So cook the fish thoroughly and stay away from raw fish dishes.

1) Some seafood may contain heavy metals (See Great Lakes Seafood Dangers below). Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium have been found in some seafood, especially those at the top of the food chain like marlin, tuna, shark, swordfish and king mackerel or surmai. Even trace amounts of environmental pollutants like arsenic from industrial releases, batteries, paints and dyes find their way into marine life. Excessive and unregulated intake of such fish containing these heavy metals can result in your impaired cognitive, mental and physical health. Studies say that the cardiovascular benefits of fish are undone by the presence of these heavy metals in seafood. Mercury poisoning through seafood can also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases in women.

2) Seafood may contain parasites. Seafood can get contaminated by parasitic pathogens under certain circumstances like faecal pollution of aquatic life and water pollution caused by industries, homes and restaurants. It is mainly seen among populations that eat raw or undercooked fish preparations like sashimi and sushi. Seafood parasites include Anisakis simplex and cestodes (tapeworms) which cause health hazards like allergic reactions, intestinal perforations, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen. People with compromised immune systems, defective liver functions, diabetes and the elderly are particularly at risk. Here are some reasons why you should eat sardines.

3) Seafood can cause bacterial infections. Bacteria belonging to the vibrio, salmonella, shigella, Clostridium botulinum, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus species can contaminate seafood. These pathogens cause a host of gastric health problems like diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

4) Seafood can cause viral infections. Seafood can also carry infectious viruses like norovirus and heaptitis A virus, which attacks the liver. Norovirus infections are usually self-limited, but can cause can cause a range of health problems like fever, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain and body aches. Hepatitis A virus can cause infections that can last for several weeks to months. In some rare cases, hepatitis A virus can cause acute liver failure in older adults.

5) Seafood may contain organic toxins. Organic contaminants are natural or manmade chemicals such as Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs): dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. These dioxins accumulate in the fatty tissue of fish and are passed on to us when we consume them. More than 90 percent of human dioxin exposure is through diet: dairy, meat and fish products. These chemicals are known for causing immune damage, hormonal fluctuations and cancers. It can also be transferred from mother to child through placenta and breast milk.

BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD SELECTION:

#1 RULE: If something smells fishy - IT USUALLY IS!

#2 RULE: READ THE LABEL & CHOOSE WISELY!!!!!! Do you REALLY want to eat something that is wild-caught in the Yellow River in China where inspection is just a word & not a process?

FRESH SEAFOOD:

Only buy Seafood that is refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice that is not melting. Seafood should smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or ammonia-like. A fish’s eyes should be clear and bulge a little. Whole fish and fillets should have firm, shiny flesh and bright red gills free from any milky slime. The flesh should spring back when pressed. Fish fillets should display no discoloration, darkening or drying around the edges. Some refrigerated seafood may have time / temperature indicators on their packaging, which show if the product has been stored at the proper temperature.  Always check the indicators when they are present and only buy the seafood if the indicator shows that the product is safe.

SELECTING SHELLFISH:

Look for the label: Look for tags on sacks or containers of live shellfish (in the shell) and labels on containers or packages of shucked shellfish. These tags and labels contain specific Information about the product, including the processor’s certification number. This means that the shellfish were harvested and processed in accordance with national shellfish safety controls. Shrimp flesh should be translucent and shiny with little or no odor. Discard Cracked/Broken Ones: Throw away clams, oysters, and mussels if their shells are cracked or broken. Do a “Tap Test”: Live clams, oysters, and mussels will close up when the shell is tapped. If they don’t close when tapped, do not select them. Check for Leg Movement: Live crabs and lobsters should show some leg movement even if VERY slight. They spoil EXTREMELY rapidly after death, so only live ones should be selected and prepared.

THAWING FROZEN SEAFOOD:

Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, seal it in a plastic bag and submerge it in COLD water, never warm or hot.

BACK TO TOP           COOKING SEAFOODS: 

OVERCOOKING SEAFOOD MAKES IT TOUGH & RUBBERY! Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF.  If you don’t have an instant-read food thermometer, there are other ways to determine whether your seafood is done:

FISH: The flesh should be opaque and separate relatively easily with a fork.

SHRIMP: The shell turns a light pink and the body just barely begins to curl into a circle. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

LOBSTER & CRAB: The shell turns a bright red. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

SCALLOPS: The flesh turns opaque and firm.

CLAMS, MUSSELS & OYSTERS: The shells open during cooking. Throw out the ones that don’t.

BACK TO TOP           GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD:

Go to your local Department of Natural Resources Office and get a copy of "The Michigan Fish Advisory". ALL dangers will be explained fully (that is, if you "trust" the Michigan Government).

Catfish, Suckers, Carp, Etc. (i.e. ALL Bottom Feeders) from the Great Lakes are generally unsafe to eat. These fish can have dangerously high amounts of chemicals, including PCBs, dioxins and mercury. These chemicals accumulate in the fat and flesh of fish. As a result, eating some types of fish too often can result in health problems. The "safest" fish in the Great Lakes are any Salmon or Trout that is under 30" in total length. Older fishes have had a longer time to accumulate those pollution chemicals.

If your seafood is NOT from the Great Lakes, check with your local Department of Natural Resources. They should have documentation available that explains any inherent dangers of consuming locally caught fish.

REDUCING YOUR RISKS:

Adult Men (15+) & Women (55+): Eat one meal per week of Great Lakes Fish. Pregnant (or could be) Women & Children: Eat 1 meal per month of Great Lakes Fish.

#1): Trimming and cooking off the fat can remove up to half the chemicals.

#2): Choose smaller, younger fish that are lower in chemical contamination.

#3): Stick to Bluegill, Lake Perch, Walleye, Bass, Pike, Smelt, Whitefish and Crappie.

Mercury is the most dangerous health risk, by far. The good news is that all fishes swim upright and Mercury is HEAVY, so over time, it naturally migrates towards the bottom of the fish. Trimming off and discarding the belly meat will dispose of the majority of any Mercury present in the fish.

BACK TO TOP           SCALLOPS:

There are really only two different types of Scallops readily available in the mid-west: Sea Scallops and Bay Scallops (some fresh, but most are frozen). Bay Scallops are small (about 1/2" in diameter), smooth textured and very sweet. Sea Scallops are very large (over 2" in diameter), a touch textured and "ocean" flavored. Day Boat Scallops and Diver Scallops are the freshest and most desirable. ALL others are either several days old and / or chemically treated - still quite good, but the quality IS compromised. There are two "retailed versions" of each type of Scallop: Dry and Wet. Dry Scallops are usually Ivory, Pink or even Orange in color - These are the ones you want to buy. Wet Scallops are usually pure white in color - and have a chemical additive to force them to retain water, which is good for retailers, but BAD for cooks - They are IMPOSSIBLE to sear properly which is VERY important for Sea Scallops, but not so much for Bay Scallops. A small pointed piece of meat may still be attached to the round side of a Sea Scallop, It is the very tough little muscle that closes the shell. It should have been already removed. If not, peel it off with your fingers and discard.

SEA SCALLOPS: Require patting dry and then quickly searing them on both flat sides over high heat. They need to be just warm in the center for tenderness.

BAY SCALLOPS: Make an excellent substitute for Shrimp in ANY Shrimp Scampi or stir-fry Recipe.

BACK TO TOP           OYSTERS:

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.

Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a delicacy. Some types of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle. Windowpane oysters are harvested for their translucent shells, which are used to make various kinds of decorative objects.

Jonathan Swift is quoted as having said, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster". Evidence of oyster consumption goes back into prehistory, evidenced by oyster middens found worldwide. Oysters were an important food source in all coastal areas where they could be found, and oyster fisheries were an important industry where they were plentiful. Overfishing and pressure from diseases and pollution have sharply reduced supplies, but they remain a popular treat celebrated in oyster festivals in many cities and towns. Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a variety of drinks. Eating can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added. Poached oysters can be served on toast with a cream roux. In the case of Oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. They are sometimes served on edible seaweed, such as brown algae.

Care should be taken when consuming oysters. Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhaps lemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: salty, briny, buttery, metallic, or even fruity. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate. North American varieties include Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Oregon, Duxbury and Wellfleet from Massachusetts, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, Pemaquid from Maine, Rappahannock River from Virginia, Chesapeake from Maryland and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Variations in water salinity, alkalinity, and mineral and nutritional content influence their flavor profile.

OYSTER DANGERS:

Oysters can contain harmful bacteria. Oysters are filter feeders, so will naturally concentrate anything present in the surrounding water. Oysters from the Gulf Coast of the United States, for example, contain high bacterial loads of human pathogens in the warm months, most notably Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In these cases, the main danger is for immunocompromised individuals, who are unable to fight off infection and can succumb to sepsis, leading to death. Vibrio vulnificus is the most deadly seafood-borne pathogen.

Unlike most shellfish, oysters can have a fairly long shelf life of up to four weeks. However, their taste becomes less pleasant as they age. Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption or cooking. Oysters that do not open are generally assumed to be dead before cooking and therefore unsafe. There is only one criterion: the oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell.[citation needed] Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat.[citation needed] Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand, may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as "clackers".

It was once assumed that oysters were only safe to eat in months with the letter 'R' in their English and French names. This myth is based in truth, in that in the Northern Hemisphere, oysters are much more likely to spoil in the warmer months of May, June, July, and August. In recent years, pathogens such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus have caused outbreaks in several harvesting areas of the eastern United States during the summer months, lending further credence to this belief. The consumption of oyster’s are forbidden by Jewish and some Islamic dietary laws.

BACK TO TOP           CRAB:

Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen) usually hidden entirely under the thorax. They live in all the world's oceans, in fresh water, and on land, are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, and have a single pair of pincers. Many other animals with similar names – such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs, and crab lice – are not true crabs.

Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and consumed worldwide, amounting to 1.5 million tons annually. One species, the South Korean Blue Crab (Portunus trituberculatus), accounts for one-fifth of that total. Other commercially important crabs include the Chesapeake Bay blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), the Florida & San Francisco Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), and Scylla serrata, each of which yields more than 20,000 tons annually.

In some crab species (mostly Dungeness), meat is harvested by manually twisting and pulling off one or both claws and returning the live crab to the water in the belief that the crab will survive and regenerate the claws (testing has shown that a large percentage do survive & grow new claws).

BACK TO TOP           KING CRAB:

King crabs, while not truly a crab, are included in a taxon of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the sweet taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the Alaskan red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), a very large species, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 plus ft (1.8 m). Its natural range is the Bering Sea around the Kamchatka Peninsula area, between the Aleutian Islands and St. Lawrence Island. It can now also be found in the Barents Sea and the European Arctic, where it was intentionally introduced and is now becoming a pest.

BACK TO TOP           MUSSELS:

Mussel is the common name used for members of several families of bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval. The word "mussel" is frequently used to mean the bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads ("beard") to a firm substrate. A few species (in the genus Bathymodiolus) have colonised hydrothermal vents associated with deep ocean ridges.

Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years. About 17 species are edible.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS:

Nowadays, freshwater mussels are generally considered to be unpalatable and are almost entirely not consumed, although the native peoples of North America ate them extensively and still do today. In the USA during the Second World War, mussels were commonly served in diners and eateries across the country. This was due to the lack of access to red meat (such as beef and pork) for the general public, in relation to the aspect of the American wartime rationing policy concerning food, with much of the meat available being sent to aid the US military war efforts abroad. Instead, mussels became a popular substitute for most meats (with the exception of chicken).

Although mussels are valued as food, mussel poisoning due to toxic planktonic organisms can be a danger along some coastlines. For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of dinoflagellates (red tides), which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.

BACK TO TOP           LOBSTERS: 

Lobsters have long bodies with muscular tails, and live in crevices or burrows on the sea floor. Three of their five pairs of legs have claws, including the first pair, which are usually much larger than the others. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate. Commercially important species include two species of Homarus (which looks more like the stereotypical lobster) from the northern Atlantic Ocean, and scampi (which looks more like a shrimp, or a "mini lobster") – the Northern Hemisphere genus Nephrops and the Southern Hemisphere genus Metanephrops. Although several other groups of crustaceans have the word "lobster" in their names, the unqualified term "lobster" generally refers to the clawed lobsters of the family Nephropidae. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobsters or slipper lobsters, which have no claws (chelae), or to squat lobsters. The closest living relatives of clawed lobsters are the reef lobsters and the three families of freshwater crayfish.

Lobsters live up to an estimated 45 to 50 years in the wild, although determining age is difficult. In 2012, a report was published describing how growth bands in calcified regions of the eyestalk or gastric mill in shrimps, crabs and lobsters could be used to measure growth and mortality in decapod crustaceans. Without such a technique, a lobster's age is estimated by size and other variables.

Caught lobsters are graded as new-shell, hard-shell, or old-shell, and because lobsters which have recently shed their shells are the most delicate, an inverse relationship exists between the price of American lobster and its flavor. New-shell lobsters have paper-thin shells and a worse meat-to-shell ratio, but the meat is very sweet. However, the lobsters are so delicate, even transport to Boston almost kills them, making the market for new-shell lobsters strictly local to the fishing towns where they are offloaded. Hard-shell lobsters with firm shells, but with less sweet meat, can survive shipping to Boston, New York, and even Los Angeles, so they command a higher price than new-shell lobsters. Meanwhile, old-shell lobsters, which have not shed since the previous season and have a coarser flavor, can be air-shipped anywhere in the world and arrive alive, making them the most expensive.

Lobsters are caught using baited one-way traps with a color-coded marker buoy to mark cages. Lobster is fished in water between 2 and 900 metres (1 and 500 fathoms), although some lobsters live at 3,700 metres (2,000 fathoms). Cages are of plastic-coated galvanized steel or wood. A lobster fisher may tend as many as 2,000 traps. Around year 2000, owing to overfishing and high demand, lobster aquaculture or pond farming expanded. However, as of 2008, no lobster aquaculture operation had achieved commercial success, mainly because of lobsters' tendency towards cannibalism and the slow growth of the species.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY:

Orange Roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), also known as the red roughy, slimehead and deep sea perch, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead family (Trachichthyidae). The UK Marine Conservation Society has categorized orange roughy as "vulnerable to exploitation". They are found in 3 to 9 °C (37 to 48 °F), deep (bathypelagic, 180-to-1,800-metre (590 to 5,910 ft)) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean (from Iceland to Morocco; and from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to off Durban, South Africa), Indo-Pacific (off New Zealand and Australia), and in the eastern Pacific off Chile. The orange roughy is notable for its extraordinary lifespan, attaining over 200 years. It is important to commercial deep-trawl fisheries. The fish is a bright, brick-red color, fading to a yellowish-orange after death. Like other slimeheads, orange roughy is slow-growing and late to mature, resulting in a very low resilience, making them extremely susceptible to overfishing. Many stocks (especially those off New Zealand and Australia, were first exploited in the late 1970s), became severely depleted within 3–20 years, but several have subsequently recovered to levels that fisheries management believe are sustainable, although substantially below unfished populations.

ORANGE ROUGHY HEALTH RISKS:

Due to their extended longevity, therein lies the problem. MANY man-made contaminants sink to the depths that orange roughy live in. their long life increases those contaminant levels in their bodies GREATLY. Likely, orange roughy are the most contaminated seafood you can consume. Avoidance is the recommended solution.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

=== JUMP TO INFORMATION (CLICK ON UNDERLINED TEXT) === -- SEAFOOD DANGERS -- SEAFOOD SELECTION -- COOKING SEAFOODS -- -- GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD -- SCALLOPS -- OYSTERS -- CRAB -- KING CRAB -- MUSSELS -- -- NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS -- LOBSTERS -- NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY --
The Recipes and information contained in these pages are for private use only. They are NOT to be used commercially or published.
SEAFOOD FACTOIDS
Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content along with a negligible cholesterol content.
MOBILE

BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD DANGERS:

Your favorite seafood has a lot of health benefits and almost an equal number of health hazards. Seafood such as fish, crustaceans and molluscs are a darling of the diet world with its wealth of nutritional components. It has rich reserves of n-3 polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids (PUFAs) and essential micronutrients such as selenium, iodine, potassium, Vitamins A, B (12), D and E, and low sodium concentrations. As a protein, seafood is easily digestible due to its low connective tissue content and has negligible cholesterol content. But let’s not forget that eating seafood can also pose some serious health risks due to risk from chemical contamination. Here are some health hazards of eating fish. If you are a seafood fanatic, there are some rules you need to follow. People with impaired immune system, diabetics, children and the elderly have to be particularly careful. Limiting intake of large, predatory fish like shark and king fish will also limit the absorption of heavy metals. Most pathogenic seafood-related infections happen when the fish is not cooked properly. So cook the fish thoroughly and stay away from raw fish dishes.

1) Some seafood may contain heavy metals (See Great Lakes Seafood Dangers below). Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium have been found in some seafood, especially those at the top of the food chain like marlin, tuna, shark, swordfish and king mackerel or surmai. Even trace amounts of environmental pollutants like arsenic from industrial releases, batteries, paints and dyes find their way into marine life. Excessive and unregulated intake of such fish containing these heavy metals can result in your impaired cognitive, mental and physical health. Studies say that the cardiovascular benefits of fish are undone by the presence of these heavy metals in seafood. Mercury poisoning through seafood can also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases in women.

2) Seafood may contain parasites. Seafood can get contaminated by parasitic pathogens under certain circumstances like faecal pollution of aquatic life and water pollution caused by industries, homes and restaurants. It is mainly seen among populations that eat raw or undercooked fish preparations like sashimi and sushi. Seafood parasites include Anisakis simplex and cestodes (tapeworms) which cause health hazards like allergic reactions, intestinal perforations, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen. People with compromised immune systems, defective liver functions, diabetes and the elderly are particularly at risk.3 Here are some reasons why you should eat sardines.

3) Seafood can cause bacterial infections. Bacteria belonging to the vibrio, salmonella, shigella, Clostridium botulinum, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus species can contaminate seafood. These pathogens cause a host of gastric health problems like diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

4) Seafood can cause viral infections. Seafood can also carry infectious viruses like norovirus and heaptitis A virus, which attacks the liver. Norovirus infections are usually self-limited, but can cause can cause a range of health problems like fever, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain and body aches. Hepatitis A virus can cause infections that can last for several weeks to months. In some rare cases, hepatitis A virus can cause acute liver failure in older adults.

5) Seafood may contain organic toxins. Organic contaminants are natural or manmade chemicals such as Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs): dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. These dioxins accumulate in the fatty tissue of fish and are passed on to us when we consume them. More than 90 percent of human dioxin exposure is through diet: dairy, meat and fish products. These chemicals are known for causing immune damage, hormonal fluctuations and cancers. It can also be transferred from mother to child through placenta and breast milk.

BACK TO TOP           SEAFOOD SELECTION:

#1 RULE: If something smells fishy - IT USUALLY IS!

#2 RULE: READ THE LABEL & CHOOSE WISELY!!!!!! Do you REALLY want to eat something that is wild-caught in the Yellow River in China where inspection is just a word & not a process?

FRESH SEAFOOD:

Only buy Seafood that is refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice that is not melting. Seafood should smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or ammonia-like. A fish’s eyes should be clear and bulge a little. Whole fish and fillets should have firm, shiny flesh and bright red gills free from any milky slime. The flesh should spring back when pressed. Fish fillets should display no discoloration, darkening or drying around the edges. Some refrigerated seafood may have time / temperature indicators on their packaging, which show if the product has been stored at the proper temperature. Always check the indicators when they are present and only buy the seafood if the indicator shows that the product is safe.

SELECTING SHELLFISH:

Look for the label: Look for tags on sacks or containers of live shellfish (in the shell) and labels on containers or packages of shucked shellfish.  These tags and labels contain specific Information about the product, including the processor’s certification number. This means that the shellfish were harvested and processed in accordance with national shellfish safety controls. Shrimp flesh should be translucent and shiny with little or no odor. Discard Cracked/Broken Ones: Throw away clams, oysters, and mussels if their shells are cracked or broken. Do a “Tap Test”: Live clams, oysters, and mussels will close up when the shell is tapped. If they don’t close when tapped, do not select them. Check for Leg Movement: Live crabs and lobsters should show some leg movement even if VERY slight. They spoil EXTREMELY rapidly after death, so only live ones should be selected and prepared.

THAWING FROZEN SEAFOOD:

Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, seal it in a plastic bag and submerge it in COLD water, never warm or hot.

BACK TO TOP           COOKING SEAFOODS: 

OVERCOOKING SEAFOOD MAKES IT TOUGH & RUBBERY! Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF.  If you don’t have an instant-read food thermometer, there are other ways to determine whether your seafood is done:

FISH: The flesh should be opaque and separate relatively easily with a fork.

SHRIMP: The shell turns a light pink and the body just barely begins to curl into a circle. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

LOBSTER & CRAB: The shell turns a bright red. The flesh becomes firm, pearly and opaque.

SCALLOPS: The flesh turns opaque and firm.

CLAMS, MUSSELS & OYSTERS: The shells open during cooking. Throw out the ones that don’t.

BACK TO TOP           GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD:

Go to your local DNR Office and get a copy of "The Michigan Fish Advisory". ALL dangers will be explained fully (that is, if you "trust" the Michigan Government).

Catfish, Suckers, Carp, Etc. (i.e. ALL Bottom Feeders) from the Great Lakes are generally unsafe to eat. These fish can have dangerously high amounts of chemicals, including PCBs, dioxins and mercury. These chemicals accumulate in the fat and flesh of fish. As a result, eating some types of fish too often can result in health problems. The "safest" fish in the Great Lakes are any Salmon or Trout that is under 30" in total length. Older fishes have had a longer time to accumulate those pollution chemicals.

If your seafood is NOT from the Great Lakes, check with your local Department of Natural Resources. They should have documentation available that explains any inherent dangers of consuming locally caught fish.

REDUCING YOUR RISKS:

Adult Men (15+) & Women (55+): Eat one meal per week of Great Lakes Fish. Pregnant (or could be) Women & Children: Eat 1 meal per month of Great Lakes Fish.

#1): Trimming and cooking off the fat can remove up to half the chemicals.

#2): Choose smaller, younger fish that are lower in chemical contamination.

#3): Stick to Bluegill, Lake Perch, Walleye, Bass, Pike, Smelt, Whitefish and Crappie.

Mercury is the most dangerous health risk, by far. The good news is that all fishes swim upright and Mercury is HEAVY, so over time, it naturally migrates towards the bottom of the fish. Trimming off and discarding the belly meat will dispose of the majority of any Mercury present in the fish.

BACK TO TOP           SCALLOPS:

There are really only two different types of Scallops readily available in the mid-west: Sea Scallops and Bay Scallops (some fresh, but most are frozen). Bay Scallops are small (about  1/2" in diameter), smooth textured and very sweet. Sea Scallops are very large (over 2" in diameter), a touch textured and "ocean" flavored. Day Boat Scallops and Diver Scallops are the freshest and most desirable. ALL others are either several days old and / or chemically treated - still quite good, but the quality IS compromised. There are two "retailed versions" of each type of Scallop: Dry and Wet. Dry Scallops are usually Ivory, Pink or even Orange in color - These are the ones you want to buy. Wet Scallops are usually pure white in color - and have a chemical additive to force them to retain water, which is good for retailers, but BAD for cooks - They are IMPOSSIBLE to sear properly which is VERY important for Sea Scallops, but not so much for Bay Scallops. A small pointed piece of meat may still be attached to the round side of a Sea Scallop, It is the very tough little muscle that closes the shell. It should have been already removed. If not, peel it off with your fingers and discard.

SEA SCALLOPS: Require patting dry and then quickly searing them on both flat sides over high heat. They need to be just warm in the center for tenderness.

BAY SCALLOPS: Make an excellent substitute for Shrimp in ANY Shrimp Scampi or stir-fry Recipe.

BACK TO TOP           OYSTERS:

Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of salt- water bivalve molluscs that live in marine or brackish habitats. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somewhat irregular in shape. Many, but not all oysters are in the superfamily Ostreoidea.

Some types of oysters are commonly consumed cooked or raw, and in some locales are regarded as a delicacy. Some types of pearl oysters are harvested for the pearl produced within the mantle. Windowpane oysters are harvested for their translucent shells, which are used to make various kinds of decorative objects.

Jonathan Swift is quoted as having said, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster". Evidence of oyster consumption goes back into prehistory, evidenced by oyster middens found worldwide. Oysters were an important food source in all coastal areas where they could be found, and oyster fisheries were an important industry where they were plentiful. Overfishing and pressure from diseases and pollution have sharply reduced supplies, but they remain a popular treat celebrated in oyster festivals in many cities and towns. Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed, or broiled, or used in a variety of drinks. Eating can be as simple as opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added. Poached oysters can be served on toast with a cream roux. In the case of Oysters Rockefeller, preparation can be very elaborate. They are sometimes served on edible seaweed, such as brown algae.

Care should be taken when consuming oysters. Purists insist on eating them raw, with no dressing save perhaps lemon juice, vinegar (most commonly shallot vinegar), or cocktail sauce. Upscale restaurants pair raw oysters with mignonette sauce, which consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorn, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Like fine wine, raw oysters have complex flavors that vary greatly among varieties and regions: salty, briny, buttery, metallic, or even fruity. The texture is soft and fleshy, but crisp on the palate. North American varieties include Kumamoto and Yaquina Bay from Oregon, Duxbury and Wellfleet from Massachusetts, Malpeque from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Blue Point from Long Island, New York, Pemaquid from Maine, Rappahannock River from Virginia, Chesapeake from Maryland and Cape May oysters from New Jersey. Variations in water salinity, alkalinity, and mineral and nutritional content influence their flavor profile.

OYSTER DANGERS:

Oysters can contain harmful bacteria. Oysters are filter feeders, so will naturally concentrate anything present in the surrounding water. Oysters from the Gulf Coast of the United States, for example, contain high bacterial loads of human pathogens in the warm months, most notably Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In these cases, the main danger is for immunocompromised individuals, who are unable to fight off infection and can succumb to sepsis, leading to death. Vibrio vulnificus is the most deadly seafood-borne pathogen.

Unlike most shellfish, oysters can have a fairly long shelf life of up to four weeks. However, their taste becomes less pleasant as they age. Fresh oysters must be alive just before consumption or cooking. Oysters that do not open are generally assumed to be dead before cooking and therefore unsafe. There is only one criterion: The oyster must be capable of tightly closing its shell. Open oysters should be tapped on the shell; a live oyster will close up and is safe to eat. Oysters which are open and unresponsive are dead and must be discarded. Some dead oysters, or oyster shells which are full of sand, may be closed. These make a distinctive noise when tapped, and are known as "clackers".

It was once assumed that oysters were only safe to eat in months with the letter 'R' in their English and French names. This myth is based in truth, in that in the Northern Hemisphere, oysters are much more likely to spoil in the warmer months of May, June, July, and August. In recent years, pathogens such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus have caused outbreaks in several harvesting areas of the eastern United States during the summer months, lending further credence to this belief. The consumption of oyster’s are forbidden by Jewish and some Islamic dietary laws.

BACK TO TOP           CRAB:

Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen) usually hidden entirely under the thorax. They live in all the world's oceans, in fresh water, and on land, are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, and have a single pair of pincers. Many other animals with similar names – such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs, and crab lice – are not true crabs.

Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and consumed worldwide, amounting to 1.5 million tons annually. One species, the South Korean Blue Crab (Portunus trituberculatus), accounts for one-fifth of that total. Other commercially important crabs include the Chesapeake Bay blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), the Florida & San Francisco Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), and Scylla serrata, each of which yields more than 20,000 tons annually.

In some crab species (mostly Dungeness), meat is harvested by manually twisting and pulling off one or both claws and returning the live crab to the water in the belief that the crab will survive and regenerate the claws (testing has shown that a large percentage do survive & grow new claws).

BACK TO TOP           KING CRAB:

King crabs, while not truly a crab, are included in a taxon of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the sweet taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the Alaskan red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), a very large species, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 plus ft (1.8 m). Its natural range is the Bering Sea around the Kamchatka Peninsula area, between the Aleutian Islands and St. Lawrence Island. It can now also be found in the Barents Sea and the European Arctic, where it was intentionally introduced and is now becoming a pest.

BACK TO TOP           MUSSELS:

Mussel is the common name used for members of several families of bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval. The word "mussel" is frequently used to mean the bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads ("beard") to a firm substrate.[1] A few species (in the genus Bathymodiolus) have colonised hydrothermal vents associated with deep ocean ridges.

Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years. About 17 species are edible.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS:

Nowadays, freshwater mussels are generally considered to be unpalatable and are almost entirely not consumed, although the native peoples of North America ate them extensively and still do today. In the USA during the Second World War, mussels were commonly served in diners and eateries across the country. This was due to the lack of access to red meat (such as beef and pork) for the general public, in relation to the aspect of the American wartime rationing policy concerning food, with much of the meat available being sent to aid the US military war efforts abroad. Instead, mussels became a popular substitute for most meats (with the exception of chicken).

Although mussels are valued as food, mussel poisoning due to toxic planktonic organisms can be a danger along some coastlines. For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of dinoflagellates (red tides), which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.

BACK TO TOP           LOBSTERS: 

Lobsters have long bodies with muscular tails, and live in crevices or burrows on the sea floor. Three of their five pairs of legs have claws, including the first pair, which are usually much larger than the others. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate. Commercially important species include two species of Homarus (which looks more like the stereotypical lobster) from the northern Atlantic Ocean, and scampi (which looks more like a shrimp, or a "mini lobster") – the Northern Hemisphere genus Nephrops and the Southern Hemisphere genus Metanephrops. Although several other groups of crustaceans have the word "lobster" in their names, the unqualified term "lobster" generally refers to the clawed lobsters of the family Nephropidae. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobsters or slipper lobsters, which have no claws (chelae), or to squat lobsters. The closest living relatives of clawed lobsters are the reef lobsters and the three families of freshwater crayfish.

Lobsters live up to an estimated 45 to 50 years in the wild, although determining age is difficult. In 2012, a report was published describing how growth bands in calcified regions of the eyestalk or gastric mill in shrimps, crabs and lobsters could be used to measure growth and mortality in decapod crustaceans. Without such a technique, a lobster's age is estimated by size and other variables.

Caught lobsters are graded as new-shell, hard-shell, or old-shell, and because lobsters which have recently shed their shells are the most delicate, an inverse relationship exists between the price of American lobster and its flavor. New-shell lobsters have paper-thin shells and a worse meat-to-shell ratio, but the meat is very sweet. However, the lobsters are so delicate, even transport to Boston almost kills them, making the market for new-shell lobsters strictly local to the fishing towns where they are offloaded. Hard-shell lobsters with firm shells, but with less sweet meat, can survive shipping to Boston, New York, and even Los Angeles, so they command a higher price than new-shell lobsters. Meanwhile, old-shell lobsters, which have not shed since the previous season and have a coarser flavor, can be air-shipped anywhere in the world and arrive alive, making them the most expensive.

Lobsters are caught using baited one-way traps with a color-coded marker buoy to mark cages. Lobster is fished in water between 2 and 900 metres (1 and 500 fathoms), although some lobsters live at 3,700 metres (2,000 fathoms). Cages are of plastic-coated galvanized steel or wood. A lobster fisher may tend as many as 2,000 traps. Around year 2000, owing to overfishing and high demand, lobster aquaculture or pond farming expanded. However, as of 2008, no lobster aquaculture operation had achieved commercial success, mainly because of lobsters' tendency towards cannibalism and the slow growth of the species.

BACK TO TOP           NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY:

Orange Roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), also known as the red roughy, slimehead and deep sea perch, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead family (Trachichthyidae). The UK Marine Conservation Society has categorized orange roughy as "vulnerable to exploitation". They are found in 3 to 9 °C (37 to 48 °F), deep (bathypelagic, 180-to-1,800-metre (590 to 5,910 ft)) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean (from Iceland to Morocco; and from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to off Durban, South Africa), Indo-Pacific (off New Zealand and Australia), and in the eastern Pacific off Chile. The orange roughy is notable for its extraordinary lifespan, attaining over 200 years. It is important to commercial deep-trawl fisheries. The fish is a bright, brick-red color, fading to a yellowish- orange after death. Like other slimeheads, orange roughy is slow- growing and late to mature, resulting in a very low resilience, making them extremely susceptible to overfishing. Many stocks (especially those off New Zealand and Australia, were first exploited in the late 1970s), became severely depleted within 3–20 years, but several have subsequently recovered to levels that fisheries management believe are sustainable, although substantially below unfished populations.

ORANGE ROUGHY HEALTH RISKS:

Due to their extended longevity, therein lies the problem. MANY man- made contaminants sink to the depths that orange roughy live in. their long life increases those contaminant levels in their bodies GREATLY. Likely, orange roughy are the most contaminated seafood you can consume. Avoidance is the recommended solution.

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=== JUMP TO INFORMATION (CLICK ON UNDERLINED TEXT) === -- SEAFOOD DANGERS -- SEAFOOD SELECTION -- COOKING SEAFOODS -- -- GREAT LAKES SEAFOOD -- SCALLOPS -- OYSTERS -- CRAB -- KING CRAB -- MUSSELS -- -- NO TO FRESHWATER MUSSELS -- LOBSTERS -- NO TO ORANGE ROUGHY --
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