Saturday, March 17, 2012


It is not understood why seaweed is considered as a food since it has practically no nutrients worth crowing about. There is no protein, no fat, only 1 gm carbohydrate per 10 gm, only 4 calories per 10 gm but still people are reported to be consuming it as a food in their regular diets. Indonesia which produces the largest quantity vie with others like Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc. If the following report is to be believed there is nothing as nutritious as Sea weed! Here is the startling claim by some new "growers" of this muti cellular algae in the West.   

"Spend time talking to Charles Yarish and Paul Dobbins, and you'll start to believe seaweed farming could be the answer to some of the world's most intractable problems. For starters, it could provide a highly nutritious, sustainable food source to a hungry planet; it could be transformed into biofuel that removes heat-trapping carbon dioxide even as it cleans offshore waters of pollutants; and it could create environmentally friendly economic opportunities for coastal communities including Long Island Sound. Cultivation of this "virtuous vegetable," as Dobbins has dubbed it, is a multimillion dollar worldwide industry, supplying key ingredients for medicines, cosmetics, fertilizers and food products ranging from sushi wrappers to ice cream thickeners. Dobbins is president of Ocean Approved, a year-old kelp farming company on the Maine coast, that sells frozen kelp to restaurants and speciality food stores, growing the sinuous green ribbons in about 8 acres of offshore beds supplemented with plots tended by local shellfishermen and lobstermen".

It is true Sea weed is a valuable source of widely used food additives Alginate, Agar and Carrageenan. loved by the food industry for their water retention characteristics, emulsifying ability and viscosity/texture modification potential. With low fat food products in great demand these sea weed derivatives are valuable ally of the industry because of their fat sparing effect. As it is a type of marine algae capable of growing on coastal areas where plenty of light for photosynthesis, access to brackish water and some sort of attachment point, growing of Sea weed is an avocation common in coastal areas of East Asia. In ideal areas the Sea weed growth can extent many miles into the deep sea. Calling it a "virtuous vegetable" is some what far-fetched though it contains appreciable chlorophyll pigment inside the cell. Its use as a food additive is increasing exponentially providing big opportunities to people having access to sea coasts.


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