WHAT IS A LOBSTER?
These large, marine crustaceans have long, cylindrical bodies with five pairs of legs. In the same family as other invertebrates like shrimp, their skeletons are on the outside. In order to grow they must molt or shed their shells. While the term “lobster” is used in the names of similar crustaceans, technically only members of the Nephropidae family qualify. Much like spiders and Vulcan starship scientists, lobsters have blue blood due to the presence of copper. With lifespans on par with humans, they’re capable of growing to over 40 lbs (9 kilograms). However colder water temperatures slow down this crustacean’s rate of growth which also results in meat that is both tastier and more tender.
WHERE DO LOBSTERS COME FROM?
Thought to have originated over 400 million years ago, the break-up of the super-continent Pangea created a genetic schism. The result today is that southern hemisphere lobsters are of a much older genetic lineage then their northern hemisphere counterparts.
WHEN IS A LOBSTER IN SEASON?
With their long life-spans lobsters are a year-round catch. However the summer months are the most popular time to fish for them.
HOW CAN I BUY A LOBSTER FOR A FRACTION OF THE PRICE?
Most retail and food-service establishments try to get as symmetric a crustacean as possible. In reality though many lobsters have claws of different sizes. These lobsters are sold at a fraction of the price as their supermodel cousins. However be careful, once removed from the sea these crustaceans start to consume themselves which due to their hard shells isn’t immediately obvious. One way to check is to see if your lobster still has their antennae. In tanks lobsters will nibble each other’s antennas down to their nubs out of hunger.
ARE LOBSTERS ONE OF THE DIRTY DOZEN? (MERCURY)
Most shellfish have relatively low levels of mercury. However lobsters are the exception. They have moderate levels of heavy metal contamination similar to tuna. So limited consumption is highly recommended.