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Is Alligator Considered Seafood?

Is Alligator Considered Seafood

The Catholic Church declared the alligator as seafood, not meat. But then, the alligator does not live in the sea, so it cannot be technically called such.

As far back as 2013, the Archbishop of New Orleans announced alligators as seafood. It was an answer in response to questions during the Lenten season.

Is alligator meat or meat?

Alligator eating meat
Alligator eating meat

Alligator is meat. While it is a semi-aquatic animal, it does not live in the sea. On the other hand, seafood is technically something that comes from the sea.

Here are some examples of seafood: 

  • Fish
  • Mollusks
  • Crabs and other shelled animals
  • Sharks
  • Rays

There are many types of seafood. Most food experts say that there are ten seafood categories. Seafood is an edible aquatic animal, but it does not include mammals.

This means that even if an animal lives in the river, it is still considered seafood. Most non-toxic aquatic animals are part of the human diet. However, toxic ones like puffer fish are considered exotic food.

Today, anything that lives in the water is seafood. What it means is that fish caught in lakes and rivers qualify as seafood.

The gator is somewhat of a special case, as it is a semi-aquatic animal that spends most of its time in the water. However, an alligator does not live in the water.

At most, gators can stay underwater for only two hours, and this happens only in extreme laboratory conditions. In ordinary circumstances, gators only dive for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Related Article: Are there alligators in Hawaii?

What type of food is the alligator?

American Alligator

Alligator is meat. It is a reptile, and many people in the United States hunt alligators on a seasonal basis. People eat gators. The Chinese alligator became almost extinct because of human hunting for its meat and hide.

One of the most famous shows is the Swamp People on History Channel. The TV program shows people who hunt alligators for a living.

Does an alligator count as fish?

No, an alligator is not a fish. A fish is an aquatic vertebrate without limbs and digits. A fish must also have gills.

The alligator has limbs—four of them—and digits. They have claws, but they do not have gills. When an alligator breathes, it breathes through its lungs.

The big difference between a human and an alligator is that a human is an involuntary breather. What this means is that humans do not control their breathing. Gators do. The gator can only breathe if it consciously does so.

On the other hand, humans will breathe even if it is unconscious. It is why people suffocate and drown even if they have no consciousness. The lungs and muscles breathe on their own.

Related Article: Are There Alligators in the Ozarks?

Is alligator meat healthy?

Alligator running on land
Alligator running on land

Yes, alligator meat is healthy. But, of course, one must know how to prepare it. Alligators carry bacteria and pathogens because they live in dirty places like swamps.

When a gator bites a human, the human may survive. But the bacteria and pathogens can cause sepsis to the victim, which can also lead to death.

How healthy is gator meat? Below are some facts about gator meat for every 3.2 ounces:

  • It has 232 calories
  • The protein is 46 grams
  • Total fat is only 4 grams
  • There is no saturated fat or cholesterol

There is also no carbohydrate content for this meat. As such, it is one of the healthiest meats that one can eat as a substitute for beef, pork, and chicken.

Related Article: Are Alligators and Crocodiles Territorial?

Here are some more interesting things about gator meat:

1. High-quality protein

Alligator meat has made its rounds in the nutrition community because of its protein content. In addition, because it is not domestic meat, it has more lean muscle tissue than cattle, chicken or other domesticated animals.

The protein content of alligator meat has twice as much protein as beef. Protein is one of the most important amino acids that the human body needs. It is what the body uses to build and repair muscles and bones.

2. Little Fat Content

Although the most popular meat is beef, it has high saturated fat content, which is eventually bad for the health.

If compared with beef, the same serving of alligator only has four grams of fat. The better news is that it has no saturated fat at all. Beef, on the other hand, has cholesterol that is really bad for the heart.

3. Rich in Vitamins

Alligator meat is rich in vitamins and other minerals such as potassium. Potassium is usually found in bananas, and it is a type of electrolyte that helps the body control nerve functions. 

Gator meat also has lots of iron—something that the human body needs for blood production. About 70% of the human body’s iron is in the red blood cells.

Finally, alligator meat is rich in Vitamin B12. Its function is to keep the body’s nerveshealthy. It is also an important component to make DNA. VitaminB12 also helps prevent diseases like anemia.

Is alligator halal?

Large alligator
Large alligator

Halal is an Arabic term which means “permissible.” This permission comes from the rules of Islam. Most of the time, people use this term for food.

Now, the opposite of Halal is Haram. When one says that a food is Haram, it means that the food is unlawful.

There is no single answer to this. Some consider it halal because it is a creature that lives in the water. However, some say it is not halal because it is a carnivore.

Is alligator red meat?

Yes and no. The correct answer is both. Most parts of an alligator have a chicken-like texture and taste. The white meat is prized because it is tender and juicy. On the other hand, gators also have red meat that is similar to pork.

Summary

Alligators are considered seafood if one would take the word of the high-ranking Catholic priest. However, if one must go technical about it, seafood is an animal that lives in the ocean or the sea or a river.

Alligators are technically seafood because they are not fish—they do not live in the sea. They are merely semi-aquatic animals like some kinds of ducks. As reptiles, alligators are just meat.

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