Judging by the giant prehistoric expansions of shells of diverse types of shellfish on seashores across the planet, humans have enjoyed these conveniently sluggish animals from the earliest days.
There are so many of them that is virtually impossible to know all of them, but what was definitely true is that they were consumed by people since the dawn of time, as they were really easy to catch, first of all.
This diverse branch of the animal world first appeared half a billion years ago and today includes 100,000 species, which is twice as many as fish and vertebrates.
Maybe for some, this is staggering information but this is true for sure, and maybe our ignorance comes from the fact that we are much more familiar with fish than with seafood, including seashells.
We eat them more often.
This is perhaps information that not many of us have known, but it is very likely that at one point in your life, you have tried them, and this was probably while you were on vacation in you do not live by the sea.
But one more thing should be said here – you should also know that there are many health benefits from eating fish in general and also seafood.
It is said that this type of seafood has a lot of benefits and that it should be on our menus from time to time.
Of course, you should always opt for some fresh ones that have not been frozen, and that will maintain all of their benefits.
But can all of us eat it, not just for health reasons; but religious reasons also, as some religions do not allow consumption of this food.
Like for example, in the Jewish religion where there are many limitations regarding food, all for the purpose to be healthy, and to have space to be spiritually awakened and clean from the inside as well, in the simplest way.
So, here we will look for the answer is shellfish kosher? Or is it out of their allowed foods?
Is Shellfish Kosher?
If you follow kosher dietary rules and you find yourself in a restaurant and you crave some fish, and you wonder what you can order.
The primary answer that Majorty would be drawn to give is mere that in demand for a fish to be kosher, it has to have fins and scales, not one or the other, but both things.
And if you are thinking of ordering some shellfish you would notice that it does not have neither scales or fins and therefore it cannot be kosher, and it could not be a part of the kosher menu.
And this is just one reason why this is the case, and another is this – all sea creatures that are living at the bottom of the sea should be avoided since they are seen as filthy and not particularly healthy.
Even in the 14th century, one Rabbi described shellfish as poisonous and without fins and scales, and therefore it could never be seen as kosher.
Have in mind that all fish that have scales also have fins, and if you see fish that has scales and not any fins, it could be considered kosher.
But, shellfish simply does not fall under this category, and it is not just one reason but there are many of them that intertwine, but come to the same conclusion that seashells should not be consumed if you follow a kosher diet or belong to the Jewish community.
Some say that its legs are seen as fins, and can then shellfish be seen as kosher?
The problem then arises from the fact that this fish is toxic – and Torah will never allow people to eat it.
The principles of kashrut are precise – stopping and protecting people from taking anything that could harm them.
And, that Rabbi has even said that even when we neglect all that we have said prior, shellfish cannot be seen as fish as it is more creature of the sea.
It does not look like fish at all, and it cannot be one, therefore it should not be consumed.
And when it comes to these creatures they must have both, fins and scales to be kosher, and there cannot be any presumption.
Therefore, shellfish is not kosher.
But there are also those who are still claiming that there is no reason why you cannot eat shellfish as there is no difference between creatures of the sea and fish. And whatever creature from the sea has scales most certainly has fins.
It maybe does not have them at the current moment but it may have it once, and this is what makes it kosher.
Also, a matter regarding the fact whether these creatures are toxic does not stand, according to them, does not standing its place, as there are also many potential kosher plants that are toxic.
Are there any exceptions?
Some Rabbis say that shellfish is not a creature at all, and it does not live in the sea, as we think.
In fact, it lives by the water and from time to time it falls into it, just like in the case of a frog for example.
If this is the case, and we accept this as true, then we can say that this is not fish, and it is not the creature of the sea, but it is the creature who lives on the ground and there are specific rules that should be applied there.
So they cannot be kosher, in the opinion of many as shellfish does not have any fins and scales as the primary condition for something to be kosher (from the sea, as fish).
If you eat them you would break the rule that you should not ever eat swarming creatures that live in the water.
Then this would be something that will completely oppose to rules which are given in Torah.
More about Shellfish
So, if you belong to those who are able to consume this type of food, and you truly enjoy this low-calorie delicacy prepared in the most simple way, like whit high-quality olive oil and a bit of parsley and garlic, maybe with a side of pasta or rice, you can e certain that you are taking inside of your body something that is beneficial.
So, what does this seafood have that is good for our health?
In addition to being a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, shellfish have many health advantages and are not a marine gem without any reason, but thanks to good reason.
It has a great effect on the libido and the heart, among many other things that were proven through various studies.
It is a low-calorie food and when eaten in the right, simple way it can truly be a friend of your body.
Of course, as we have said, you must always consume it fresh, and always avoid packaged kinds which can have more toxic traits than good.
Judging by the massive deposits of seashells on seashores all over the planet, it can be concluded that humans have been consuming them since the earliest days, as we have said.
One legend says that this wonderful delicacy was used by the Casanova himself to make sure his loving powers were very strong.
One interesting piece of information is this – ancient Romans used it to treat infertility.
Seashells appeared as one of the most diverse branches of the animal realm first appeared half a billion years, which is staggering data by itself.
Nowadays it includes 100,000 species, which is twice as many as fish kinds, but people more often consume fish.
The fact s that the majority of people are consuming seashells occasionally, they are a food that most people consume on special occasions.
It is because you cannot find them so easily seashells and in the same way, they can be a bit pricey so people rather opt for fish that they are familiar with.
In the nutritional sense, they are a valuable source of many micronutrients, and at the same time they are low in calories; on average, they contain only 40 to 80 kcal in 100 g of the edible part of the shell.
So, if you get the chance to consume, if there is not any health or other reason not to consume them, you should definitely do it.
Here, we have come to the conclusion that shellfish do not have two main things so they can be kosher fish – they do not have any fins and scales and this is not the only reason why they are not kosher.
They are seen as bottom residents, and therefore they are seen as very unhealthy food.
But, regardless some different options in opinions were born – that they were just like fish, and that they have scales they could be kosher.
If they are different from fish, as they are, even if they have scales, they could not be seen as kosher.
And if they are seen as creatures of the sea, as there is a lot of debate – what kosher rule applies to them?
No one knows for sure, but the majority agrees that they cannot be consumed because they do not have scales and find; they are not fish but belong to the lowest parts of the water, and they can be seen as dirty.
And, for some, it is sufficient to know that by the Jewish tradition, seafood in general and this also includes shellfish is not permitted.
So, we know that all crustaceans are not kosher, and the main reason is that they do not have scales and fins, for example, the case with lobsters and crabs.
Now, in this group, we add whales and dolphins that are also not seen as kosher.
In this article, we have spoken of one branch of Rabbis who said that all of this just could not be applied to seashells as in fact, they do not live in the sea, but more on the shores and that they are not comparable to some other creatures in the sea.