- Posted February 15, 2013 by
Our geography lessons say that 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. From the deepest oceans, to rivers, lakes, streams, these water sources are teeming with marine life that has been used by humans for their consumption.
Seafood, particularly those gathered from the deep sea, like meat are significantly high in protein as such provide much nutrition especially for coastal populations. Most are high in omega fatty acids and low in saturated fat. Health advocates encourage consumption due to this food group’s high nutrient and mineral content that have been linked to improvements in brain function and heart health.
There are thousands of species of sea life that are consumed by humans as food. Aside from fish, shellfish is the widely accepted culinary classification which can be further distinguished by the water source they come from (salt of freshwater) or their zoological group. Delectable recipes are featured using molluscs (clams, mussels and oysters), crustaceans (shrimp, crabs and lobster). More unusual seafood include sea urchins, sea cucumber, sting ray and octopus which some consider as exotic.
Chefs and restaurateurs create e a dedicated menu selection which can get pricey at times the further away from the marine source the restaurant is. It isn’t rare to find seafood dishes which are “market price” which means the cost varies according to how much it was bought that day. When in a coastal town, it is recommended to try out the local seafood dishes which you’ll be surprised to find very simple but deliciously fresh.
When preparing seafood, care must be taken not to overcook them because a lot tend to become tough – like squid and shrimps. A good test for some shellfish is the color change – a bright orange or pink indicated doneness. Go easy on the salt as some are already naturally on the salty side.
The amount of food gathered of harvested from the sea has drastically increased due to world population and with issues like overfishing, global warming, water pollution and rising mercury levels, it is probably time that mankind takes a more conscious effort in conserving marine life for future generations. Socially responsible establishments have taken steps to not use endangered species like turtles and sharks, prized in Chinese cuisine.
Some food for thought… Is seaweed and marine algae considered seafood? Culinary experts classify the former as any form of edible sea life so the answer is a delicious positive! Seaweed can be used for a variety of dishes as a main ingredient or as an accompaniment while micro-algae like spirulina is widely regarded as a highly nutritious super food.