Mussels are filter feeder bivalves, recognisable by an elongated shell which is often dark blue, blackish or brown, with a nacreous interior and the presence of a byssus (threads) that the mussel uses to attach itself to its environment. There is a large variety of species that are found either in fresh or sea water, but the majority of the mussels are found in the temperate seawater areas at shallow depths. Mussels have been consumed by humans for thousands of years; their ease of access, preparation, and high protein content has made them very popular across the world.
Mussels are rich in proteins with a low calorie count. As an excellent source of iron mussels are beneficial for growth and immunity.
Mussels are particularly rich in vitamin B2 and B12. The Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is an easily absorbed micronutrient which is required for a variety of cellular processed and plays a key role in energy metabolism. Mussels also have excellent levels of Sodium, Potassium, Iron and iodine.
Mussel production requires clean water and is best located far from heavy industry. Mussels are rigorously tested before being sold on the market to make sure that they come from a clean environment and are a safe, nutritious food. As such therefore mussel production naturally encourages clean environmental planning in coastal areas.
As well as being nutritious and healthy, mussels are also a sustainable choice due to the low impact of mussel production on the environment. Mussels are a sedentary animal and simply feed on whatever flows through their open shell by taking the nutritious elements in the water, mainly composed of natural phytoplankton which are unicellular plants. Their impact on the environment is therefore minimal and mussel production generates a low carbon footprint.