Oregon State University researchers have patented a new strain of marine algae that’s full of protein and tastes like bacon
We can't believe it's not bacon!
Oregon State University researchers have made a startling discovery that could transform hipster restaurant menus everywhere: a new high-protein strain of the seaweed that tastes just like bacon. The team of researchers has patented a new strain of red algae called dulse that they claim contains 16 percent protein.Dulse, is case you’re not aware, is a strange seaweed that, when fried in a pan, tastes like everyone’s favorite cured meat. It hasn’t really been in the public eye yet, but the OSU scientists are hoping that they’ll be able to market this new strain to American supermarkets.
“Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” said Chuck Toombs, an Oregon State University faculty member and researcher. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”
The food innovation team at the university is working on a whole slew of products made with the fascinating ingredient, like rice crackers and salad dressing. However, Gil Sylvia, director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, said that there is no evidence that dulse would be economically viable as a commercial product. Seaweed in general has seen a pretty sparse market in the States, but seaweed that tastes like bacon? Now you’re talking.
10 things you're getting wrong about going vegetarian
No longer just " hippie food ," vegetarianism has spread across the US to various types of households in the past several decades. Tons of celebrities from Ellen DeGeneres to Liam Hemsworth have committed to living a plant-based life, and that mirrors the diet's rise in popularity.
Vegetarians are people who abstain from eating meat. But they aren't to be confused with vegans, who abstain from any and all animal products including milk and eggs.
Vegetarians get asked a lot of the same questions over and over, proving there's still a good bit of confusion around it. To help straighten things out, we're debunking 10 myths about vegetarianism.
18 December 2012
|Plant-based fossil of Cynepteris lasiophora|
Well duh, of course fossils are vegan. Now excuse me while I hot my head against the desk.
Unless time travel were involved. Can't have the folks of Terra Nova making you fossils.
However, there are some realistic caveats. Not all fossils are actually fossils in the way most people think. Some are fakes. Typically this is not an issue with the sedimentary rock ones, but with amber and ivory. There is a whole industry in making amber-like jewelry and bric-à-brac by tossing insects into pine sap. So it is important to know what you are buying.
There's a similar situation with ivory, which many nonvegans have ethical issues about as well. Mammoth ivory is legal, most elephant ivory is not. Less scrupulous vendors will mislabel the illegal elephant tusks as coming from extinct mammoths. If you must buy ivory, do your homework. But really, you don't have to buy ivory. To me this treads into territory with fur coats and the like, where the appearance of a poor ethical choice can make it not worth the bother. Plus many think the legal ivory trade fuels illegal poaching.
And to leave you on a head-hitting-desk note, what if the mammoth ivory is from a resurrected mammoth?
Go Meatless in the Morning
Lightlife Smart Bacon
Often, vegetarians and vegans lament that they miss bacon the most when giving up meat. Luckily, there are many "fakin' bacon" substitutes available that can nearly pass for the real thing, starting with these veggie bacon strips by Lightlife. Add them to a side of toast for breakfast, eat them on their own or use them as a topping for your sandwiches or salads. One strip contains 20 calories, one gram of fat, 150 milligrams of sodium and two grams of protein.
MorningStar Farms Sausage Links
Add a meat-free protein to your breakfast with these veggie sausage links. In one serving (two links), you'll eat 80 calories, three grams of fat, 300 milligrams of sodium and nine grams of protein. Not a bad way to start your morning!
Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg
Just when you think there's no way you could find a suitable egg substitute, Follow Your Heart came up with one that gets rave reviews on Amazon. The egg mix is raw, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and more. All you have to do is whisk or blend the powder with ice water to use whenever an egg is called for, either in recipes or as a standalone meal or snack. Two tablespoons contain 35 calories, one gram of fat, 150 milligrams of sodium and three grams of protein.
3. Fermented Proteins
The technology that can create vegan whey and casein, the primary proteins found in dairy products, is more accessible than ever. California-based food technology startup Perfect Day is one company that has embraced this. It uses a fungi that’s particularly good at growing animal proteins. Fascinating, right? Perfect Day can then sell those proteins to companies that want to make realistic-tasting plant-based dairy products. Brave Robot, a vegan ice cream brand made using those plant-based proteins, is one company that uses those proteins.
That’s just one example of what products made using fermented protein will look like. According to GFI, the fermented protein industry includes fungi, koji, bacteria, mycelium, and microalgae.
“2020 was a banner year for fermentation,” says Ignaszewski. There was a record $435 million invested in fermented protein in 2020, according to a GFI report published in September.
According to the nonprofit, investors in the space include high-profile food and beverage companies such as Kellogg, Danone, Kraft Heinz, Mars, and poultry giant Tyson Foods. And there’s room for growth.
“Fermentation is poised to solve so many challenges in the alternative protein space,” Ignaszewski adds. It’s scalable, low-cost, and “it can produce proteins that match the taste, texture, and nutritional qualities of animal-based proteins. In some sense, it’s quite possibly the dark horse of the protein world.”
We will likely see more products made using fermented proteins hit the market. Clara Foods, a food technology startup founded out of IndieBio, makes egg white protein using fermentation. Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd makes “Fy,” a fermented protein made from a fungi found in an acidic Yellowstone hot spring. Other products will be a little more familiar, like mycoprotein, industry vanguard Quorn’s hero ingredient. Prime Roots, which recently launched in Bay Area Whole Foods stores late last year, uses koji.
Ignaszewski says that meat is a category “ripe for disruption” by fermented protein. But, fermented protein will also result in plant-based dairy products, similar to what Perfect Day is doing with ice cream.
“Perfect Day is using fermentation to produce milk proteins like casein, and whey, and combining these with plant based fats, water, vitamins and minerals to make a lactose free product that has the same properties as milk, and subsequently as dairy based ice cream,” Ignaszewski continues. She adds that the ice cream category will likely see more movement in 2021 thanks to fermentation.
Has The Netherlands Figured Out How To Mainstream Seaweed?
Photo courtesy of Mark Kulsdom
Despite its environmental benefits, using local seaweed for food can be a tough sell. Some think the Dutch have finally cracked the code.
“Is seaweed a vegetable?” a wide-eyed child asks a tall man chopping kelp at a “Taste the Nature” market in the Zuiderpark city farm in The Hague.
“Well, it has lots of vitamins and minerals,” the cook, Jethro van Luijk, replies.
“It does look like spinach,” says the child thoughtfully. But, unconvinced this plant is truly edible, he bounces away to other stalls displaying other wonders like organic snails and mushrooms grown from coffee grounds.
Under his pseudonym The Green Chef, Van Luijk is at the market to promote seaweed as the food of the future. He says along with the vitamins and minerals, seaweed is also full of protein, and cultivation requires no arable land, no fertilizer and no freshwater. And by growing it locally, he says, the Netherlands could wield a sustainable food source that has the added benefit of cleansing the seawater along the Dutch coast.
For today’s event he has teamed up with The North Sea Farm Foundation, which owns an experimental seaweed farm 15 kilometers (9 miles) out to sea from The Hague. He is here to help with a big problem: There’s not a big enough demand for Dutch seaweed to make growing it worthwhile.
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Even though the North Sea Farm Foundation is still in the experimental stage — and even though a 2016 report found seaweed farming in the North Sea unlikely to turn a profit — two Dutch companies, Seamore and Zeewaar, have been slipping their seaweed into some of the country’s largest restaurant franchises and supermarkets. Combining clever marketing with environmental stewardship, they may have found the philosopher’s stone to a locally grown seaweed market eluding European and North American producers for decades.
Food of the Future
As he chops mushrooms and carrots for his kelp stew, van Luijk says that seaweed is a newcomer to Dutch cuisine.
“In Asia, eating seaweed is a very old tradition, and also in places that have a rocky coastline, like Norway and Scotland,” he says. “In the Netherlands, though, we’re in a delta. There are no rocks, so seaweed has nowhere to grow.”
He has hope, however, that large-scale cultivation will put Dutch seaweed on the menus of tomorrow. To this same end The North Sea Farm Foundation in 2014 set up a “Seaweed Platform” interest group to help advance the seaweed industry in the area.
The Seaweed Platform idea arrived at the same time as a report from The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, a prominent independent advisory body, which urged the government to adopt a food policy that would make ecological sustainability a top priority. The report quoted the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warning that global food production must rise 70 percent by 2050 to meet demand, and expressed concern that such an increase would be limited by environmental impacts. The report also noted that the country’s consumption of food and forestry products already required land equal to three times the country’s surface area.
Zeewaar’s seaweed farm in the Eastern Schedlt National Park grows a winter crop of kombu and a summer crop of sea lettuce. Photo courtesy of Zeewaar
Seaweed is often seen as an environmentally friendly food source because requires no land to grow. Wild harvest raises some concerns because of its potential to harm underwater ecosystems. But the Dutch government conducted research suggesting that 400 square kilometers (nearly 100,000 acres) of seaweed fields could be farmed in the North Sea with no negative impact.
In November 2016, a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives co-written by then State Secretary for Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam said the government would build a new food policy that would promote healthy food, ensure greater sustainability and develop new protein sources such as seaweed.
Just a few months later, van Dam was on a boat harvesting The North Sea Farm Foundation’s first crop of seaweed off the coast of The Hague. He came on shore to attend a one-off “Extraordinary Seaweed” event marking the occasion, made a seaweed wrap and then announced the investment of €5 million into a new program titled Seaweed for Food and Feed, involving The North Sea Farm Foundation among other industry players and research institutions.
“Seaweed is the food of the future: sustainable and healthy,” van Dam was quoted as saying at the announcement. “With this ‘innovation program’ we will focus on new food products that are produced sustainably and are attractive to a wide audience.”
Sarah Redmond, a seaweed farmer with Springtide Seaweed in Maine, U.S., says that interest in seaweed aquaculture has been growing strongly in recent years, but the North American industry has yet to take off.
“The seaweed aquaculture industry is still new and developing, so there are very few processing operations in place to process the new crops into saleable items,” Redmond says. She notes, however, that seaweed has a stellar potential if marketed as a sustainable alternative to other ingredients.
Zeewaar co-founders Jennifer Breaton and Rebecca Wiering harvest a crop of royal kombu. Photo courtesy of Zeewaar
In the Netherlands, the Dutch seaweed distributor Seamore has used this approach to get its European Union–grown seaweed into over 500 stores in the Plus and Albert Heijn supermarket chains as of 2016. Its two main products, tagliatelle and seaweed bacon, are made from 100 percent organic, gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, low-carb seaweed.
Seamore’s approach has been to avoid unappetizing connotations of slimy weeds from the sea, and make their products a synonym for ingredients that consumers know and love. They then circumvent culinary confusion with a website packed full of videos, recipes and pictures, and encourage fans to send in their own creations.
“Of course, as with any innovation, educating consumers is a challenge that players will need to address,” says Seamore’s founder, Willem Sodderland.
Though one of the most successful Dutch seaweed businesses, Seamore actually sources its products from France and Ireland — still regional, but not quite local. The seaweed is also wild harvest. Sodderland says this was not desirable and due to a lack of supply and very high prices within the Netherlands for cultivated seaweed.
“Our vision is that ultimately almost all seaweed will be farmed,” he says.
Zeewaar is the first and only commercial Dutch seaweed farm and, according to co-founder Jennifer Breaton, the only certified organic seaweed farm in the whole EU. Though its product is more expensive than regional wild harvested seaweed, the company markets it to other businesses as an ingredient replacement with added sustainability — as well as good taste.
“Seaweed is the original umami,” says Breaton. “MSG was designed after the umami of seaweed. It’s a flavor enhancer. Dashi [Japanese stock] is all kelp.”
The pitch seems to have worked: Zeewaar has gotten its harvest into a surprising array of products, including salt, roasted peanuts, tea, chocolate and falafel balls. The roasted peanuts are sold by Hema, a major discount Dutch retailer, and the balls have found their way via Dutch food producer ProLaTerre into Ekoplaza, the largest organic supermarket chain in the Netherlands.
Flavor From the Sea
By far the most iconic of Dutch seaweed entrepreneurs, however, is The Dutch Weed Burger. The biggest customer of Zeewaar, it has turned the company’s two crops of royal kombu and sea lettuce into Weed Sauce (think mayonnaise), Sea Nuggets, Weed Dogs, Seawharmas and Weed Burgers.
“Just eating it raw? You have to be a hardcore lover of seaweed to do that,” says co-founder Mark Kulsdom. “But if you dose it nicely, you have the flavor from the sea without having a fish reference.”
The Dutch Weed Burger aims to lure eaters to seaweed by adding an unfamiliar ingredient to a familiar product. Photo courtesy of Mark Kulsdom
Kusldom has just returned from his production facility with a stock of 30,000 seaweed burger patties to see him through the summer. In addition to his eponymous restaurant and food truck, he says he stocks over 200 Dutch businesses, including all 74 cafes in the nationwide Bagels & Beans chain.
Much like Seamore and Zeewaar, Kulsdom says that a certain comfort factor is key to his success.
“Burgers are a way in, because you can introduce the flavor, but there’s still a lot of familiarity to the product,” he says. “[Customers] know the burger, they know the toppings, they know how it looks, how to hold it and how to eat it.”
And with an easy-to-understand product and a sly name, Kulsdom says his restaurant is bringing in customers for adventurous, novel eating — vegan and non-vegan alike. Unlike the raw green product spurned by the child when this article began, Kulsdom has made Dutch seaweed something that, after a long and unlikely journey, can be found in the hippest of restaurants in the heart of Amsterdam.
This article originally appeared on Ensia
About The Author
Joshua James Parfitt is an English journalist. Currently interning with environmental news source Mongabay, he will soon study for a diploma in multimedia journalism. He speaks five languages and has written in three continents about food, religion, environment, crafts and architecture.
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, bakers at People’s Donuts churn out blueberry, chocolate, vanilla cake, lemon poppy seed and other sugary sweet doughnuts without using any animal products.
But some days, the bakers go hog wild, if you will, making a maple doughnut with textured soy protein bacon bits on top for their most special customers.
“I feel like you shouldn’t let the meatatarians have all the fun,” says doughnut maker Rachael Devlin, wiping a dab of chocolate from her chin at Eclair Pastries on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue, which is where the 6-week-old People’s Donuts does its baking.
From doughnuts to chocolate truffles to strawberry cheesecake, bakers are increasingly cooking up delectable vegan desserts, and plenty of non-meat eaters and carnivores alike are gobbling them up.
Last year, Alicia Parnell opened Que SeRaw SeRaw, an organic vegan raw retail food store in Burlingame.
Nothing in the store, which offers prepackaged salads, soup, entrees, pizza and desserts, is cooked above 118 degrees. Still, her food doesn’t skimp on flavor, she said.
“We have the yummiest (vegan) cheesecake on the planet,” says Parnell.
In addition, they sell blueberry scones, chocolate truffles, pecan bliss cookies, cinnamon rolls with frosting and pies.
“I have one customer, who wants to buy a whole pie every day,” she says. “We are only two people making food. Then he comes in and says he’s buying it for his mother and his aunt.”
Her desserts, she says, also aim to satisfy even the most serious chocoholic.
“We have a chocolate pudding that is absolutely out of this world,” she says. “It handles the chocoholic’s need for a fix.”
People’s Donuts owner Josh Levine of Oakland spent a year studying doughnut-making and tasting doughnuts before perfecting his recipe, which he says contains no eggs or milk and is nearly all organic.
Claiming to be the first vegan doughnut operation in the state, he says even those skeptical of vegan food find the doughnuts tasty.
“I’ve had marriage proposals and exclamations of love,” says Levine. “They are surprised because they think it’s going to taste like bean sprouts and tofu.”
Ryan Kellner, the owner of Mighty-O, an all organic vegan doughnut shop in Seattle, understands the long-standing prejudice toward vegan food and is working to change it by making great-tasting donuts.
“There are some people out there who, if you say, ‘Try this, it’s vegan,’ they will say, ‘No thanks I’m not vegan.'”
He once gave a batch of his vegan doughnuts to a group of construction workers who gobbled up every last crumb.
“Then they found out they were vegan doughnuts and then didn’t want to eat them any more,” he says. “I think it’s really weird, but it’s part of human nature. Some people like to eat meat (and eggs and dairy), and they don’t want to be told that their lifestyle is wrong.”
But these days with people paying more attention to the evils of trans fats — thanks in part to the Food and Drug Administration’s January 2006 requirement that it be listed on food labels — there is an increased yearning for delicious, healthful desserts that go beyond the hippie, earthy, crunchy date-oat bar sort of thing.
“Vegan baking is becoming more popular, and people are becoming more conscious of the fact that there is a lot more of it going on,” says Kellner.
“The vegan movement has always been asking for it, but most of the stuff five or 10 years ago wasn’t any good. But now, these people are growing up, and they are willing to try different things,” he says.
A vegan (pronounced, VEE-gn) avoids all animal meat, chicken and fish as well as eggs, animal milks, honey and their derivatives.
But veganism also denotes “a philosophy and way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, nonhuman animals for food, clothing or any other purpose and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, nonhumans and the environment,” according to one description in the Vegan Voice, a magazine devoted to the lifestyle.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz knows quite a bit about cooking and eating vegan.
The author of “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” and the “Vegan with a Vengeance,” the 34-year-old New Yorker has been a vegan since she was 16.
She said vegan baking isn’t more difficult than baking with eggs and milk, but there is a little more trial and error.
“You have to really learn how ingredients act together,” she said. “I think a lot of people try and replace eight eggs with eight cups of apple sauce and that doesn’t always work.”
Moskowitz, who is working on a third cookbook, says she tried for a decade to make the perfect lemon bar. “Every couple of months for the last 10 years I’d try and make them,” she says.
Finally, it was agar agar, a vegan gelatin substitute made from seaweed, that helped her turn out the perfect lemon bar. Moskowitz keeps track of what people are saying about her vegan dessert recipes, and the reviews are quite good.
“I haven’t had any complaints. I look at people’s food blogs, and people say ‘I can’t believe it, it’s the best cupcake I ever had,'” she says.
Charlotte Blackmer of Berkeley can relate. She runs a Web site and food blog called Love and Cooking, which offers her home recipes, experiences feeding the multitudes, restaurant reviews and other food-related musings.
Blackmer says while “it is perfectly possible to make a lovely fruit compote, or a crisp, or even fruit pie without use of animal products, sometimes the soul just cries out for … chocolate cake.”
For this, she got help from an “extremely non-hippie source” — an acquaintance who is a convert to Orthodox Christianity hipped her to a vegan chocolate cake that is truly heaven sent, she says.
Because Orthodox Christians have prescribed rules about abstaining from particular foods in the seasons of Advent (before Christmas) and Lent (before Easter), as well as abstaining from certain foods on most Wednesdays and Fridays during the year, they find ways to eat dessert without cheating, according to Blackmer.
So, wrote Blackmer, “If you or a near one are vegan, or dairy-sensitive, or egg-sensitive, or trying to cut down on your cholesterol, this is just a darn tasty cake, and it couldn’t be easier to put together.”
And if that doesn’t satisfy the sweet tooth, you can always grab a maple bar with those yummy soy protein bacon bits at the People’s Donuts in Berkeley. Your arteries will thank you.
For topping, you have several options. Josephine either dusts it with powdered sugar, or frosts with frosting-in-a-can that passes the ingredient test. If you are a better person than I am, you can whip up some frosting of your own as long as you use margarine or shortening, not butter. What I did was put some high-quality dark chocolate chips on the cake the minute it came out of the oven, and after they melted (about 5 minutes), spread them with my spatula to cover the cake.
Josephine’s Lenten Chocolate Cake
Shortening or margarine for greasing
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting the pan
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (check label to make sure they’re vegan, some brands have whey)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put 2 cups of water into a container in the fridge. Grease (not butter!) and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended. If you want to add the optional dark chocolate chips or nuts, you can do so at this stage.
3. Mix cold water and wet ingredients together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tested done.
— Recipe courtesy of Charlotte Blackmer
Per serving (made with nuts and chocolate chips): 448 calories, 5 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 20 g total fat, 0 cholesterol, 391 mg sodium, 3 g fiber. Calories from fat: 40 percent.
Per serving (without nuts and chocolate chips): 372 calories, 4 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 390 mg sodium, 2 g fiber. Calories from fat: 34 percent.
02 September 2011
Cruelty-Free Meat or Cheat?
After my last post got scooped, besides thanking my stars that I have civil readers, I decided to raise the bar with another facet of the story. I must caution, things are about to get all Buddhist up in here.
Ok, assuming you eat meat, would it make a difference if the animal did not suffer? The market for free-range meat products, often at a premium, indicates that many people think so. How about if the animal is from a factory farm, yet led a pain-free existence? Sounds like a contradiction, but it does not have to be. That is, if the animal was incapable of feeling pain.
According to an op-ed by a philosophy-neuroscience-psychology PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis, eliminating the sensation of pain is the least we can do for those we sacrifice for the dinner plate. I do not agree. I think the least we could do is to go vegan, but hey that's me.
The author notes several ways to eliminate pain (yet not my idea), the first is "by damaging a laboratory rat’s anterior cingulate cortex, or by injecting the rat with morphine, [this will] block its affective perception of pain." Some may think it trite, but when making an ethical choice about another, it helps to compare the choice to one involving oneself or one's own kind. If the answers are different, one should explore why. In this case, would it be ethical for me to beat up a person high on morphine or with a damaged anterior cingulate cortex? Even if in the latter case they were more likely to be Republican? I'd say no. Plus we all know Kick Ass is a good guy.
Later in the article is mentioned the research of Min Zhou at University of Toronto and that of Zhou-Feng Chen also at WUSTL. Neither of which illustrate more than a step towards a freedom from pain, as they mention the animal feeling pain but not reacting the same. I don't see how anyone would find this as an improvement, except for factory farmers who want docile and more manageable animals. I suppose the pain could be registering but not feel bad, but that doesn't seem much better.
I think we need to analyze the aspects of pain and suffering. Pain stems from some kind of damage to an organism. The damage triggers signals which send a message to the brain that damage has occurred. Often receipt of the message causes additional 'damage.' I'll go through this backwards, from the recipient to the source.
To use an analogy, someone steals money from your bank account, the bank sends you an email, you read it, then you feel bad. Ideally, we should eliminate all the aspects at the source: No theft. If the money is stolen, damage is still done whether the theft is noticed or not.
Let's say an animal is changed so they, like a Terminator, receive the pain message and sense it but do not 'feel' it. The damage is done, and the money is gone. They may act less emotionally, and perhaps do not suffer, but I don't think the argument could be made that it is cruelty free.
If you simply must steal the money (which you do not), is stopping the message from being sent or received better? Is no news good news? The damage is still done, and perhaps it's worse to act like nothing happened. Pain has a purpose. If your wing is hurt, and you feel the pain, you can try to favor the other side and protect the sensitive area so it can heal. If you didn't know you had an injury, and kept bumping it, it would get worse and fester. Your quality of life would lessen, perhaps severely.
I remember a heated debate within my college's animal rights group about direct action and violence. Some thought that destroying inanimate objects like a lab, was non-violent if no animals were harmed. Others thought blowing something up was inherently violent. I suppose a similar argument could be made concerning unfelt or pain-free harm done to an animal.
Also, one should consider the issue of consent. If a being is suffering, and one can eliminate the suffering, typically that does not require consent unless the subject is a Christian Scientist. If however, the situation involves alleviating pain that one is causing and will continue to cause intentionally, I would think this would need some kind of agreement. Would you want any of these permanent changes made to you so not feel/sense pain/suffering?
Attention, Vegans: Scientists Are Perfecting Seaweed That Tastes Like Bacon - Recipes
We used to stock sea grapes but no longer do. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes. Our food license only allows us to handle dried seaweeds.
We used to stock bladderwrack but no longer do. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes. We focus on seaweeds which are used every day in the kitchen and bladderwrack is a wonderful seaweed with more medicinal properties. We suggest you look online (on European or North American sites as it only grows in the Northern Hemisphere) for an alternative as it is very niche.
We used to stock Alaria but no longer do as we prefer to focus on locally harvested seaweeds where possible, and alaria is harvested from the North Atlantic. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes. A great local alternative is wild wakame which is from the same family and harvested locally here in the pristine New Zealand waters.
We used to stock umami powder but no longer do as this has of a more niche appeal.
All seaweeds offer umami flavour - you could try kombu strips or leaves. Our blog has some interesting articles on umami if you would like to learn more.
Since the earthquake in Kaikoura in 2016, the commercial harvesting area for Karengo in New Zealand remains closed. We have sourced Karengo (also known as nori or laver) from ethical harvesters of both wild (from South America) and farmed Karengo (from Korea). All seaweeds we offer in our range have been tested in accordance with the ANZ Food Code, Schedule 19.
At this stage we don’t have visibility on when local karengo will be allowed to be commercially harvested again. Watch this space - we will be very excited and you will probably hear it here first!
Kombu is a kelp which has been cut and dried in a specific way. This blog article will hopefully provide more information for you. We offer kombu strips and leaves and a range of kelp seasoning and powders.
Yes, Irish Moss is the same as Sea Moss and carrageenan and is safe. We don’t process this seaweed – we offer it in its raw form – as small flakes. Most people will make it into a gel before using it. See here for various options on making the gel using heat or preparing it as a raw gel.
Please read this blog article which we hope clarifies your questions on Carageenan. It can be confusing!
Irish Moss can either be dried indoors or outdoors. The pale Irish moss we sell is ‘sun bleached’ – this is left out in the sun to dry naturally. The darker colour indicates where the Irish moss has been dried indoors. Availability of sun bleached Irish moss can be impacted by the weather during harvesting season so we will offer what is available at the time of harvest. In both cases, we work with harvesters of Irish moss who are organically certified and operate in accordance with strict European food safety standards. All seaweeds we offer in our range have been tested in accordance with the ANZ Food Code, Schedule 19..
Some of our seaweeds can vary in size and shape depending on when in the season they are harvested. For example, early season wakame will be a thin leaf whilst the end of the season sees a much broader, denser leaf. This changing shape of the seaweed is especially relevant for wild harvested products which can vary considerably in colour and shape from one season to the next, or from one harvesting area to another, depending on growing conditions, this does not impact their attributes. Farmed seaweeds are usually offered in a more consistent format throughout the year.
All seaweeds are essentially macroalgae. These sea vegetables are gluten free by default. To be sure we have tested the entire range (including our seasoning range) for gluten in an independent laboratory, and can assure you our whole range is gluten free.
This varies by seaweed but generally seaweeds will have approximately 2-3 years (longer than you may expect) because of the natural preservatives and saltiness of them. Some of the seasoning range has 18 months. Each product is date stamped with the Best before date.
Once opened, please reseal the bag or ensure it is airtight to keep moisture out, preferably away from direct sunlight (especially the green seaweeds like sea lettuce and spirulina which are light sensitive). Seaweeds will absorb moisture from the atmosphere so keep them dry until you are ready to use them.
Once you have re-hydrated the seaweed use within a day or two (store in the fridge). Please pay attention to the suggested serving sizes on the reverse of the packaging – it will expand when wet, it so serves more people that you may envisage at first.
Once opened, store in an airtight container, or reseal to keep the moisture out. Dried seaweeds do not need to be kept in the fridge – pantry, is fine – out of direct sunlight (especially the green seaweeds like sea lettuce and spirulina which are light sensitive).
Once you have re-hydrated the seaweed use within a day or two (store in the fridge). Please pay attention to the suggested serving sizes on the reverse of the packaging – it will expand when wet, it so serves more people that you may envisage at first.
Hopefully this short summary will provide the answers you are looking for. We offer farmed and wild harvested seaweeds and only work with ethical harvesters who are invested in the health of the ocean. All seaweeds we offer in our range have been tested in accordance with the ANZ Food Code, Schedule 19..
Pacific Harvest proudly offers a range of seaweeds. Seaweeds, like land plants grow in different environments – different latitudes, depths. Some prefer shallow water, others depth, some prefer rocky shorelines.
As a result, we work with harvesters from around the world to stock a range of seaweeds which grow locally and abroad. Some popular seaweeds in Australasia only grow in the northern hemisphere so we import where required. All seaweeds we offer in our range have been tested in accordance with the ANZ Food Code, Schedule 19..
Agar is a red seaweed which we sell in a powdered format. The most common use is as a vegan gelatine. Our Agar is sustainably farmed from India and is flavourless and odourless.
Some seaweeds, particularly the wild harvested ones, may have a white powder on the leaf. This is as a result of an amino acid which naturally rises to the surface of the leaf as the leaf dries. This is the source of umami flavour and is not to be confused with mould. This white powder (which naturally occurs on wild harvested seaweed leaves) is what the Japanese scientist who invented MSG in the 1920s was trying to recreate.
If there is a smell of mould please do not consume the seaweed. Please contact us with pictures of the seaweed, and details of the best before date and batch stamp on the packaging and we’ll liaise with you directly depending on the situation. Please read our T&C’s if you have any other questions.
Many seaweeds (particularly the brown seaweeds like kelp, wakame) do have naturally high levels of iodine. Excessive consumption beyond the recommended daily intake can have harmful effects for some people. Please adhere to serving suggestions on packaging.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you would like extra guidance for your personal situation.
Radiation can certainly impact seaweeds. This is why it is critical to only harvest seaweeds which have grown in uncontaminated waters. Radiation (such as from the Fukushima disaster in 2011) travels fair distances based on currents. The map here provides more information on how different currents can impact harvesting areas. We only work with harvesters who collect from uncontaminated regions.
From time to time we have undertaken radiation testing to confirm levels where the need has arisen. However we have not yet had an issue with contaminated seaweeds.
Our range is focused on raw, dried seaweeds and some which we have blended into seasonings to make them easy to use every day.
Whilst the nori seaweed sheets you can purchase in many supermarkets are made from seaweed, many are deep fried and processed in the same way that crisps are. We sell the raw ingredients that you can integrate into your own raw unprocessed snacks or use as ingredients in your own cooking.
Please check our blog article on this Sea Chicory. Give us a call or email us if you have more questions!
Dashi is very simple to make and has pure umami flavor that can be used to enhance a wide variety of dishes.
-4 cm x 4cm dried kombu (kelp)
-3 cups (600ml) water
-8 g bonito flakes
Make a few slits in the kombu and cook it in the water on a medium heat. Remove the kombu just before it boils and add the bonito flakes. Bring to the boil and strain.
Molecular mechanism of the allosteric enhancement of the umami taste sensation, Ole G. Mouritsen and Himanshu Khandelia
Umami flavor as a means of regulating food intake and improving nutrition and health, Ole G Mouritsen Abstract
The Secret’s Out as Japanese Stock Gains Fans – The New York Times