Seaweed is good for you – and the environment

Seagrass Seaweed Kelp
Kelp © Rebecca Hale, National Geographic Magazine

Seaweed’s flavour may not please every palate, but its ability to suck up carbon dioxide could help protect the ocean.

Name the last place where you saw seaweed on the menu, not including a Japanese restaurant. Drawing a blank? That may be because, outside of Japan and other parts of Asia, seaweed’s unique flavour and mouthfeel have not been widely embraced.

These marine plants and algae are sometimes called “sea vegetables”—but there are reasons beyond gastronomy to appreciate them. Kelp, in particular, has the potential to greatly reduce ocean acidification.

Naturally occurring in cold, coastal marine waters, kelp grows quickly without the need for fertilizer, and it takes up carbon dioxide—which can exacerbate climate change—as well as excess nitrogen and phosphorus. The problem, though, is that there’s not enough of it.

Read the article at National Geographic, or in the November 2017 edition of the magazine.

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