Turning To The Ocean For Our Next Big Food Source

Golden Kelp

As our climate starts to change so to must our eating habits. We’re currently faced with challenges like antibiotic resistance, drought, food insecurity, and obesity, so where can we turn? Funny enough, it’s the ocean, and this Scientific American article raises a lot of interesting ideas.

“I’m growing more food in 20 acres of ocean now than I was in 100 acres a few years ago,” he said. Oyster cages mark the sea floor, and curtains of kelp sprout along lines suspended by surface buoys. Mesh containers housing scallops, clams and mussels hang among the long kelp leaves. All of these species extract nutrients that leech into the water from land-based agricultural runoff (a significant contributor to ocean dead zones), and that’s central to Smith’s approach. His work with Greenwave is aimed at jump-starting a “blue-green” economy: identifying restorative species in any given ecosystem that make the oceans healthier, that are nutritious, delicious, and economically viable. This is an “elegant solution,” to some of the problems inherent in our current food system, Smith said.

The article focuses particularly on kelp which it dubs as the next “super-food”. What kind of foods do you make with kelp? There’s a surprising number of dishes though the most enticing for me personally is the kelp butter.

Kelp leaves cut into strips make a perfect al dente noodle; pickled kelp stems are crisp, flavorful and refreshing; kelp butter makes a unique but mild and rich spread; and a simple plate of kelp with a bit of sweet sesame dressing gives any fancy kale salad a run for its money.

July 14, 2014 / By