We should all appreciate oysters.
Whether you love them raw, fried, or on the half shell, oysters can provide you with a host of health benefits, among them, high levels of heart- and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and enough zinc (the aphrodisiac mineral) to keep your mojo flowing all night.
- Oysters are good for your garden.
Oyster shells are high in calcium, which benefits your garden soil. Calcium not only balances the soil’s pH, it’s also a vital nutrient that strengthens cell walls, leading to stronger, healthier plants. You can buy ground oyster shell lime from garden stores, or you can just crush the shells left over from your next oyster bake and add them to your compost pile.
- Saving oysters could save your house—or at least your dinner.
One of the many environmental benefits of wild oyster reefs is increased protection against soil erosion. Reefs stabilize ocean shorelines, making them less susceptible to damage by hurricanes and strong storms. Being filter feeders, wild oysters also remove bacteria, sediments, and even oil spills from waterways, making oyster reefs cleaner habitats for shrimp, clams, snails, and crabs, and the improved water quality encourages sea grass growth, which creates better habitats for fish.
Farmed oysters are a better choice than wild.
Unlike some fish-farming operations, which can allow non-native species to escape into surrounding ecosystems and spread disease, oyster farms can actually improve the quality of oceans and bays. That’s because the oysters in offshore farms will feed on particulate matter and nutrients that might otherwise pollute waterways. So favour farmed oysters when shopping; you’ll also avoid depleting wild populations at risk from by those invasive crabs and snails.