Any form of life found in the sea considered as food by human falls under the seafood category. Prominently, seafood includes shellfish and fish. Shellfish include different species of crustaceans, echinoderms and mollusks. In the past, sea mammals like dolphins and whales were consumed by humans as their food, while that occurs to a lesser extent today. Know more facts about seafood through the following.
History of Seafood
The harvesting, handling out, and consumption of seafood are primeval practices, dating back at least to the opening of the Paleolithic period around several thousand years ago. Fishing scenes have rarely been represented in the culture of the ancient Greek. This is a reflection of a low fishing social status.
Fish consumption varied based on the location and wealth of the household. Within the Greek coasts and islands, seafood (like shellfish, squid, and octopus) and fresh fish were popular. They were consumed locally but transported inland more often. Anchovies and sardines used to be standard fare for Athens citizens. Sometimes, they were sold fresh, yet more often salted.
During the medieval times, seafood used to be less prominent than meats from animals, and usually, they are seen merely as an option to meat during fast days. Seafood was still the basis of several coastal populations. Even though massive numbers of fish were consumed fresh, a huge faction was dried, salted, and to some extent, smoked. An extensive variety of mollusks including scallops, oysters and mussels were consumed by river-dwelling and coastal populations, while crayfish from freshwater were viewed as an attractive alternative to meats in fish days. As compared to meat of other animals, fish used to be much more costly for local populations, particularly in Central Europe, making it a less option for many.
Modern knowledge about the aquatic species’ reproductive cycles has resulted to the hatcheries’ development and advanced methods of aquaculture and fish farming. In depth understanding about the dangers of consuming uncooked and raw shellfish and fish enabled improved processing and preservation methods.
Fish is known to be a highly perishable good. The dead fish’s fishy smell is because of the breakdown of amino acids into ammonia and biogenic amines. While highly perishable, fresh fish should be promptly eaten or discarded, as it can only be maintained for a short time period. In several countries, fresh fishes are filleted, while some are being displayed for sale on the tray of crushed ice. Most commonly, fresh fish is found adjacent to bodies of water. However, the advancement of truck transportation and refrigerated train has allowed fresh fish to become more extensively available inland.
Long term fish preservation is done in a number of ways. The very firsts and still most commonly used methods include salting and drying. Complete drying and desiccation is normally used for fish preservation like cod. Partial salting and drying is common for preserving fish such as mackerel and herring. Fishes like tuna, herring, and salmon are canned and cooked. Most fishes are filleted before undergoing the canning process. On the other hand, some smaller fish, such as sardines, are merely gutted and decapitated before their canning.
Seafood has been consumed in all places around the globe. It offers the primary source of high quality protein to the world. Around 14 to 16 percent of animal protein consumed worldwide comes from seafood, while more than a billion of population worldwide depends on seafood being their primary animal protein source. Fish is considered as one of the most well known food allergens.
Portugal, Iceland, and Japan are the known as the greatest seafood consumers per capita worldwide. According to the Food Standards Agency of UK, it is suggested that at least two seafood categories must be consumed every week, one must be rich in oil content. There are more than a hundred different kinds of seafood you can find around the UK coast.
Oil-rich fish like herring or mackerel are rich in long-chain Omega-3 oils. Such oils are extracted in each human body’s cell, and are needed for human biological purposes like brain functionality.
Whitefish like cod and haddock have low fat and calorie content that once mixed with oily fish, containing high Omega-3 content, such as sardines, salmon, trout, fresh tuna and mackerel, may help in protecting against coronary heart disease. Along with this, this will also help in developing strong teeth and bones. Particularly, shellfish contain high amount of zinc, which is truly vital for healthy muscles and skin and even fertility.
Health Benefits of Seafood
Over the past the few years, research has shown that the minerals and nutrients contained in seafood could create improvements within brain development as well as reproduction. It has also given emphasis to the roles of seafood in the human body functions.
Medical professionals have recognized of firm links between healthy hearts and fish the moment they observed that fish eating Inuit populations within the Arctic had favorable heart disease levels. A certain study has recommended that complementing at least a single faction of fish each week into your diet could cut your possibilities of experiencing a heart failure to as much as half.
Fish has also been considered to secure the heart since consuming less saturated fat and higher content of Omega-3 could help in alleviating the amount of triglycerides and cholesterol within the blood. They are two types of fats that once excess may boost the possibility of heart disease. Omega-3 fats also contain natural integrated antioxidants, which are determined to prevent the damaging and thickening of artery walls. Regular consumption of fish oils has also been determined to alleviate the chances of arrhythmia. It is the unusual electrical activity within the heart that boosts the possibility of abrupt heart attacks.
Some seafood such as kelp is utilized as food for some plants (fertilizer). In such a way, seafood is used indirectly to produce more food for the consumption of human. Products like spirulina tablets and fish oil have also been obtained from seafood. With the flexibility and possibilities offered by seafood, it is not a surprise how it creates a really progressive industry.