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  • (instrumental music)

  • - [Narrator] Most people think it's a food safety issue.

  • You keep the oyster alive as long as possible

  • and that reduces the risk of bacterial contamination,

  • and there is a little bit of truth to that.

  • Oysters can carry a scary flesh-eating bacteria called

  • Vibrio vulnificus.

  • You can get it from oysters

  • or from swimming with an open wound in brackish water

  • where the bacteria lives.

  • But, let's put things in prospective.

  • - The risk of running into a bad oyster is phenomenally low.

  • My biggest pet peeve is people like,

  • go crazy over one bad oyster in the news,

  • but they don't really care that hundreds of thousands

  • of pounds of lettuce are contaminated with Salmonella.

  • - [Narrator] About 100 people die

  • from Vibrio infections each year.

  • About 450 die from Salmonella.

  • Plus, the FDA requires that oyster farm have to test

  • water quality before sending oysters

  • out to markets and restaurants,

  • and that's important because oysters are filter feeders,

  • they soak basically anything that's in the water around them

  • including fecal matter which can come from rain runoff.

  • Yak, but there's a clever little secret way you can check

  • how fresh your oysters are.

  • - One thing that you can ask for is a shellfish tag,

  • which every, retailer or restaurant is required to have

  • every bag of oyster that they purchase for up to 90 days,

  • after that purchase. So, that tag, if they don't have it,

  • don't eat those oysters.

  • - [Narrator] This tag is a way for restaurant

  • to track where and when the oysters were farmed.

  • Qiu says that she looks for the most recent dates

  • on the tag, anything further out than two weeks

  • won't taste this good, and increases the risk

  • of a bad oyster.

  • Some chefs may look at you funny

  • for asking for this documentation,

  • but it's a strategy that apparently works.

  • - I tried to do the math and I probably had

  • over six or seven thousand oysters by now in my lifetime

  • and I've never gotten sick once from an oyster.

  • - [Narrator] Basically, oysters are safe.

  • So, question, why on earth are they still sometimes alive

  • or dying when we're eating them?

  • - You really want you're raw shellfish to be

  • absolutely fresh and, you know, the freshest you can get

  • is something that is just very recently killed.

  • So, it goes back to not only the food safety

  • but the actual taste and the texture of that oyster

  • to me just far superior.

  • - [Narrator] So, basically freshly killed oysters

  • taste better, and it's hard to tell exactly

  • when an oyster dies, because before it's served it's shocked

  • and shocking is, how should I put this,

  • shocking is not a gentle process.

  • Shocking involves separating the oyster abductor muscle

  • form its shell, this muscle gives the oyster control over opening and closing the shell,

  • similar to how your spinal cord helps you move.

  • So, severing their abductor muscle is almost like,

  • severing you spine. Yikes!

  • Most restaurants in the US keep their oysters alive on ice

  • up until the shocking process, which either kills the oyster

  • or renders it completely immobile.

  • Since they don't move around much in the first place

  • it's kind of hard to tell which.

  • So it's easy to feel guilty sitting there, eating an oyster

  • that was either just killed or is maybe dying.

  • But consider the oyster biology.

  • It's very primitive, so it's possible

  • they might not even feel pain at all.

  • - [Julie Qiu] They don't have a brain,

  • they're not really processing pain in the same way

  • that we process, any kind of feeling,

  • so, I don't believe that they are feeling pain

  • in the same way that we are thinking of it.

  • - [Narrator] So, really it's a up to you,

  • if you don't wanna eat oyster, that's fine,

  • and if you do you won't be the first.

  • - It's one of the few foods that have not changed in like,

  • thousands and thousands of years.

  • So, being able to appreciate a food that has remained

  • unchanged for that long is something really special

  • and remarkable and I think it should be celebrated

  • for what it is.

  • (instrumental music)

(instrumental music)

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B2 US oyster narrator shocking tag alive shellfish

Why We Eat Oysters Alive

  • 94 9
    羅世康 posted on 2018/12/20
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