Seafood Buying Guide

Considering 70 percent of our planet Earth is made up of water, it isn’t surprising that seafood is by far the most consumed food in terms of proportion. With approximately 32,000 fish species and a number of sea plants that can be eaten, seafood is loved by various cultures and ethnic groups across the world. People living in coastal regions in particular look forward to their daily dose of seafood above everything else. Seawater animals like shellfish and fish are consumed extensively in the Asian regions and North America. An integral part of the diets of many coastal areas, seafood is rich in protein and in some cases is the prime source of animal protein. In terms of per capita consumption, the Portugal, Japan, Iceland, Australia and Norway are the largest consumers of seafood.

Types:

Fish:

The most important species of food fish that can be eaten are
  • Anchovy,
  • Tuna,
  • Trout,
  • Carp,
  • Snapper,
  • Tilapia,
  • Catfish,
  • Scad,
  • Cod,
  • Haddock,
  • Salmon,
  • Herring,
  • Sardine,
  • Eel and
  • Mackerel.
A high source of protein, fish as a food completes many biological functions essential for the human body particularly the brain. Though it is also one of the most common allergens among various foods, fish like mackerel and herring supply important oils to the body while others like cod and haddock also dubbed as whitefish are low on calories and fat. For those looking at making their teeth and bones strong, fish like sardines, mackerel, fresh tuna, trout and salmon which also help in protecting the heart from coronary heart diseases can be consumed.

Shell fish:

A range of species from among crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms are typically categorized as shell fish. This variety of sea food is generally harvested from salt water, though there are certain species which are available only in fresh water. The most commonly consumed shell fish are
  • shrimp,
  • lobster,
  • crabs,
  • prawn,
  • clams,
  • oysters,
  • mussels,
  • scallops and
  • winkles.
In some regions river mussels and crayfish are also classified as shell fish while in certain coastal areas people enjoy sea urchins and the roe of shell fish is also a delicacy. Shell fish have been consumed as early as thousands of years ago. In coastal areas like other seafood, shell fish is considered to be an important source of protein. The Japanese cuisine in particular uses shell fish extensively in both raw and cooked forms. The most common dishes eaten here are sushi and sashimi. Regions in the United States consume lobsters in large proportions. The consumption of raw oyster bars is also followed popularly in many coastal areas. Dieticians generally encourage consumption of shell fish due to their high nutritional value. Shell fish can be enjoyed raw, boiled or cooked with herbs and spices. This kind of fish food is also a common allergen.

Sea plants:

In many regions along the coast particular in the continent of Asia, individuals eat sea plants called as seaweed. This variety of sea food is believed to be of medicinal value too besides being edible and satiating the palette. Japan, the Republic of Korea and China are regions where seaweed is a very common delicacy. Coasts where the climate is tropical like Malaysia and Indonesia also include fresh seaweeds in their diet. Exotic seaweed used in various cuisines comprise of Nori which is employed as a wrapping in sushi, green laver which is drawn into sheets and dried, Kombu that consists of dried seaweed from the blend of the Laminaria species and Hiziki. Eating sea plants apparently helps the body to not only improve health but also detoxify it and enhance the overall immunity. These nutritious plants are further believed to be among the most powerful vegetables since ages.

Cultivation:

Wild seafood is harvested so that it can be consumed and the process is called fishing. Seafood suppliers additionally cultivate edible fish by techniques like aquaculture, fish farming and mariculture.

Nutritional value of seafood:

Many researches and studies in the past point towards health benefits associated with seafood consumption. Enhancing the functioning of the brain, sea food is also very good for the heart. Staying heart healthy is linked with eating a good amount of fish with some investigations even stating that a portion of fish per week lowers the risk of suffering from a heart attack to nearly half. The benefits provided by fish to the heart are mainly due to fish including Omega-3 and saturated fat with the former including integrated anti-oxidants. Fish oil consumption is also good for the heart. Seafood is linked with improved brain functionality too and adding it to the diet of children suffering from DHA in particular has shown many benefits in the past. Older adults consuming fish apparently also reduce their chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Seafood is reportedly also high in minerals like iodine and selenium along with zinc and Vitamin A. It may thus help regulate growth and metabolism in the body. Healthy skin, hair and joints is what individuals consuming a healthy proportion of seafood can anticipate. Sea plants are rich in minerals like potassium, iron and iodine with a very high level of digestible proteins. Vitamins, amino acids and minerals are found in massive proportions too.

Storage:

Being a highly perishable food, seafood especially when transported needs to be stored with utmost care. When shipped to international markets, live fish are kept in expensive tanks. Many restaurants and eateries keep live fish in aquariums. Preservation of fish needs them to be kept in rather cool environments as they are highly prone to decay and rotting. Eating fish immediately after it has been killed is best. Those who wish to preserve the fish for longer duration can use techniques like salting and drying. Certain fish like cod are preserved by a method called desiccation which involves the complete drying of the fish. Other fish like mackerel and herring are dried partially and then salted. Many fish are also preserved by cooking and then canning. Canned fishes are very popular.

Related Appliances:

  • Clam Steamer
  • Lobster Cracker
  • Fish Fryer
  • Fish Fry Basket
  • Fish Griller
  • Fish Pressure Cooker

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