The word “shellfish” may seem innocent enough, but in reality, shell fish are actually one of the dirtiest types of sea food you can eat. There are two types of shellfish:
- Mollusks-oysters, clams, mussels, abalone, scallops, etc.
- Crustaceans-lobster, crab. Shrimp, langostino, crawfish, etc.
Crustacean means “insect of the ocean.” They are the bottom feeder of the ocean. Mulloscs fllter ocean water for food, and eat anything with nutritious value, even the waste or feces of other fish.
Some religious law prohibits the consumption of shellfish due to its “unclean” status. While it’s commonly believed the foods are banned to test faith, the reality is these foods were likely banned because they were commonly associated with food poisoning or public health issues.
The reason lobsters are cooked “live” is due to the bacterial problem, which occurs immediately upon their death.
Lobsters turn red when boiled due to the chitin they possess. Chitin contains a bright red pigment called “astaxanthin.” Astaxanthin is bonded to several proteins, and when the chitin bonds, it remains brownish-red in color. However, when the protein is heated with boiling water, the bonds break and the astaxanthin is released.
Shrimp is a scavenger that thrives off of eating the flesh of dead creatures.
If you eat shrimp, you should be aware that you might be eating feces as well. The dark-colored tube on the shrimps back is the intestinal tract of the shrimp and it harbors bacteria. If you enjoy eating shrimp, you should remove the intestinal tube by running a small pick down the back of the shrimp until the tube falls out.
Natural Alternatives to Shellfish
Today, you can find mock crabmeat, mock shrimp, and mock tuna. For many people this may be an acquired taste, but there are less health risks when eating mock meat compared to the real thing.
There are a few ingenious mock seafood products available today in some health food stores. There are restaurants that prepare delectable mock seafood as well. These products are usually soy based, so be careful of how much you eat due to potential issues that can arise from overconsumption of soy.
Tuna lovers should experiment with mock tuna meats because many dolphins are being caught in the nets used for catching tuna fish.