Not-your-regular Smoothie

Why not packed in an extra dose of protein in your daily smoothie making with some cricket flour? And then have fun talking about the unusual ingredient with your gym pals? Sounds intriguing? Let’s get started.

 

Ingredients:

• 1/2 ripe banana
• 1/2 apple, chopped
• 2 kiwi fruits, peeled
• 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 1/2 tablespoon cricket flour

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes. If necessary, add a bit of fruit juice of your choice for the desire thickness. Pour out and enjoy!

Incorporate cricket flour in your daily smoothie making for a healthier you and a healthier environment. If your neighborhood grocery store does not carry cricket flour, you can easily order them on line.

 

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A little cricket mania

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) web page pointed out very clearly the anticipated population growth of reaching 9 billion by 2050 is placing tremendous stress to the environment to induce further food and livestock feed production. Depletion of agricultural land, forest, water, fishery, biodiversity resources, non-renewable energy and nutrients are anticipated.

In recognizing the unavoidable trend, FAO has been tirelessly researching, promoting the idea of edible insects as an alternate food source.  A staggering 1900 species of insects have been identified as fit for human consumption. One of them is your friendly chirping cricket that your little brother has been feeding to his pet iguana for ages. Marching forward, entomophagy (insect eating) will likely become more visible as an alternate food source.
A cricket resting on a wall.

Why insects are chosen?

It is not something new, humans have been consuming insects since prehistoric ages. Cave drawings and archeology digs have provided evidence as such. Some cultures in Asia, South America, Africa, New Zealand and Australia just never cease with this tradition.


What’s the nutritious values of eating insects?

Studies have shown that edible insects contain a significant amount of quality protein. In addition, they provide a variety of essential amino acids, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins for humans. Some species such as cricket contained as much calcium as dairy milk. Humans can replace regular white or red meat completely with insect without suffering a nutrient deficiency. In recognizing of this fact, a few companies have started producing flour, biscuits, chips, energy bars with pulverized six-legged buggy contents. Bitty, Exo and Chapul have been shipping their products containing cricket flour for a while now. Their products can be ordered online.

What’s the impact on the environment?

For one thing, insects require a lot less feed than other livestock. For example, crickets need only 1/6 of what are fed to cattle, ¼ of sheep, and ½ of chickens and pigs to produce the similar amount of protein. Often, insects can be raised on organic waste cutting down economic and environment strain further. Their requirement for fresh water is a mere fraction of what is needed to keep traditional livestock. They reproduce at much faster rate than conventional life stock. A female cricket can lay close to 1500 eggs quarterly. The development of eggs to adult crickets is a mere 45 to 60 days.

Favorable greenhouse gas and ammonia emission of insect farming due to their excellent direct conversion of plant to protein index. The calculation has indicated the food conversion efficiency of crickets is almost twenty times better than cattle.
Mindset Change

The notion of insects could be part of the equation of solving future food insecurity have FAO and numbers of countries looking into this mini-livestock production seriously.  A well-run, scientifically managed, large-scale farming of edible insects could be the solution to preventing food scarcity, but that would require a shift in Western perception on insects as edible.

Popular reality TV shows such as Fear Factor reintroduced the concept of insect eating to the mass. A few restaurants in Canada, USA, and Europe have been serving insects on their menu. Competitive eating of insect is a fun way to entice more Western culture into the fold of entomophagy.

Visibility, habitats conservation, and economic incentives are likely the main push for the society embracing insects into the food chain.

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Growing Food in Urban Jungle

As world population grows, arable lands continue to be converted for other usage. Food security is a serious concern for all nations. The world has become aware that we can’t continue on the same path as we have been for the past centuries. With national policy and heavy investment, there is no doubt innovation in food science and technology is one of the major steps forward.

But as a common people who mostly lived in high rise buildings, what can we do to help ourselves as well as the environment?  We have learned honey produced by bees housed on the rooftops in Paris is actually superior to their rural counterpart. That’s was kind of a paradigm shift in thinking. If bees can thrive in a busy city why can’t vegetation?

The emergence of rooftop vegetation gardens is encouraging and presented many advantages. First of all is of cause the fresh harvest, which in returns bring forward better health and less expenditure on grocery. Secondly, farming tends to be a community effort, just a small plot of vegetable farming can bring the neighborhood to work together. People, especially urban children, who otherwise do not have the opportunity to work on soil can now learn to grow
vegetable and other plants. A tighter community tends to be healthier, safer, and to a certain level, richer.

Japan is one of the pioneer nations on roof top garden. You might not associate farming as an activity that can occur in the densely populated Tokyo or Osaka. But that is exactly happening in these cities.
Take the lift to the rooftop of their shopping complexes, Osaka Station City Complex is one fine example, you can see vegetables, fruit-bearing trees, herbs, and even grains growing robustly under full sun. Powered by solar energy and watered by collected rain waters, the garden provides a refreshing reprieve for visiting shoppers and volunteers alike. The produce goes to the restaurants in the building or gives to those who partake in the farming activities.

Alternately, vertical garden or trellis can be an ideal choice for those who wish to grow their own on their balcony.

We may not think the produce generated from a small plot of space will make any impact in the big picture but even the ocean is nothing but a collective collection of tiny drops of water. A mere ten percent of city dwellers participate in some sort of farming activities, we are helping the world in food security.

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Sea Surface Farming

Land scarcity is a concern as the world marched towards 2050 where the 9 billionth baby is expected to be born somewhere on the earth. Expanding population but dwindling land is not exactly a nice scenario to be in.

Considering earth surface is 70% water, saved for some immediate coastal inhabitants, the surface of the sea is largely left as it was. Which is by no way a bad thing, however, the world may not be able to afford to do so unless we are willing to sacrifice more of the precious green lung.

Small scale sea surface farmingGiven the technology innovation and the capability of today top notch scientists, perhaps it is high time the modern agriculture sector looks into sea surface farming. We are probably the best generation to do so, taking into the consideration of the technical knowledge, availability of investment capital and the environment awareness sensitivity.

While I think we should explore this option but I am also aware of the damage can be done to the ocean and all the marine creatures if the plan is not executed with full care. The coordinated planning and successful execution of the International Space Station (ISS) tell me the world is capable of putting aside all their differences when it comes to human advancement. The engagement of the best minds in the world to draw up a coordinated plan collectively is vital.
At the most elementary level, a greenhouse environment equipped with the best equipment can be constructed on purpose-built barges or decommissioned ships. If the Palm Jumeirah of the United Arab Emirates can be constructed so beautifully for largely leisure purposes, I am sure the world can find a way to construct leading-edge sea surface farming facilities for the benefit of the world population to obtain alternate food source.

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Sea Urchin for Meals

Are you aware of the Japanese have been enjoying a porcupine-like sea creature for centuries?  A plate of toasted sea urchin is as common a dish as a plate of pan-seared scallops at the fishing villages dotting along the long coast of Japan. In Japan and Hong Kong, uni(oo-nee) is highly valued for its sweet and delicate taste. It is often served with sushi or sashimi.

A halved sea urchin showing its edible gonads.

Although it may appear daunting in attempting to get to the edible part of a sea urchin, a pair of tongs and a pair of man grooming scissors or kitchen shears are all it takes to accomplished the task. The taste of the uni is unique and well worth the effort. Uni(oo-nee), the bright orange–yellow part of the sea urchin is the creature’s gonads, although it is commonly addressed as the roe(eggs).

So why should we care about an expensive and hard-to-eat creature as an alternate food source? Simply because diversity and local resources are important. While sea urchins are expensive in some parts of the world, they are more likely treated as thrash in other regions, especially where they are available in abundance.

That is exactly the case for the sea urchin population along the coast of America. Sea urchins are treated as a nuisance for fishermen, divers, and destroyers of sea kelp beds. Until lately, sea urchins do not bring much of a positive impact on American fishermen as very few people would eat them. However, in recent years, sea urchins are being harvested and shipped to Asia cities where they are considered as delicacies. The harvesting kept the population of sea urchins in checked so that sea kelps are not over-glazed. It also gives a breather to other over-harvested seafood as more food diversification takes place.

Sea urchin is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, libido-enhancing zinc, heart-friendly unsaturated fat and other beneficial nutrients, so if you haven’t included sea urchin into your diet, give it a try.

The flesh of a sea urchin can be consumed raw like an oyster with certain health risk associated, so best to proceed fully informed. They can be easily barbecued, fried, toasted with spines and all. The alternate way is to remove the flesh ahead and incorporate them into dishes such as seafood chowder, pasta, salad. They are tasty as well on a sandwich. Try them out.

 

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Plant-based Protein and Eco-Food

As much as the majority of the world population would like to stick to traditional foods in its original form, the steady increases in food consumption by the expanding population, coupled with increasingly volatile weather affecting food production, it was evident to world leaders that if no drastic actions are taken, the world is likely to face a severe food shortage in the near future.

Livestock caged in cramped quarter.

Livestock farming, especially raising cattle for meat is highly inefficient in converting the energy of natural resources including land, water and feeds to a piece of protein on the plate. On feed alone, on the average to produce a pound (0.45kg) of beef requires seven pounds (3.17kg) of feed, a pound of pork requires three pounds (1.36kg) of feed, and a pound of chicken requires around 2 pounds (0.90kg) of feed. If the depletion and degradation of land, amount of water consumed, greenhouse gas emission are taking into the consideration, livestock production is one of the major factors of environmental degradation.

Further more valuable land that could be used to grow grains for human consumption are used for livestock rearing or grow feeds for the livestock. It is somewhat ironic that this particular sector of food production is a key factor in world hunger.

Realizing the current system can’t continue, but also realizing meat eaters will always have meat craving, pockets of innovative scientists have sprouted out in several research centers around the world trying to find plant-based replacement protein that can closely mimic the taste and texture of the real thing, whether it is beef, chicken, pork, or even egg. With the support of Silicon Valley bigwigs, industry entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists, numerous products are already in the grocery stores or scheduled to launch in the not too far future.

One of them is the Los Angeles-based company Beyond Meat, started by Ethan Brown in 2009 to produce food using green protein, mainly no-GMO pea or no-GMO soy with oils and other additives. Ethan switched his career from clean energy after realizing livestock sector is stripping the environment of natural resources.  In 2012, their first product, “Chicken-Free Strips,” was introduced to the market.  They have since launched Beyond Chicken Strips, Beyond Beef Crumbles, Frozen Meals, and the Beast Burger and Beast Slider. Their product, Beyond Burger, is sold in both the meat section and vegan section at selected Whole Foods grocery stores. Bill Gates, among others, has given his thumbs-up, saying he “couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken”. Ethan has a vision that eventually grocery stores will label meat section as protein section to better reflect the growing trend.

Hampton Creek Foods, on the other hand, produces plant-based substitutes to use in mayo, dressings, mixes, cookie dough, cookies, and others. The company was founded by longtime friends Josh Balk and Joshua Tetrickin in December 2011, based in San Francisco. Josh Balk was with The Humane Society of the United States farm animal division as the senior director of food policy. Joshua Tetrick, a Fulbright Scholar and a social enterprise entrepreneur. The duo named their products ‘Just’ as they hope their meat-free products is not just a substitute for egg, trans fat and sugar but assist in providing healthy and nutritious food for every person without causing more harm to the environment. Hampton Creek Foods is committed to continuous innovation and improvement in their products. In 2014, Dan Zigmond, a database guru, came on board with the aim to create the world’s largest plant database.

And then who can forget about the unprecedented taste-test of the world first lab dish-grown beef patty burger in 2013. The patty was grown from stem cells extracted from a cow and nurtured into muscle strips. Around 20,000 thin muscle tissues were then formed into patty shaped. Although the testers generally favor the cultured patty, the project leader, Professor Mark Post from the Maastricht University of Netherland remarked it will take at least another decade before the process is ready for mass producing cultured meat tissue.

At the current state, meat replacement choices are limited and expensive. As time progresses, we are likely to see more of such ventures emerges and soon we are likely to be presented with affordable versions that are hard to differentiate from the actual food they are mimicking.  Plant-based protein meat analogue provides an alternative food choice that is more environmentally viable for meat lovers.

 

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Edible packaging

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can purchase your packed lunch weeks in advance, stay fresh without refrigeration, upon consuming, there is no nasty plastic wrapper to be disposed of? Far fetch? You may be surprised that it may just be around the corner in the form of edible packaging.

Sandwiches wrapped in edible packaging.

Edible packaging offers numerous advantages. First being if the packaging becomes mainstream, waste could be significantly reduced worldwide.

At the moment, Americans generate 1.6 million metric tons of packaging waste annually with 16% made up of non-degradable plastic. This plastic eventually will either end up in landfill or ocean bed, depriving the environment of oxygen and nutrient transfer and in turns suffocating the trees and living creatures.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we can just eat the food with the packaging? Neat, tidy and no waste. Groups of forward thinking scientists and researchers are bringing this idea into actuality.

Biodegradable starch based food packaging has been around for a while as it is one of the options explored earliest. The packaging is usually starch based, can be either coated with clay nano particles or infused with additives to improve mechanical and tensile structure. The starch-based packaging is not as good in keeping out moisture as compared to other options. Nevertheless, it is a viable option for food to be consumed soon, such as a quick hamburger one grabs from the street vendor while on route to class.  Not all starch based packaging is designed to be palatable but certainly biodegradable.

On the other hand, food packaging produced by WikiCells is specifically designed to be edible. WikiCells, founded by Harvard bioengineering alumnus, David Edwards, produces consumable packaging for various food and beverages, including coffee, ice cream, yogurts fruit juices, among others.

Inspired by the design of fruit, WikiCells packaging may consist of two layers, one outer protective edible layer encapsulates a soft inner membrane “entirely comprised of natural food particles held together by nutritive ions”. The packaging is designed not only to be mere edible but tasty and nutritious.

Currently, three main options have emerges.
WikiCells are planning to introduce ice cream and yogurt encapsulated in flavored cellophane to grocery shoppers by end of this year. If their plan goes well, patrons of movie theaters and cafés may soon be able to order a latte wrapped in caramel or chocolate shell.

Another noble initiative not only designed to be edible but to prolong perishables shelf life as well, minimizing food and drink spoilage and wastage. It is no secret that nearly half of the world edible food gone wasted due to distribution spoilage or simply pure wastage. A milk protein casein has been found to be the ideal solution. A team of scientists, led by Peggy Tomasula, D.Sc, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has developed a casein-based packaging material that is 500 times less oxygen-permeable than plastic.  When protein polymerized, they form a tighter network that is better at keeping out oxygen.

The latest casein-based packaging material closely resembling plastic packaging with three outstanding   differences – they are edible, completely environmentally friendly and they are better at keeping food fresh longer.  The scientists foresee addition of flavor and nutrients in the future. Just imagine transporting nutrient enhanced casein sheets to people suffering from famine or disaster. It may just be a viable quick alternative providing temporary relief in dire condition.

The researchers also found the protein can be sprayed directly on food, such as cereal flakes, snack bars, cheese in various forms to keep them fresh without the need for sugar coating or plastic wrapper. The material can be sprayed on paper or cardboard base packaging such as pizza box to prevent grease stains. A single-serve of powdered soup or coffee can be packed in the protein sachet to be dropped directly into hot water as the sachet is water-soluble and edible with an extra dose of protein.

The application of the edible packaging is endless. It addresses many pressing issues the world is facing- plastic pollution, food supply, and distribution, reduces health hazard in current food packaging method among others. I can’t wait for the day when edible packaging is the norm rather than a curiosity. Hurray to the end of the era of plastic packaging.

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Water Harvesting and Management

We are living in a rather confusing era. In certain times of the year or certain parts of the world, flood and thunderstorms deluge the land without mercy; then in other times or places, there is nary a drop of drinkable water.

This is not only happening to the developing countries but in our own backyards too, from frequent California drought to submerging gulf coasts in Florida and Louisiana.

No water, no food, whether conventional or alternate food source!

A boat on a water depleted river bed.

Even a year 1 student knows that water is the essential factor of all living things, however, fear of diminishing usable water has become increasingly heard. This situation is not only affecting farming sector but also urban living when the water tabs run dry and the food price is escalating.

Agriculture utilizes 70 percent of total global water consumption. At this rate, it is worrisome how the world is going to have sufficient water to feed projected 9 billion people by 2050 as surface water is running low or polluted and ground reservoir water is increasingly tabbed.

The question of whether we can achieve better water management system to feed the whole world is no longer pertinent for we have no choice but to do it. World organizations, leading universities and research centers, governments and individuals have to come together to work out a sustainable water collection, utilization, and management systems. Water collection and management is a most tangled web of countless factors with each factor affects the water situation negatively or positively.

Studies conducted by leading institutions such as Columbia Water Center of Columbia University and the World Organization have indicated there are sufficient water to cater for human needs if managed properly. The broad strokes recommendations from these institutions are as followed:

Suitable Crop Growing
It is crucial to match the availability of water, biophysical environment, people social and economic capability with suitable crops for the maximum return. The crops grown has to be able to self-sustaining for local economy at the minimum. The good old day of growing water-insatiable plants in savannah region by piping in water to keep the plants alive is probably not the best practice. Looking at all possible alternate food source that are environment economical will be the way going forward.

Water Infrastructure and Water Technology Investment
One of the key success of the Roman Empire was their recognition of the importance of water supply and management. While their water infrastructure and aqua engineering were well developed and second to none, the world today is lagging in both. Unless investment in these areas takes priority and urgency, precious drinkable water will continue to be wasted.

Multiple Recycling of Water
Most drinkable water is utilized only once which is a complete waste of natural resources. In Japan, it is very common to see toilet bowls with sinks mounted directly on top of the water tank. The water used to wash hands flow directly into the tank for later flushing. This is one example of reusing water in a consistent manner. Even that, the water is only used twice. As technology advances, better water harvest and treatment may be the solution to water shortage. A flood management could well be a water resource management opportunity rather than the current disposal management practice.

Carrot Sticks
A radical change from the norm or past farming practice is unlikely to happen without clear government intervention in the form of education, incentives or aids. In Africa and India where most farmers are not well connected to the outside world, government leads are extremely important. Even in the urban area, if a change greatly inconvenient the people for the benefit of future generations, the majority of the people is not going to embrace the change without clear regulations from the government. With proper encouragement, innovation in water conservation and management can materialize faster than later.
As we inch towards 2050, the crucial point to take away is that we can no longer take water- the fluid of life, for granted. Better utilization, recycling, and innovation have to take precedent over others. What have been long practiced may no longer suitable, new thoughts and economical ways have to emerge. Without effective water harvest, the society will eventually perish.
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The Lionfish, Alternate Food Source

You may not be aware of it, but since 2010 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made numerous battle calls to fishermen and divers to hunt down a gorgeous species of oceanic creatures – the lionfish. To mobilize the battle call, NOAA launched the “Lionfish as Food” campaign to encourage public consumption of the fish.

Why would an institution that is in charge of the preservation of all things oceanic so keen on turning this beautiful creature into another cuisine?

A gorgeous lionfish hunting for food.

Here’s is why-

Lionfish is non-native and aggressively spreading
The call is necessary and in fact critical as the fish is an introduced species that is spreading aggressively in the gulf and Caribbean regions. Lack of natural predators, these natives of Indo-Pacific have gained dominance in the coastal waters of Atlantic from Louisiana, Florida to North Carolina.

In less than a decade, six escapees from a Florida aquarium during the 1992 Hurricane Andrew have resulted in the fish population second in numbers only to scamp grouper among the grouper family. NOAA and the fishery authority have conceded the lionfish is here to stay in the Atlantic coastal water. Controlling the population from exploding is crucial and no other known method is as effective as eating the invasive species.

Lionfish is devouring the native species
This species are excellent hunters with swift and powerful motion capable of swallowing prey in one single move. In addition to small fish, they consumed invertebrates and mollusks in significant quantity.

They hunt most aggressively from 7am until 11am, up to 6 different species of prey have been found in the stomach of lionfish. According to a study conducted, a single adult fish is capable of diminished young reef fish dwelling by an astonishing rate of 79%.

Their spread in the Atlantic coastal waters is worrying to the administration as left unchecked, they are capable of overpopulating the delicate reef areas, devouring and driving native species to less desirable habitat. 80% of the Atlantic atoll diversity could be jeopardized and lead to a disastrous trophic cascade effect in the food chain.


Lionfish supplement overfished stocks
The abundance of the species made it an ideal alternate fish to supplement the overfished species such as snapper and grouper.  The meat is safe for consumption when properly filleted but their fins are venomous.

Lionfish is similar in taste and texture to grouper. Light, flaky, “delicious, delicately flavored fish” according to NOAA description and those who have sampled this alternate food source.

Chefs working in conjunction with NOAA have developed recipes for ceviche, deep frying, grilling, jerky, and Sashimi. Lionfish recipes are easily available on the internet now.

Lionfish supplement the income of fishermen and divers
Harvesting the species not only give a breather to the local fish, it supplements the income of fishermen and perhaps provide an alternative activity for divers.

So tuck in a plate of lionfish whenever you have the opportunity, you are giving the poor grouper or snapper a helping hand! You can be assured of the fish is not farmed but as free range as possible!

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Broadleaf Arrowhead for Food

The Native Americans have been consuming the edible broadleaf arrowhead tubers for centuries. The tubers are both dietary food and medicine for treating mild illnesses, yet, the other communities are not as well aware of it.  It is also known as Indian potato, duck-potato, or wapato.

A healthy arrowhead plant growing in a garden pond.

Origins of Broadleaf Arrowhead
Arrowhead plant (Sagittaria latifolia) is an aquatic plant commonly found in ponds, river bands, swamps and lakes. The hardy plant traces its origin to southern Canada but it has since spread far and wide all over the world. With its robust roots that allow the plant to dwell on different water levels, the plant can colonize a wide area rapidly. In certain countries, arrowhead plant is considered as an invasive weed.

Growth Characteristic
Their ability to spread rapidly on different growth zones made the plant an ideal choice as an alternate food source to feed increasing world population. Twice a year harvest in Fall and Spring can be expected.

The tubers can be easily separated from the root with a pitch fork, feet, or stick.  When detached, the tubers usually float to the surface and that makes collection very easy.

Edible Partsarrowhead chips
The whole plant is edible but the tubers are preferred. The tubers are usually cooked for a short duration prior to consumption. It tastes bitter if eaten raw.  It can be prepared in a similar way as ground potatoes whether deep fried, stir fried, roasted, steamed or boiled. Arrowhead chips have a creamy nutty taste of it that is very much preferred in Asia.
The tuber can also be grounded into flour. The flour has many uses in culinary preparation, such as thickener in source and as a binder in meat patty.

Nutritious Values
In terms of nutritious values, boiled arrowhead tubers yield about half the amount of calories as potatoes but nearly double the amount of protein. It contains a fair amount of vitamin B6 and is rich in phosphorus, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

Ecology stabilizer
The arrowhead plant can be helpful in preventing soil erosion along river bands and given sea level is expected to rise globally in coming decades, the plant together with other robust aquatic plants can serve as an important ecological stabilizer.

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Having Seaweed Regularly

While we are exhausting the fish stock in the sea, we are not harvesting enough of one of the most nutritious produce from the sea – seaweed of all sorts.

Seaweed growing on coastal rocks.
Our prehistoric ancestors started cultivating land vegetation some 12000 years ago, the modern men continuous with this tradition. However, considering 70% of the earth’s surface is water, with 97% of the water sea or salt water, and roughly one-third of the current world population lives not more than 60 miles from a seafront coast, we have neglected in cultivating and harvesting this aquatic vegetation to feed the world population as an alternative food source.

Yes, in recent years, folks in urban cities are acquainted with a type of seaweed called nori through Japanese Sushi. Regular consumption of aquatic plants tends to be still isolated with societies that have long-established dwelling along sea fronts such as the Japanese, Southeastern Chinese, Peruvian, Chilean, and Irish.

Seaweed is a collective name for the nutrient-packed aquatic plants. There are many types of such plants in a variety of colors and shapes. Those we are familiar with are kelp, Irish moss, laver, algae, and the real seaweeds. Most urban people are more familiar with Japanese nori which is a type of algae that are compacted into sheet form. Kelps are long ribbon-shaped. Irish moss, well, looks like clustered thick moss. Laver resembling thick colorful vegetable leaves.

Seaweed is a natural source of iodine which is crucial for optimum thyroid function. The plant is also an excellent mineral source of calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. Some species can contain up to 70% of protein. Spirulina, a type of algae, is considered one of the complete protein sources in the world. Spirulina can be easily grown and multiply in a controlled in-house environment which is a key factor as a food source for increasing population.
The extraction of seaweed is already extensively used by food manufacturer as a gelling and emulsifying additives in desserts, confectionery, sauces, salad dressings, beverages, dietetic foods and baked food. We just need to step up the plate and consuming more of it in its natural form, whether in soup (Japanese miso soup), breakfast (Irish laverbread), protein supplement (spirulina powder), salad (raw seaweed), meal (sushi), beverage (Belize dulce) and as a snack (nori sheets). One of the easiest way to introduce this nutritious aquatic greens into your daily meal is to include shredded pieces of seaweed into salads. They taste nice tossed with lime juice, honey, chili flakes and olive oil. Your neighborhood oriental store is usually a reliable place to find them especially nori. If not, various online stores are selling seaweed produce.

In the Victorian era, a trip to the seaside in the summer usually involved collecting, drying and compacting seaweed fresh from the sea. If you decide to take it up as a fun beach activity please do it only where it is allowed and do it in moderation as seaweed beds are important ecological contributors. Please consult relevant authorities for advice ahead. The readers are advised to research and evaluate the pro and cons prior to engage in such activity. The writer holds no responsibility for any undesirable outcome.

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