Oysters: A Life or Death Question

Can someone please tell me whether a freshly shucked oyster is likely to be dead when you eat it? Kinda wondering…

I’ll be interested to hear how you can even tell the difference! :slight_smile:

This is the best quick answerI could find for right now.
But I can’t verify the accuracy of said answer, so it seems anecdotal, but the reasoning seems to make sense for both answers.

Summary: if it’s from a restaurant- most likely yes if it was ever frozen. If it’s fresh from the sea, and you are eating it right then and there (shucking it), then it most likely is dying as it goes down and hits your stomach.

I was afraid you’d say that. Can’t think of anything else we’d eat alive (not to say ‘and kicking’). But then, maybe that’s just me…

The shells are held closed by muscular contraction. If the shells are not tightly closed, it’s dead.

And, then, you might not want to eat it…just saying…

So, don’t eat it.

Well, you must not watch much TV. People eat live stuff quite often on reality shows and nature/survival shows.

Oysters strike me as being just a bit above plants when it comes to awareness of being eaten alive.

That said, you won’t catch me eating raw oysters. Blech! Phlegm! I don’t care if they’re alive or not, I just don’t like slime.

Nothing that looks like it came out of a race horse’s nose is going down my throat.

The place I go for raw oysters has them on shaved ice and it is difficult for to get them open. They are very yummy.

I’ve been told you can kill them by drowning them in the shell with beer before you scoop them out.

Squirt of lemon juice and some tabasco should finish the little blighters off.
Hmmmm, oysters.

I’d say very fresh veggies are about as alive as a shucked oyster.

Surely you mean you should drown yourself in beer before you scoop one out, they are the phlegm of the sea.

I was troubled by this at one time because I love oysters and figured out that they must still be alive when served freshly shucked on the half shell. I was also concerned that if they were so sensitive that a grain of sand could cause them to form pearls for protection that they must feel pain. So I did a little research and discovered that they have no brain as could be defined as such. Plus they don’t react at all when you squeeze lemon juice on them or stick them with a fork. So I happily resumed eating them free from guilt.

We recently had some oysters at home. We shucked them ourselves, and they were so fresh it was almost like they were “fighting back”. They clamped their shells harder as we shucked them. Yum.

I’ll take a dozen phlegms on the half-shell with some “peel & eat” grubworms of the sea and a couple of pounds of giant sea-spider legs with drawn butter, please.

And a side of hush puppies.

“A loaf of bread,” the walrus said,
“Is chiefly what we need…”


Ohhhhhkaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, never thought of that before. So much for my love of fresh, raw oysters!

oysters! Oysters! OYSTERS! I love 'em, fresh, raw, iced, diced, fried, in stew, in stuffing, you name it …

Slight hijack: are CLAMS ever eaten raw? :confused:

I’ve only had clams fried, or in chowder.