Did you know that shellfish farming is good for the environment?

Follow the link below to the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association website to read about the benefits of shellfish farming to the environment: http://www.ecsga.org/Pages/Sustainability/CultureBenefits.htm

Farmed shellfish filter excess algae, create habitat and remove excess nitrogen from our estuaries.


How do you get them in their shells?

Shellfish produce their own shells just as we grow our own bones. The process starts once the eggs are fertilized. When the are 24 hours old they have both of their shells.


Why are the shells green? Red?

The color of the shell has a lot to do with the minerals and algae in the water. Red shell are from areas with lots of iron in the water. Green shells can be from copper or from algae growing on the shell.


How much do they filter?

A mature oyster can filter up to 25 gallons of water per day through their gills.


Are they safe to eat all year?

Shellfish are safe to eat year round. The water is tested for harmful bacteria by the State entity that is responsible for the sanitary control of shellfish. If the area is not suitable for shellfish harvest, it is closed for shellfish harvest. Shellfish farmers have a vested interest in making sure their product is safe for human consumption.  For additional information click here.


How do I handle my shellfish once I purchase them?

Refrigerate, refrigerate, refrigerate – especially in the summer. If you plan on purchasing shellfish or any other kind of meat at a farmer’s market, bring a cooler with an adequate amount of ice or cold packs to keep it fresh and wholesome. Do not cross contaminate shellfish with other meat and food products.



How should I eat it?

Many enjoy oysters raw with nothing else, while others enjoy them with a bit of lemon juice or cocktail sauce.  So set out a plate with a few wedges of lemon and a small bowl of cocktail sauce and you have just created the world’s easiest (and most delicious) appetizer for your next party.



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