Oysters: Conception to Consumption

Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski

This month, Art of Food explores the small but burgeoning community of oyster farmers on the Delaware Bay in Cape May, New Jersey. Rutgers University runs research labs that have been working since the oyster industry collapse in the 1950s to produce a faster growing, disease-resistant oyster. These labs provide the oyster seeds to local NJ oyster farmers, who in turn provide fresh, high quality oysters for local restaurants in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Thanks to these efforts, Philadelphia restaurants like Oyster House now serve local oysters, grown using sustainable aquaculture methods: farm to table, conception to consumption.

In this segment of Art of Food we feature several key players in the oyster farm to table movement. Betsy Haskin honors her late father Harold Haskin the pioneering director of Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory of Rutgers University, by caring for her oysters on a premium level. Brian Harman is the Aquaculture Manager at Cape May Salt Oysters, the largest oyster farm in the region and is helping get their oysters into a larger market. And David Bushek, current director at the Rutgers lab helps support the local farms with research and close monitoring of oyster production.

Below: Photos from shooting Oysters: Conception to Consumption

Web Extra: Raising disease resistant oysters

Friday Arts rejoins the Director of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, David Bushek, to learn more about the history and purpose of the facility. In this web video, David gives an in-depth look into the process of raising disease resistant oysters.

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