Author Topic: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?  (Read 11726 times)

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Offline bharminder

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are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« on: September 07, 2010, 10:57:05 am »
In a book I read that shellfish such as oysters filter through lots of water and they accumulate lots of toxic compounds. Is it safe to eat lots of shellfish from a RPD perspective?



Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 11:20:39 am »
I have benefited immensely from oysters and clams from clean waters.
The trick is to get them from clean waters.
I used to pig out on oysters when my instincts demanded them.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 11:33:31 am »
I think you have told me the answer to this question before, but how do you know which waters are clean?

I only know of one or two areas that are majorly polluted but don't know about the cleanliness or noncleanliness of any other waters.

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 12:57:56 pm »
You need to know the waters in your country.
I live in the Philippines so I must learn about the oyster farms here.
I ask my wet market vendor where my oysters come from, it's a common question.
I don't buy oysters or any shellfish from Cavite waters because I just think they are dirty.
And I have experienced red tide poisoning with oysters from cavite... deadly.

This lunch I just had 5 oysters each as large as my palm.
The guy said it came from Pangasinan.
I contracted him to open the oysters for me for a tip.
I ate it right there at the market stall.
Yummy, it was a good deal for P 100 and 5 palm sized oysters.
Freshly opened.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 01:06:18 pm »
Cool, large oysters!

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 05:29:31 pm »
My fisherman is great - he only gets shellfish during the right season so they're not too small. The waters he gets them from are very clean, with the result that his raw oysters are superior to anything in fishmongers' shops or supermarkets.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 12:30:37 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 09:49:43 pm »
Cool, raw oysters are tastey on the half shell

Offline miles

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 09:53:51 pm »
100PHP is like £1.50? In the supermarket fishmonger I got my (1)Oyster from, they were 55p each and small.
5-10% off your first purchase at http://www.iherb.com/ with dicount code: KIS978

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2010, 12:31:49 am »
100PHP is like £1.50? In the supermarket fishmonger I got my (1)Oyster from, they were 55p each and small.
I pay 1 pound sterling for each double-oyster(2 oysters bound together in different shells). These are all extra-large oysters.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2010, 05:22:14 am »
Regarding clams, I found one with lots and lots of grit. I did soak it for only 10 minutes.

What is a good protocol for soaking clams? Do I need to add salt, and does the table salt kill them? does soaking them in fresh waters kill them?


How long do they need to be soaked?

This one clam I opened was completely full of sand and grit,  I took it back to the store and got another, but I'd like to see if soaking works instead of that. That was the first clam I ever got with that much sandgrit


edit: after so I opened these and these had practically no grit at all. When I was at the store exchanging I asked for the lighter colored clams in thesame bundle,as the one that I opened that had a ton of grit was really dark on the outside shell. Does shell color have any indication of grittiness?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 05:58:26 am by bharminder »

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 06:06:16 am »
Regarding clams, I found one with lots and lots of grit. I did soak it for only 10 minutes.

What is a good protocol for soaking clams? Do I need to add salt, and does the table salt kill them? does soaking them in fresh waters kill them?


How long do they need to be soaked?

This one clam I opened was completely full of sand and grit,  I took it back to the store and got another, but I'd like to see if soaking works instead of that. That was the first clam I ever got with that much sandgrit


edit: after so I opened these and these had practically no grit at all. When I was at the store exchanging I asked for the lighter colored clams in thesame bundle,as the one that I opened that had a ton of grit was really dark on the outside shell. Does shell color have any indication of grittiness?

Clams need to be soaked in salty water so they will spit out the sand, mud and grit.
We usually soak them for at least 2 hours.
They have to be ALIVE to spit.
Make sure the water is saltier than sea water.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2010, 06:13:47 am »
Clams need to be soaked in salty water so they will spit out the sand, mud and grit.
We usually soak them for at least 2 hours.
They have to be ALIVE to spit.
Make sure the water is saltier than sea water.


Is regular table salt good to use to soak the clams in?

Does color of the shell have anything to do with the grittiness? These 2 lighter colored clams had practically no grit, yet the darker one that I got before was so full of grit it just seemed inedible. Should I start selecting the lighter colored clams from now on?

edit: if you use regular table salt, don't the clams soak up some of the salt and then one eats the table salt? I don't like to eat table salt
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 06:23:16 am by bharminder »

Offline MaximilianKohler

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 06:21:56 am »
:o

I bought some clams from the store and just pried them open and ate them. Maybe they were presoaked?

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2010, 06:27:34 am »
I never buy "table" salt.
We always have organic sea salt.
This is how we soak clams.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2010, 06:29:31 am »
GS, do you refrigerate the clams while they are soaking?

Max, That's what I do usually, but today I got 2, and pried it open when I got home...and like
 all this grit came out onto the  knife, and then i opened the clam al the way and like it
was just FULL of grit, I couldn't see -

the clam properly and all this black stuff smeared on my towel that I use to hold
the clam with to prevent cutting myself.


So I took it back and got 2 more and they were gritless, but this time I asked the seafood guy if I could
 pick the clams, and I tried to pick the ones that looked lighter and more bronze in color as the one I opened
 was really dark and black on the outside. Don't know if darker clams are grittier but I plan on asking if I
can pick the clams again next time I go and pick the light colored ones.


Ok thanks GS, you don't mind eating the sea salt either?

edit: Are farmed shellfish good to eat?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 06:45:16 am by bharminder »

Offline fwadmin

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2010, 07:32:19 am »
GS, do you refrigerate the clams while they are soaking?

Ok thanks GS, you don't mind eating the sea salt either?

edit: Are farmed shellfish good to eat?

No, I don't refrigerate because I want the clams to be alive.

The saltiness in the water is just there so the clams can spit out the sand.  I don't mind.

I don't see much wild oysters in the markets.  It wouldn't be practical from a business point of view.  Clams though are mostly wild.

Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2010, 01:27:59 pm »
So does the dogma of wild > farmed not so important with shellfish?

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2010, 02:01:13 pm »
So does the dogma of wild > farmed not so important with shellfish?

Oysters are as wild as it can get even if farmed like oysters.

The "farming" is just a structure where oysters can latch on to and grow.

They aren't fed anything by the humans.

You just wait for them to grow with the nutrition from clean ocean water.

They could be thought of as semi-wild.

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2010, 02:49:39 pm »
Exactly. In Europe clams and oyster are pre-soaked in seawater; they are thus free of sand and can be eaten as you buy them. Only scallops are sometimes full of sand and I clean them with seawater.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2010, 06:52:10 am »
GS, since I buy the clams already refrigerated... I don't know whether to soak them in or out of the fridge.

What if I plan to soak them overnight, will they survive in room temperature?

What kind of temperature do clams live in? I couldn't find much info. on google.

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2010, 07:31:48 am »
I have no idea about buying refrigerated dead clams.

Dead clams are not sold in our wet markets.

And any dead clams before cooking are thrown away.

I don't eat dead clams.

We Filipinos think eating dead clams may be bad for our health.

I only buy live clams.  And they can only spit out their mud if they are alive.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2010, 09:52:57 am »
All of the refrigerated clams are dead? They are still closed shell, and some of the clams sometimes are open and close their shells when tapped on. That means they are alive right?


Can you soak clams for upwards of 12 hours?

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2010, 10:24:04 am »
I guess so.  You need to add some salt to the water you soak them in.

Just enough water level to just cover them.

You should see them spitting water out.

Fun for kids.

I should take a video of spitting clams.
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Offline bharminder

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2010, 10:56:25 am »
Maybe the ones I get are dead. I never see them spit anything out. if i'm soaking them and they're dead that would be pretty funny

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Re: are oysters and other shellfish a clean source of food?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2010, 11:01:24 am »
Maybe the ones I get are dead. I never see them spit anything out. if i'm soaking them and they're dead that would be pretty funny

They will spit if the water is salty enough.

If they are dead it will be easy to open them up with your hands.  You can smell them.  If they stink they've been dead for too long to eat.

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