The rise of kelp & seaweed as ecological, economical & nutritional powerhouses

Seaweed and kelp are versatile, nutrient dense ingredients with a wide range of flavors, textures, colors and applications – but most of that is lost on Americans because the majority of seaweed sold here is imported dried and later reconstituted with artificial dyes. Or it is included among a laundry list of other ingredients in meat, bakery, plant-based and other products, where it is used to enhance flavors or for its gelling, texturizing and hydrating capabilities, but lost on consumers.

And while these properties are invaluable to the food and beverage industry, two Maine-based businesses – Atlantic Sea Farms and Ocean’s Balance – believe this is only a fraction of seaweed’s potential. They see it as the next wave of better for you eating, a more environmentally sustainable alternative to some of the monocrops that dominate Western diets and as a way to economically diversify and stabilize seasonal lobster farming in their state.

In this episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts Podcast​, we catch up with the entrepreneurs behind Ocean’s Balance and Atlantic Sea Farms at Natural Products Expo West to take a deep dive into the sea of ​​possibilities offered by American-farmed kelp.

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No, it is not ‘that stuff from my beach’

While most American’s may have limited understanding of and experience with seaweed and kelp beyond seeing it on beaches, Atlantic Sea Farms’ director of sales Zoe Croft says many are eager to try it once they learn about its superfood status and diverse applications.

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