What’s the Top Consumed Seafood in the U.S.??

Over half of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is one of only three varieties: shrimp, salmon and canned tuna. And of the roughly 15 pounds of seafood and shellfish eaten by Americans, the tiny crustaceans take the top spot with close to four pounds of shrimp making their way into the average American’s diet each year—compared to just over two pounds each for all varieties of salmon and canned tuna.

Seem like a lot? Not to most shellfish connoisseurs, but the answer, like most answers to perception-based questions, depends on just that—one’s own perception of what a lot is. For comparison sake, and maybe just in case you end up on a gameshow some day and might need to know, in 2015 the average American ate 1,996.3 pounds of food of which over 600 was dairy, 480 vegetables, 175 flour and cereal products, 250 fruits, 104.8 red meat, 106 poultry, 29 French fries and, “statistics show that Americans eat twice as much cheese and an almost equal amount of apples, watermelon and turkey as they do fish and shellfish annually.”

Is eating four pounds of shrimp a year a lot?



Spend anytime searching the internet and you’ll find dozens of chefs and party-planners alike suggesting how many shrimp to serve when planning a company dinner, wedding reception, holiday party etc. And most, as I found out, agree that you should plan for eight to nine shrimp per person—that’s assuming you purchase the “large” variety (not medium or extra-large)—which correlates to 31-35 shrimp per pound. So you do the math … doesn’t seem like it would take very long to eat your annual consumption, now does it.

As for me, I’m a big seafood fan and will eat just about anything from the ocean and rivers alike, so four pounds of shrimp seems like a drop in the bucket—literally. And to celebrate National Shrimp Day, I plan to stop by one of my favorite downtown Indy restaurants—St. Elmo Steak House—and enjoy a shrimp cocktail. Featured Photo Credit: St. Elmo

How about you? How will you indulge on this National Shrimp Day?

Learn more about shrimp and how to tell the difference between gulf shrimp, brow shrimp and all the other little fellas meandering the oceans in the Guide to Common Crustaceans.

Coming up later this week on the blog … a tour of a local shrimp farm, Blue Barn Shrimp, and A Guide to Sustainable Sushi with help from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox

Posted by

Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

One thought on “What’s the Top Consumed Seafood in the U.S.??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s