It’s Thanksgiving, time for – oysters? - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

It’s Thanksgiving, time for – oysters?

From Auburn University

By Jacque Kochak

AUBURN, AL - Oysters are associated with Thanksgiving everywhere, but especially in the South.  

"By 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation fixing the date late in November, many families would no sooner skip the oyster course than the turkey," says Pat Curtis, director of the Auburn University Food Systems Initiative.

The briny morsels probably became associated with the Southern version of the holiday because of proximity to the Gulf, says Cova Arias, who researches oyster safety for the Auburn University Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures.

 "Oysters tend to be at their plumpest, tastiest and safest right around Thanksgiving," Arias said.

The popular folk wisdom is that oysters should be eaten only in months ending with "er," like September, October, November and December. That is because the presence of the pathogen Vibrio vulnificus in Gulf oysters, which causes illness in those with compromised immune systems, spikes during the sultry summer months.

V. vulnificus in raw oysters isn't a problem in late November, Arias says, and of course isn't a problem in any oyster dish that is cooked or made from canned oysters.

Gulf oysters are expensive this year because the Gulf oyster industry has been buffeted by a series of disasters – but that won't stop many consumers for whom oyster stuffing is a cherished staple on the groaning Thanksgiving table.

The number of oysters harvested in Alabama waters has decreased during the last few years because of problems ranging from natural disasters such as hurricanes and drought to the granddaddy of all manmade disasters, the BP oil spill. When BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in 2010, some 200 million gallons of oil spewed in coastal waters. Some two million gallons of toxic dispersants were added in an attempt to control the spill.

Two years after the oil spill, the Alabama seafood industry is still battling negative perceptions and fears that Gulf seafood is unsafe. Arias says there is not scientific evidence to support that the seafood is unsafe.

 "Go ahead and enjoy your oyster stuffing," she says. "The price might be a little bit more this year, but oysters are delicious and an important part of Thanksgiving for a lot of people."

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Covington Co. SD investigating death of male

    Covington Co. SD investigating death of male

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:07 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:07:38 GMT
    Authorities are investigating the death of an unknown male in Collins. The incident took place in the 50 block of Lookout Hill Lane. (Photo Source: WDAM)Authorities are investigating the death of an unknown male in Collins. The incident took place in the 50 block of Lookout Hill Lane. (Photo Source: WDAM)

    Around 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Covington County Sheriff's Office responded to the 50 block of Lookout Hill Lane in Collins. According to Covington County Sheriff's Office undersheriff, Lane McLaurin, they are investigating the death of an unknown black male.  The name of the male has not been released as officials are waiting to notify next of kin. Authorities were also not able to tell WDAM the manner in which the unknown male died.  This story is devel...

    More >>

    Around 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Covington County Sheriff's Office responded to the 50 block of Lookout Hill Lane in Collins. According to Covington County Sheriff's Office undersheriff, Lane McLaurin, they are investigating the death of an unknown black male.  The name of the male has not been released as officials are waiting to notify next of kin. Authorities were also not able to tell WDAM the manner in which the unknown male died.  This story is devel...

    More >>
  • Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean, passes away

    Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean, passes away

    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:35 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:35:04 GMT
    (Photo Source: Pixabay)(Photo Source: Pixabay)
    (Photo Source: Pixabay)(Photo Source: Pixabay)
    Astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth person to walk on the moon, has died. A statement released by NASA and family members says Bean died Saturday in Houston after a short illness. He was 86. Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, which made the second moon landing in 1969. He then commanded the second crewed flight to the United States' first space station, Skylab, in 1973. On that mission, he orbited the Earth for 59 days. Bean spent a total of 69 days in space, includ...More >>
    Astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth person to walk on the moon, has died. A statement released by NASA and family members says Bean died Saturday in Houston after a short illness. He was 86. Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, which made the second moon landing in 1969. He then commanded the second crewed flight to the United States' first space station, Skylab, in 1973. On that mission, he orbited the Earth for 59 days. Bean spent a total of 69 days in space, includ...More >>
  • Gov. Bryant declares state of emergency ahead of Alberto

    Gov. Bryant declares state of emergency ahead of Alberto

    Saturday, May 26 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-05-26 16:19:06 GMT
    (Photo Source: National Weather Service)(Photo Source: National Weather Service)

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency as Subtropical Storm Alberto moves toward the state's coast. In a tweet Saturday, Bryant said he signed a proclamation declaring the emergency and an order making the Mississippi National Guard and other state resources available should they become necessary. The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center shifts the storm farther east with a potential landfall near the Alabama-Florida state line. ___ 10:40 a.m....

    More >>

    Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency as Subtropical Storm Alberto moves toward the state's coast. In a tweet Saturday, Bryant said he signed a proclamation declaring the emergency and an order making the Mississippi National Guard and other state resources available should they become necessary. The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center shifts the storm farther east with a potential landfall near the Alabama-Florida state line. ___ 10:40 a.m....

    More >>
Powered by Frankly