We live in an age when worldwide food supplies are limited, and there is incredible food waste in America. However, one food source God has given us is present in all of the world’s oceans. It is the five species of oysters harvested in the United States and many places worldwide. The nutritional value of oysters and their availability makes them an important food source.
Oysters are a keystone species that filter and clean sea water by consuming microorganisms. The average female oyster will produce up to 100,000,000 eggs a year. However, humans’ indiscriminate harvesting of wild oysters has reduced oyster populations in the U.S.A. to only 1% of what they were in the 1800s. In addition to the wild oyster population, these mollusks can be grown in artificial environments anywhere. Artificial tanks can use the runoff from forests, wetlands, and marshes to feed the oysters.
The nutritional value of oysters is well known. According to WebMD, six medium-sized oysters would produce 50 calories, 1 gram of fat, 21 mg of cholesterol, 150 mg of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein. For an American on a 2000-calorie diet, this serving would provide 28% of the daily iron needs, 4% of the vitamin C, and 3% of the calcium. Oysters are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, essential for brain health. They are also rich in vitamin D, copper, zinc, and manganese, all micronutrients that may help to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
Our food shortages are not because God hasn’t provided what we need. Current problems of land use, waste disposal, and nutritional deficiencies would be over if humans decided they have had enough war, greed, selfishness, pride, and arrogance. If we would start wisely using what God has given us and applying what we know, we could end hunger and malnutrition on the planet.
— John N. Clayton © 2023
References: USA Today for April 23, 2023, page 5PE and WebMD.com.