On Seaweed...

Monday 26th September 2011 - Posted in Future
By Jonathan Straight, CEO of Straight plc

I was visited a few days ago by the inspirational Dr Craig Rose from the Seaweed Health Foundation. Seaweed is interesting stuff. I eat Japanese seaweed from time to time, there is one call arame which is really good. Also, anyone who likes sushi will be eating nori which is the green wrapping.

Seaweed is not really the right word for these type of foods. It would be better to call them sea vegetables or even marine vegetables.

What is really interesting is that some species are very high in protein. WRAP advised that if we are to hit our carbon emissions targets, meat consumption needs to fall by 50-75% over the coming years. Innovative sources of protein will be important and I think that some seaweeds might just fit the bill. And with over 70% of the earth’s surface covered by sea there should be no shortage of space to farm it.

But it doesn’t stop there. A team at Sheffield Hallam University has been experimenting with a seaweed derived salt substitute. We all know that too much salt is bad for the blood pressure. This product is only 3.5% sodium but has all the taste. Seaweed it truly a wonder food.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Dr Rose believes that seaweeds could be used to generate electricity through anaerobic digestion. Again, we are not short of space to farm the stuff.

I’m off now to think about seaweed-based vegeburgers. I think seaweed will play a big part in the future.

Visit seaweedhealthfoundation.org.uk – they even have recipes!

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