Many people are familiar with the Shakespeare line from Romeo and Juliet:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.

Now I don’t know about most people but once in a while I actually think of that line, partly because I like Shakespeare, partly because I’ve seen it used in stories to illustrate a point and partly because I’m more than just a bit peculiar….

Anyway…  Today I’m exploring by changing that line a bit… that which we call an oyster, By any other name would taste as good… I suppose they would actually, not only that, but if they had a different name I doubt that anybody would care very much except for those who’re invested in some way that depends on the things being called oysters.

For that matter, what if oysters gave something besides pearls?  Would anyone eat them if they were to yield up lumps of coal?  On the other hand if they gave lumps of gold they might well be extinct by now (or locked up in government owned artificial oyster beds buried under a mountain).  Thinking about things like this had me wondering if they were to yield silicon chips would it be possible to engineer a giant oyster that grew laptop computers?  As you might guess, my chain of though rapidly went downhill from there.

This had me looking up oysters online where I followed a link about Gulf oysters.  This is where I discovered not only are there plenty of recipes that use them, but also that there’s actually a lot of value in them food-wise.  For example they’re a source of low calorie protein and are also an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids.  All of which are important parts of our diet.

There is one thing to watch out for though.  It’s called Vibrio vulnificus (NO, I’m NOT going to try to pronounce that!).  You encounter it when you eat raw oysters.  Healthy people don’t have anything to worry about.  However people with Liver Disease, Iron overload disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Stomach Disorders Or any condition that weakens the immune system are considered at risk.

“At Risk” individuals eating raw oysters could result in serious illness or even death from the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.  This means that if you’re in the at risk group, it’s best to make sure that any oysters you eat are fully cooked just to be on the safe side.  You can find out more about this on the “be oyster aware” website where I read this information.

Technorati Tags: at+risk, bacteria, cancer, cooked+oysters, diabetes, illnesss, iron+overload+disease, liver+disease, oysters, raw+oysters, vibrio+vulnificus

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