Eating live seafood

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Girl eating oysters, circa 1658 by Jan Steen

The practice of eating live seafood, such as fish, crab, oysters, young shrimp, or young octopus, is widespread.

Live seafood dishes[edit]

Location Name Image Description Video
China Drunken shrimp Drunken shrimp alive.jpg Drunken shrimp is a popular dish in parts of China. It is based on fresh-water shrimp that are placed in a strong liquor, baijiu, and then eaten, often while they are alive. Modified recipes are used in different parts of China. For example, the drunken shrimp can be cooked in boiling water instead of serving them while they are still live. In other recipes, the shrimp are boiled first and then marinated in alcohol.[1] Drunken Shrimp on YouTube
Yin Yang fish Yin Yang fish, or dead-and-alive fish, originated in Taiwan, and consists of a whole live fish which has had some of its flesh deep-fried in such a way that the fish remains alive after the frying process. Some chefs say they prepare the fish this way to demonstrate it freshness to the customer.[2][3][4][5] Preparation of this dish is now prohibited in Taiwan and illegal in Australia and Germany. However, the practice continues in mainland China. Eating A Deep Fried Fish That's Still AliveHuffington Post
Japan Ikizukuri Ikizukuri.jpg Ikizukuri, lit. "prepared alive", is the preparation of sashimi made from live seafood. Fish is usually used, but sometimes octopus, shrimp and lobster are used instead.[6] The practice is controversial, and ikizukuri is outlawed in Australia and Germany.[7] Live Sushi on YouTube
Odori ebi Pandborealisind.jpg Odori ebi, lit. "dancing shrimp", is a sashimi delicacy in Japan. It includes live baby pink shrimp, usually dunked in sake, wriggling their legs and waving their antenna as they are eaten. The meal is prepared rapidly and quickly served to ensure the shrimp are still alive. Dancing shrimp are also eaten in Thailand, where they are known as Goong Ten, กุ้งเต้น. Eating live "dancing shrimp" in Thailand on YouTube
Korea Sannakji Korean.cuisine-Sannakji.hoe-01.jpg Sannakji is a type of hoe, or raw dish, in Korea. It consists of live baby octopuses (nakji), either whole, or cut into small pieces and immediately served, usually with a light sesame oil seasoning. The dish is eaten while still squirming on the plate.[8] Eating Live Octopus in Korea – Sannakji on YouTube
Widespread Live oyster Eating an oyster.jpg Oysters are often eaten live.[9]
Live lobster Lobster 05.jpg Restaurants in New York City serve live lobster, advertising that they allow customers the opportunity to “pick belly sashimi out of its still moving body”.[10] I eat a live lobster in Japan on YouTube

Ethical viewpoints[edit]

London resident Louis Cole runs a YouTube channel in which he eats live seafood.[11][12] The Guardian commented on the ethical issues raised by the behaviour of Cole that: "It seems objectively less cruel to kill a scorpion instantly than to rear chickens in battery cages or pigs in the most miserable pork farms.[11]

The view that oysters are acceptable to eat, even by strict ethical criteria, has notably been propounded in the seminal 1975 text Animal Liberation, by philosopher Peter Singer. However, subsequent editions have reversed this position (advocating against eating oysters). Singer has stated that he has "gone back and forth on this over the years", and as of 2010 states that "while you could give them the benefit of the doubt, you could also say that unless some new evidence of a capacity for pain emerges, the doubt is so slight that there is no good reason for avoiding eating sustainably produced oysters".[13]

Health issues[edit]

In India, the government provides support for an annual fish medicine festival in Hyderabad, where asthma patients are given a live sardine to eat which is supposed to cure their asthma.[14]

Infection by the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum is seen in countries where people eat raw or undercooked fish, such as some countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, and North and South America.[15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]