"Green lipped mussels," she said.
That was my reaction when I first heard the term. It may have been yours too. If it was, you've come to the right place to find out more about these amazing sea creatures.
And even if you have eaten them before or have taken a supplement containing green-lipped mussel extract, you may enjoy learning a bit more about these simple sea creatures.
I have never been fond of eating shell fish and I probably won't ever enjoy eating them. But we want to be fair and present all sides of the story about this humble, yet wonderful sea creature.
Not everyone I have met from New Zealand says they love eating green-lipped mussels but that's just the way people are. Some enjoy one thing and some don't. But here at least, you'll get a chance to learn about these mussels and their health benefits.
New Zealand green-lipped mussels are bivalve molluscs from the family Myhtildae. They are also known as the New Zealand mussel as well as the greenshell mussel. It's scientific name is Perna canaliculus. Being invertebrates, they don't have an internal skeleton made of bone. And amazingly enough, invertebrates include 98% of all animal species!
As the name suggests, the New Zealand Green-lipped mussel is native to New Zealand and is generally found below the low tide line as well as intertidally, which is the area of the shoreline between low and hight tide.
These green lipped mussels are unique to New Zealand although they are considered an introduced pest in Australia.
Green lipped mussels eat minute sea phytoplankton. They filter the plankton from the water and absorb it into their bodies. It's extremely interesting to note that because of the hole in the ozone layer in the stratosphere, the animal life found in New Zealand have very elevated levels of natural anti-oxidants. The green-lipped mussel collects these elevated levels of anti-oxidants from the sea plankton and provides one of the most potent sources of anti-oxidant rich omega 3 oils on earth.
The backbone of New Zealand's aquaculture industry are green-lipped mussels, quinnat salmon and Pacific oysters. These three products accounted for 98% of the total earnings from aquaculture in 2001. Green-lipped mussels account for 71% of the total and the other 2% came from scallops, freshwater prawns and abalone. [Source: Andrew Jeffs, ‘Aquaculture development: the importance of a helping hand’. Seafood New Zealand, April 2003, p. 27]
You can read more green-lipped mussels info here.
Want to see where the green-lipped mussels live? It's some of the most spectacular coast line you'll ever see.
You can also find the restrauants where green-lipped mussels are served and what others say about them. (Not everyone likes them, but those that do love them!) And, the poplutations that include green-lipped mussels in their regular diet have fewer problems with joint pain related to arthritis!! :)
We are including here some tips that we've been able to gather for those of you wishing to try these little sea creatures. We understand that this isn't to everyone's liking, but for those who are interested, here's what we've found.
For most of the world's population, eating green-lipped mussels on a daily or regular basis isn't an option and therefore we are including a lot of information about nutraceuticals that deliver a more potent form of the active oils. This is also good for those who are allergic to fish and shell fish as at least one of these marine oil products that we have reviewed has no shell fish proteins in it, making it safe for those with allergies to shell fish and fish.