Spotlight on 5 Sustainable U.S. Shellfish Farms that are Getting It Right
What's not to love about healthy and succulent farmed mussels, clams and oysters?
Healthy Shellfish Recipes
Grilled Mussels with Salsa Verde
Italian Mussels & Pasta
Miso Soup with Clams & Spinach
Oysters on the Half Shell with Hog Wash
Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Sauce
Red Curry Clams
Spicy Barbecued Oysters
Spicy Thai Barbecued Oysters
Easy Shellfish Dinners for Two
Healthy Seafood Recipes and Cooking Tips
Today, most of the oysters, clams and mussels in North America are farmed, and that's a good thing. These farms take the pressure off wild populations. Salmon farms have given aquaculture a bad name, but that's because of the tons of feed dumped into their pens, which contribute to nutrient pollution and algae blooms. Bivalves (the shellfish category that includes oysters, clams and mussels), on the other hand, get all their food by straining algae out of the water, which keeps bays clean, clear and more productive for other life.
Unlike terrestrial farms, bivalve farms need no feed, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no irrigation. "Never in human history has our need to minimize our impact on ocean resources been higher, and shellfish farms are a fantastic means to do this," says Brian Kingzett of the Centre for Shellfish Research in British Columbia, who is working with the Food Alliance to certify shellfish farms for sustainability. "They produce heart-healthy seafood in a way that has a minimal and often positive impact on ocean resources."