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
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