Image via MAKE
Supposedly, zapping a lobster is more humane than boiling them as they scream. So says company CrustaStun, purveyor of the lobster electrifier. Inventor Simon Buckhaven has labored for two years with Department of Food Animal Science at the University of Bristol and the Silsoe Research Institute in England to come up with a better way to prepare lobster meat and so far, claims are that this invention is not only more humane, but also makes them tastier. The company advertises the machine as: "The Crustastun - World's first Humane Electronic Crustacean Stunner." According to the BBC, the invention complies with slaughter regulations for animals such as cows and sheep, and that it's only a fraction of a second of electricution before they're knocked unconscious.
So the process is a little faster, but also smacks more of inmates on death row.
To many, present methods of killing (chopping, drowning in freshwater, boiling, frying & basting - alive) are barbaric and the recommended methods (cooling in ice-slurry or spiking the several nerve centres) unproven, difficult and impractical. The Crustastun applies an instant current which anaesthatises the Crab, Lobster or other shellfish within a fraction of a second and kills within seconds.
It reduces stress & osmotic dilution (effected in freshwater drowning) and thereby enhances texture and flavour.
For lobster eaters who have qualms with preparation methods, this might be a way to feel less guilt as you dip a fork full of tail meat into melted butter. PETA also agrees, the Chronicle Herald reporting that the group bought two of the machines and flew the inventor and his wife out to Arizona to demonstrate them. The group states, In a perfect world, lobsters and crabs would be able to do their deep sea thing without being preyed upon by humans hell-bent on turning sea life into seafood. Unfortunately, we live in a woefully imperfect world in which crustaceans are routinely boiled alive or cut open while they are still conscious. That's why we're hoping that the Crustastun will catch on."
Restaurants will be able to shell out between £1,000 and £2,000 per machine, which comes in single stun or a continuous flow stunner for processing more than one lobster.