“Please Leave My Oysters Alone”

As a native Louisianian, I truly love oysters. Now, Cambridge scientists and profiteers are planning to “alter” or fortify shellfish, including oysters, to tackle human nutrient deficiencies which cause severe health problems across the world. The team is now working with major seafood manufacturers to further test their microencapsulation technology, or “Vitamin Bullets”. Here is their pitch: “Over two billion people worldwide are nutrient deficient, leading to a wide range of serious health problems. Fortifying food with micronutrients is already an industry standard for enhancing public health. Scientists have teamed up to supercharge one of the world’s most healthy and sustainable sources of animal protein: bivalve shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels.” They have produced the world’s first microcapsule (“Vitamin Bullets”) specially designed to deliver nutrients to bivalves which are beneficial to human health. When we eat bivalves, we consume the entire organism including its gut, meaning that we digest the nutrients which the animals consumed towards the end of their lives. The scientists tested Vitamin A and D fortified microcapsules on over 100 oysters to identify the optimal dose. The team found that fortified oysters delivered around 100 times more Vitamin A, and over 150 times more Vitamin D, than natural oysters.

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