Abalone Side Effects and Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 01/02/23 •  11 min read

What are abalone side effects? Benefits? Is abalone vegan? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here is info on abalone that every ethical consumer wants to know…

abalone benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on abalone side effects.

You are going to learn all about abalone benefits and side effects. This will include abalone benefits for your health and potential risks, abalone water footprint and abalone carbon footprint, abalone sustainability, if abalone is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if abalone is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about abalone benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Abalone Side Effects and Benefits


Abalone side effects include:

Abalone benefits may include:

Additionally, abalone is…

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Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: low, 0.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of mollusks (abalone is a mollusk), a car driving equivalent of .0 miles or .0 kilometers

Destruction: high, marine ecosystems, discarded fishing nets pollute oceans, fishing damages coral, sponges and poses severe threat to marine habitats

Abalone is…


Kills: marine snails must die in order to produce abalone

Harms: marine snails must be used in order to produce abalone

Indirectly kills or harms: sea-life and marine-life, such as dolphins, sea turtles, protected fish, whales, seabirds etc. known as “bycatch” (unwanted marine life caught, hooked and entangled in fishing nets)

Abalone is…


Health and safety: dangerous, poachers fishing for wild abalone must dive many meters below the surface, risking the current hitting them against rocks or becoming trapped in kelp

Living conditions: poor, many poachers in South Africa’s black market sell to transnational crime syndicates who get them hooked on drugs pay them with quaaludes and products that can be turned into drugs

Wages: low, one abalone can sell for up to $65 on South Africa’s black market, which is a small percent of the final selling price of $1000 per kilogram due to Chinese demand

Abalone has…

Where does abalone come from?

The world’s top abalone exporting country is South Korea, followed by South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Chile and Japan.
China is the world’s leading producer of farmed abalone.

Is abalone good for you? Healthy? Nutritious?

Abalone is high in Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid and Selenium. However, abalone is high in Sodium, very high in Cholesterol and contains antibiotics when farmed. Wild caught abalone contains various toxins.

What are abalone uses?

Abalone uses include meat as food and its shells for materials to make jewelry, buttons, buckles and the like.

Other names for abalone?

Other names for abalone are marine snails, ear shells, sea ears and muttonfish.

Is abalone alkaline or acidic?

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Abalone is acidic.

What is the pH level of abalone?

Abalone has a 6.0 pH level, once digested. Shellfish is an acidic food group.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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Is abalone gluten free?

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Yes, abalone is gluten free when unseasoned and unbreaded. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

Is abalone a common food allergen?

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Yes, abalone is a common food allergen: crustacean shellfish. Many people experience allergic reactions to abalone.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

Carbon footprint of abalone?

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Abalone has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of abalone?

It takes around 0.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of mollusks (abalone is a mollusk), a car driving equivalent of .0 miles or .0 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors that may be…

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Which fish have mercury? Read more about Mercury Levels in Fish

Is abalone sustainable?

abalone side effects include being unsustainable

No, abalone production is relatively unsustainable. At this time, less than 3,000 wild white abalone exist off the California coast due to decades of overfishing.

Whether farmed or wild caught, the seafood industry is environmentally destructive due to its direct impact on decreasing marine populations, polluting waters and habitat destruction.

Wild-caught fish and seafood is destructive due to overfishing (when populations die at a greater rate than they are able to replenish). Degraded ecosystems occur as a result and creates an imbalance that impacts important food chains. Consequently, vulnerable aquatic species like sea turtles and coral suffer. Scientists predict oceans will be fishless by 2048. Such a major loss in biodiversity would be catastrophic, as oceans regulate temperature and contribute to half of our oxygen on Earth.

There’s also an alarming amount of plastic pollution in our oceans. Abandoned and lost fishing gear make up more than 85% of all plastic pollution. Nets, traps and hooks continue to kill marine life. According to Greenpeace, “Abandoned fishing nets kill and injure more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles each year”.

Fish farming, or aquafarming, is not a sustainable alternative. Farmed fish need to be fed fish to eat and this perpetuates a never-ending cycle of fishing. Additionally, waters become contaminated with antibiotics to prevent disease that inevitably occurs with overcrowded fish confinements, pesticides, parasites and fish feces. The toxic water then spreads to waterways and oceans, polluting ecosystems and eventually killing off wild fish populations.

All of the aforementioned fishing practices occur in order to meet global demand. The obvious solution for protecting our Earth’s oceans and waterways, marine habitats, ecosystems and wildlife is for consumers to significantly reduce or eliminate their seafood demand entirely.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

Is abalone vegan?

abalone side effects include being not vegan

No, abalone is not vegan. Abalone is a sea snail, the product of marine gastropod mollusks, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A sea snail must die in order to produce abalone. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

Does abalone have human rights issues?

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Yes, there are many reports of worker exploitation and human rights abuse regarding abalone production.

There are high numbers of trafficked people promised work but then held at sea against their will. Boats filled with trafficked migrants do not dock, sometimes for years on end, keeping slave workers unseen and trapped at sea, continuing the forced labor. Recruiters trick migrants into thinking they must work to pay off their debts, referred to as “debt peonage”. There is little to no compensation for their work. Seafood caught illegally from slave worker boats mixes in with legal, commercial fishing boats.

Fishing workers everywhere are at risk of accident, injury, and death. Injuries include cuts, broken bones, lost fingers, hands and limbs, head injuries and electrocutions. Boats are in constant motion, decks are slippery and there can be hazardous machinery present.

Fishing industries around the world are responsible for systematic, illegal fishing practices and human rights abuse. Fishing workers are vulnerable to human trafficking and slave labor, especially in countries like Thailand (the third largest seafood exporter in the world), Burma, Indonesia and Fiji. Seafood slavery is a major issue for migrant workers originally from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

We improve lives around the world if we boycott problematic foods that are difficult for human rights authorities to regulate.

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was about abalone side effects, answered: is abalone healthy, is abalone good for you and more.


NOAA Fisheries, White Abalone

National Geographic: Poaching for Abalone, Africa’s ‘White Gold,’ Reaches Fever Pitch

Tasmania’s abalone industry overfished and heading for collapse, veteran divers warn

Smithsonian Magazine The Most Dangerous Game: Chasing a Sea Snail?

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.