Food Fact #2: Oysters.

29 Sep

Ah oysters. What delectable creatures. Served raw, grilled, fried, baked (you name it),  these little guys are always out to please. I must admit, I have had a love-hate relationship with them in the past, as twice in my life I have eaten a few not so great ones and paid the serious food-poisoning-like price. In the last few years however, our bond has re-solidified and I have nothing but good things to say about these ancient mollusks from the beds down below (200 million years ancient that is). Using my handy Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND, as well as some random facts from oyster farms that I have researched online, prepare to be educated.

Oysters grow wild in estuaries, sounds and bays. Their taste is pretty much concerned with their origin, as they are filter feeders, which means they breathe water in and out through their gills, filtering algae and whatever else may exist in their lurking grounds. The salinity, mineral content, water temperature and chlorophyll content of the local plankton all affect the oyster’s flavor. I prefer the small, cold water ones myself as they are easier to swallow so to speak. It takes about three years of life before oysters reach the table, and some take even longer.

Oysters spawn through external fertalization, and are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they have the ability to be both sexes, just not both at the same time.  They are extremely fertile, all though sadly very few of their efforts will ever reach oyster-dom. If you and your significant other are trying for a little oyster yourself, these guys should definitely be part of your diet plan, especially for males, as they provide the highest concentration of zinc per serving of any food (essential for thyroid health and testosterone function as well as a key nutrient in sperm production), at more than 33 grams per serving. They are also a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, B-12, copper, iron and selenium.

And lastly, how many oysters do you think the undefeated Guinness Book of World Records holder ate last year in 3-minutes?

233.

A round of applause to you fine sir- your 13 children must be proud.

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