Next Big Superfood: Kelp?
Advocates like how it helps the body and the planet
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2014 6:00 PM CDT
An employee weighs ground kelp at Nature Mart Inc. in Los Angeles in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Everyone's always on the hunt for the next superfood, and both Grist and Scientific American have articles making the case for ... seaweed. Or more specifically, kelp. One big reason: It's not only good for the body, it's good for the planet. Kelp is packed with vitamins, calcium, and iodine; it's abundant off our coasts; and it doesn't require fresh water or land to grow. What's more, it clears pollution from the water by soaking up nutrient runoff from farms, and it grows so fast that large-scale kelp farms could make a dent in fossil fuel emissions by absorbing lots of CO2.

But the big question when it comes to superfood status: How does it taste? "Delicious," writes Patrick Mustain at Scientific American. Advocates such as kelp farmer Bren Smith have begun working with chefs to get it on more American plates. Think kelp leaves as al dente noodles, pickled kelp stems, kelp butter, or simply kelp itself as a salad. "It just make sense that this would be the next super-food," says New York City chef David Santos. (Click to read how watercress got ranked as the No. 1 "powerhouse" food.)

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Jul 20, 2014 2:42 AM CDT
May the Good Lord Kelp us all!!
Jul 19, 2014 9:22 PM CDT
The problem with kelp is that it is in a complex system, not a farm row. Sea otters like the upper layers, as do a lot of other animals. There goes the vegans out the door as it is hard to harvest with out capturing some animals. The only pure kelp capture I know of is in Scotland, where sheep are fenced off the sweet grass and eat kelp in the tidal zone. Other than that one, the rest fail when they try to figure out how to just grow kelp alone. This idea has been around as long as I've studied ocean foods--since the 1960s. And don't worry, any one who has eaten modern ice cream knows it is stabilized by stuff from kelp.
Jul 19, 2014 10:08 AM CDT
what goes around comes around. the 70's,kelp the miracle food.the 80's,kelp can feed the world. the 90's,kelp,well you see where this is going.