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I've collected and eaten a few.
Wash them well,soak them in saltwater to remove the rest of the sand and crub,and steam them.
Surely there are other ways,but that's the only way I've had them.
 

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You can put them in a tub of clean water and feed them a small amount of flour for a day to clean them out from what I've read. It would help to put an airstone bubbler in the tub to make sure the water stays oxygenated.
 

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Dutch Highlands Farm
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I've eaten them, but I prefer the saltwater ones. I fix them in the Dutch way. After letting them flush for a day I steam them, cool and remove from shells. Saute a small onion in butter, add the mussels and a good splash of wine vinegar. Heat through, salt and pepper to taste. Chill. Serve with bread and a salad.
Fresh water pearls are nice, but hardly valuable. I pay $12 for a strand of 150 to 200 pearls.
 
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I have some pictures someplace that my grandad gave me of the button factory near here years ago. Mussel boats ran the Wabash river heavily and sold them to the factory for button making. They were cooked and the mussel meats went to hog farmers. I suppose they are edible but I never heard of anyone around here eating them. There were several varieties of mussels, such as " three ridge", "five ridge" and others identified by their shells. There was only one type that produced good pearls and they always checked those before they sold them.
 

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I think, technically, they ARE edible. But I don't think I would eat them....They're filter feeders and are known to concentrate toxins that are present in their environment. I googled it and found some disturbing stuff.....

"Nine species of freshwater mussels collected from the Big Sunflower River, Mississippi, in 1993 were chemically analyzed for three classes of environmental contaminants. There was a proposal to harvest these animals for their shells and to use the tissues for animal feed........

........Many pesticides such as toxaphene DDT compounds, chlordane, and dieldrin were found in these mussels. Most of the concentrations were in the <0.1 -ppm wet wt. range; however, the data show that some of these mussels contained toxaphene at concentrations in the 0.2- to 0.4-ppm wet wt. range. The contaminants were not specific to any single site or mussel species but were fairly evenly distributed..........

..........Based on these analyses and the levels of toxaphene found in some of the species, recommendations were made that the tissues not be used as animal feed.
http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai&verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA295730
There were a bunch of other articles like this one too....each describing the concentration of contaminants in mussels. They also weren't limited to MS ...Don't know though...maybe the ones from your pond might be better?
 

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I like fresh oysters on the half-shell. Lord only knows what chemicals are in those things!

As for mussels, I used them as a youngster to bait trot-lines (trout-lines, lol). The catfish off those lines were delicious. I guess the mussels were enticing to the cats at least. I never thought about trying them though I think raccoons like them ok :)
 

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There is A commercial Farm in Tenn, Not far from Ken, That sells the Pearls for Big bucks, The Japanese buy the Pearls to use as Seed stock to produce Pearls. And they have Tours Look up Birdsong Landing in Tenn. On I 40 BNear the Pilot truck Stop.. And Loretta Lynns Kitchen.
 
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