So here it goes… Salt Water Farms’ Oysters and Mussels are Free Range, Non GMO, organic, native, all natural, Wild Caught, Farm Raised, Gluten Free, Omega 3, Superfood, Sustainable, Fair Trade, and taste damn good! Bear with me and I’ll explain my certification process.
Free Range: Our shellfish farm is currently the largest in our small state, and yes our oysters are grown in trays at our farm site, but otherwise they would drift away with the tide. What makes our oysters free range is the available water they have to graze upon and the low densities throughout the entire farm. This allows for accelerated growth of many organisms, so our job is to make sure our oyster trays are free of bio fouling, and round the shells up when it’s time to harvest.
Non GMO: Our oyster seed are hatched by Fishers Island Oyster Farm and come from a brood-stock that Steve Malinowski has carefully selected over the 30 years he has been growing oysters on this secluded island off the northern tip of Long Island, NY. Our mussel seed is wild caught spat whose genetics have been in Narragansett Bay since before it was known as Narragansett Bay.
Organic: There are no chemical fertilizers used in our farming techniques from seeding to shipping. No antibiotics, no growth hormones, no pesticides, no herbicides….. Pretty much two ingredients; oysters, and seawater, then we use seawater pressure washers to clear fouling (or weeds) and that’s that, organic by my book.
Native or Local: We are growing naturally occurring species in their natural environment therefore they are native. Both of these words are relative to where you are, but these mollusks are sure as hell local to me and anybody else in the north east.
Wild Caught and Farm Raised: The mussels we grow are collected annually from spat collecting lines set out on our oyster farm, therefore they are wild caught. Our mussel farming is more like a ranching style of the old west, minus the tumbleweeds and cowboys. We do however catch the wild ones, tame and brand them, corral them into our other farm location, and raise them to market size.
Gluten Free: Shellfish are a lean clean protein. No wheat, no gluten, no worries!
Omega 3 Superfood: This is one of my favorite claims to make because it’s really the greatest part about shellfish. They are an amazing protein source for the relative calories; contain the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids that help with all ailments and all the trace minerals that you can’t even find a pill for: phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, B12, B6. So next time you are searching for a food with a little more substance, skip the health food store and go to the oyster bar.
Sustainable: A lot can be said about this one. In fact, the last article I wrote was all about it. Shellfish farming has a bright future and is sustainable sustainable sustainable!
Fair Trade: As a farmer of Quonset Point Oysters, Beaver Tails Oysters, Umami Oysters, Newport Cup Oysters, and Blue Gold Mussels I can assure you that we are not taken advantage of or enslaved by a multinational corporation to a life of endless toil.
The taste test you will have to perform for yourself!