Saturday, 7 May 2011

interesting oyster facts

Did You Know....
The high iron, copper and zinc content of oysters make these morsels instrumental in the prevention and treatment of anemia, and, because of their iodine content, they have been credited with preventing goiter. Even their shells are considered therapeutic - used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve hypertension, heart palpitations, insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision, cold sweats and swollen lymph glands.

Oysters not only provide an early warning of contaminated waters along our shores, but studies now show that the mighty mollusk also plays an important role in combating global warming. In much the same way as trees convert carbon into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, so to do oysters absorb carbon from the sea by secreting calcium carbonate to form its shell. Save our planet - plant a tree -seed an oyster!

The Roman emperor Vitellius was said to have eaten a thousand oysters at a single setting - no orgy was complete without them.

King Henry IV's quota was a paltry four hundred oysters - before dinner!

America's first cookbook contained a recipe for oyster ragout. In 1859, residents of New York City spent more money on oysters than on butcher's meat.

Tabasco sauce - particularly well suited for oysters - was developed in 1868, long before the Mexican state of Tabasco existed.

Thousands of slaves were employed on the shores of the English Channel, gathering oysters for Roman tables. So prized were they that the Romans paid for them by their weight in gold.

In ancient Rome powdered cuttlefish bones and oyster shells were used to cure wounds and ulcers.

The body of the (blue) mussel was placed on the navel of a newborn baby after the umbilical cord had been cut and tied. It was felt that this assisted with the healing of the navel.

Moon snails - The body of the blue top shell, wewek'ali, was pulverized and applied to a boil as a poultice.

In Wales it was believed that pale young women would improve if they were fed oysters.

Oyster rafts produce a vertical community teeming with life, much the same as do tropical reefs.

The Chinese believed that oysters cured freckles.

Do not eat oysters during the months without an "R" in them - fact or fiction? In 1715 American colonists were becoming alarmed by the fact that oysters were being over-harvested, and passed the first oyster law making it illegal for anyone to gather oysters during their spawning season from May to September.

History's greatest lover, Casanova, credited the oyster with enhancing his legendary prowess in the boudoir.

The environmental conditions that make good oysters are those we should strive for. Oyster health is an indication of how well we are looking after the water.

Aside from its ambrosial taste and aphrodisiacal qualities, oysters add years to your life. Raw or cooked, oysters are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and easier to digest than red meat. Oysters are superb sources of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin A, the antioxidant believed to help prevent cancer and guard against bacterial infection. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, believed instrumental in the development and function of the brain, retina of the eye, and sperm.

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