Author Topic: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question  (Read 5328 times)

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Offline intrigued

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Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« on: March 09, 2012, 03:42:09 am »
Hey everyone, so I've been reading for a bit around here, and I'm very interested in trying this out.  I'm 25 from Connecticut, and reading all this stuff makes sense to me (I know you won't tell me otherwise but I'm hoping I'm not diving into the shallow end :P)

It seems like the few grassfed/finished options I have in my area are all prefrozen, which I'm hearing isn't ideal, but is a lot better than the other alternative.  I'm hoping to get out to one of these places soon and start small. 

My gf who lives with me is slow to take to stuff like this (our dog and cat are 99% raw fed, but that took a while to get her to agree to, and longer for her to really get used to it), and my plan is to start with a steak tartare recipe.  The dog and cat being raw fed is really where these thoughts started for me, I see them eating it and doing well, and I started questioning why humans wouldn't be able to eat like that too (and it sounds like maybe we can... and should).

Anyway, I was just curious about a random seafood question.  I know grocery stores/supermarkets/whatever you want to call them tend to have mass produced/cheaper/worse for you stuff.  I am not sure how this applies to shellfish like mussels, though.  I see people saying that eat farm raised mussels, but is there any "grading" of that?  For example, for beef you're striving for grass fed/finished and never frozen (and any other number of things like organic and beyond).  If I get live, fresh-seeming mussels from a grocery store, is there anything else that could be problematic?  How else would I look for a "good" source of mussels (or similar)?

Thanks!
Nick

Offline van

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 03:52:03 am »
Nick, often you can speak directly to the manager in the meat/fish department of your store and ask if he/she can give you the name of the farm for you to inquire yourself.  I did this with oysters at my store. 

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 03:56:50 am »


Anyway, I was just curious about a random seafood question.  I know grocery stores/supermarkets/whatever you want to call them tend to have mass produced/cheaper/worse for you stuff.  I am not sure how this applies to shellfish like mussels, though.  I see people saying that eat farm raised mussels, but is there any "grading" of that?  For example, for beef you're striving for grass fed/finished and never frozen (and any other number of things like organic and beyond).  If I get live, fresh-seeming mussels from a grocery store, is there anything else that could be problematic?  How else would I look for a "good" source of mussels (or similar)?

Thanks!
Nick

Generally shellfish like clams/mussels/oysters all eat the same food source, whether they are farmed or wild.  Nutritionally I don't think there's much difference between farmed and raw.

I wouldn't eat raw mussels from the Gulf coast.  Otherwise you should be fine.

Most people don't really enjoy raw mussels, though. You'd be better off with clams or oysters. The mussels have sort of a burning taste when they are raw, in my experience.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 04:19:44 am »
I have tried raw, farmed mussels from various  local fishmongers. They were all much smaller, with thinner shells, and tasted less good. When I bought raw, wildcaught mussels from a fisherman at my local farmers' market(LFM market) in London,  the mussels' shells  were all much thicker and the mussels much bigger, and they tasted way better.
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 11:12:16 am »
I have tried raw, farmed mussels from various  local fishmongers. They were all much smaller, with thinner shells, and tasted less good. When I bought raw, wildcaught mussels from a fisherman at my local farmers' market(LFM market) in London,  the mussels' shells  were all much thicker and the mussels much bigger, and they tasted way better.

Yeah, I wonder about this.  It could be the water they were living in, or the variety of mussel, or even the age. I really don't think there's any automatic nutritional difference between farmed and wild, though...they really ARE eating the same diet.

Offline Wattlebird

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 02:18:50 pm »
Regarding shellfish, I have found that water condition plays a major part in taste. For example, the last few days here we have had very large rainfall. All the creeks and rivers are swollen with water running from the land. Consequently the rivers and sea is tea-coloured from this wash off, which also includes natural tannins from gum trees,  and other land based plants, as well as soil. Oysters and mussels naturally continue to function taking in water and nutrients, but of course these nutrients are far more extreme than during otherwise 'regular' conditions.
These oysters and mussels taste quite  a deal different also.
Sometimes it is not as extreme as this, but nevertheless, fluctuations in tidal activity, moon phases, salinity, algal blooms, currents,etc all influence nutrients used by the shellfish.
And changes in taste can sometimes be noticed even from one day to another.
Add in the pollution possibilites in some busy regions and there are even more factors impacting on taste.

Offline intrigued

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 11:43:02 pm »
Thanks everyone, that's great info and more than answers my questions.  If/when I'm ready to try some of that, I'll shoot for clams or oysters and I'll look for wild caught, but not go crazy if all I can find is farmed.

Until then, I guess I'm still planning on going at this slowly.  It sounds like if I'm not willing to go at it 100% (or close), the best way to approach it is to have 100% raw days, and not to mix and match.  I will hopefully try this soon, but my social conditioning is still strong!

Thanks again for the detailed and quick replies.  Hopefully I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Offline intrigued

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 04:18:16 am »
Well my first hunt for a "local" source was a bust.  There was supposedly an organic farm like 5-10 mins from me that had meat from http://vermontgrassfedbeef.weebly.com/ available, but it turned out all they had was a little bit of ground beef and then some smoked stuff.

I found that place on eatwild, though it didn't explain how much or how little they would have, I was just hoping.  The bright side is that I found their site, and their storefront (http://store.vermontgrassfedbeef.com/index.html).  They have the cheapest prices I've found so far (<$5/lb for chuck roast), though shipping will kill me unless I order a decent bulk.  The only problem is I may need a different source for fats as they have no back fat/suet/marrow listed.  I sent them an email asking about it though, so maybe I'll get lucky.  I also asked if it's possible for them to keep it fresh not frozen.

I searched some other sites, and found a Whole Foods around 20mins away, so I think I'm going to try to grab some to try from there first (if they have 100% grass fed) before I start buying in bulk and over committing.

I also checked a local grocery store and they do have wild caught seafood (oysters and clams - cherrstones and something else, littlenecks maybe?).  I think they had some wild fish too, but that'll be something I wait on a bit.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 10:32:29 am »

I also checked a local grocery store and they do have wild caught seafood (oysters and clams - cherrstones and something else, littlenecks maybe?).  I think they had some wild fish too, but that'll be something I wait on a bit.

I love fresh raw clams.  They really help my fingernails and tonails.

Offline eveheart

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 10:59:05 am »
It took me quite a while to search out great food sources. Whole Foods was a first step, but I never shop there nowadays. Raising and slaughtering livestock has an annual cycle, so you probably got to the leftovers of last year's meat. Don't be afraid to ask questions about seasons and availability.

Back to your original post: I think that raw oysters are a delicacy and raw mussels are a barely-edible cheap alternative, but not a delicacy. When the two are cooked, I much prefer mussels, I think it's a good idea to try a little bit of everything raw and then decide.
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Offline intrigued

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 09:26:25 pm »
So I feed my dogs/cat raw, and just got a new source that is grass fed but grain supplemented for them, and is incredibly low cost.  I've mostly been doing grain fed with them, unfortunately.  Even the supplemented meat just looked like it came off a whole different animal.  I know it's not the best, but I will probably need to keep them on that price-wise (it's not USDA but it's $1.25/lb for chunked beef - absolutely insane).  Long story short, I just had my first raw beef.  It was only a sliver, but I had to try it.  It took me a while but I finally just went for it, and it was pretty delicious.

Right now, I feel like I'm starting to open up some pretty good prospects.  Whole Foods is a possibility, but my first target is now http://www.southsidemeatmarket.com/, which is actually a couple minutes closer to me, and says all their beef is grass fed and then finished off.  The wording was weird to me, so I'm going to confirm it is 100% grass fed before I pick anything up.

Also, vermontgrassfedbeef.com has confirmed that they can have my order fresh/never frozen as long as I get it in by sunday for cutting at the butcher on monday and sending on tuesday.  They also have marrow bones and can get beef suet and pork fat.  Given their prices, I'm thinking this place will be perfect to buy in bulk if I manage to mostly convert over.  I'll let you know!

I'll keep the oysters and clams in mind, though my current projected idea is to possibly slowly convert over to beef and possibly some other land mammals, and once I'm comfortable there to maybe try those and then move on to fish as well.  I do eat sashimi now, but I'm not as comfortable getting some random wild caught from the store, when I know my body isn't in the best shape to protect itself.

Offline intrigued

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Re: Hi all, haven't dove in yet/mussels question
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 08:17:27 pm »
Well that place wasn't actually grassfed, I think whoever answered the email just didn't know what they were talking about.  So that was sad, but then I just went to whole foods instead.  I did my steak tartare (which was just chuck steak cut up into smallish cubes + a couple raw egg yolks + a few seasonings) and it was pretty good.  I think that was Friday or Saturday.  I still had ~1 1/2 lbs beef left so yesterday I decided to do an all raw day.

So here's what I did yesterday...

~9am
handful of blueberries
handful of strawberries
handful of raspberries

~noon
handful of carrots
handful of cucumber
1 avocado

~5pm
3/4lb of beef

I expected from reading previously that I'd probably eat the whole 1 1/2 lbs, but I just didn't want it.  Eating the beef plain and a couple days old was a little rougher.  I liked it about half the time and the other half the time I was feeling a little queasy about it, so I stopped about halfway through.  I didn't really feel hungry anymore either, so I'm not sure how much of my stop was from being full vs a mental block.  I'm also thinking maybe what I ate for breakfast and lunch was maybe a lot?  I'm not sure... let me know what you think.  I was kind of hungry when I got in again at ~10pm, but decided to just call it in and head to bed rather than try to scarf down more beef.  With a new puppy recently, sleep has been somewhat hard to come by.

Not sure if I mentioned this yet, but my gf had talked about doing some sort of weight watchers or whatever pre-set meals thing a while back.  She was wondering if I'd be ok with it since we wouldn't be figuring out dinners together as much.  Might be the perfect opportunity to start trying raw more and more.

 

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