The community is invited to visit Whole Foods Market and sample roasted oysters and discover how oysters help improve the health of local waterways.
With bushels of fresh Blue Point oysters, the Whole Foods-Market culinary team will demonstrate roasting, a classic, southern-style preparation of the popular mollusk, using a flame and damp burlap sack. Whole Foods-Market Chefs will also offer signature sides and a healthy, prepared meal option for kids.
The event will be complemented with kids’ activities and educational booths highlighting the importance of oysters, the Alliance’s O.Y.S.T.E.R shell recycling program, and the benefits of a healthy coastal ecosystem. Kids will be able to showcase their creativity by participating in oyster crafts and create their own oyster critter. In addition, families may personalize a shell and become part of a future reef, which will create a new living shoreline within the Bay. For families who are competitive, the oyster memory game tests participants’ short-term memory for a chance to win a prize. Families will also have the opportunity to become a member of the CBA, and learn more about volunteer openings.
Oysters play a vital role in health of the Choctawhatchee Bay. An adult oyster can filter as much as two and a half gallons of water per hour, up to 50 gallons of water a day.
Additionally, oyster reefs provide habitat for a variety of important species and serve as a barrier against waves and boat wake, helping reduce shoreline erosion. In November 2010, CBA and Americorps Green Team launched the O.Y.S.T.E.R. shell recycling program in partnership with area restaurants with the goal of collecting oyster shells and reusing them to construct oyster reef habitat. Since then, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance has used the recycled shells to create living oyster reefs, improving the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay.
As an added bonus, the event will include the opportunity to enter to win prizes from area merchants. Admission is free and roasted oysters will be available for $1/oyster. Sponsored by Grayton Beer Company, cans of Grayton Beer will be available for $3/beer. In addition, Whole Foods Market will have a coffee bar and other food offerings available for purchase. All oyster and beer proceeds benefit the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance.