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

(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.)

An employee weighs ground kelp at Nature Mart Inc. in Los Angeles in this file photo.
An employee weighs ground kelp at Nature Mart Inc. in Los Angeles in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Sea kelp floats on the surface at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Monterey, Calif.
Sea kelp floats on the surface at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Monterey, Calif.   (AP Photo/John Helprin)
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