There’s more to the sea than just fish, shellfish, and seaweed. It also has a wide range of sea vegetables or sea greens that are making their way to consumers’ plates because of their natural flavor and health benefits.
It won’t be long before industries will look to the sea and its vegetables to fulfill demands and become the future of produce.
Here are five reasons why:
1. They are beneficial to the environment
While many complain that food production on land has negative effects on the environment, sea vegetables can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions associated with food by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.
2. More nutritious than land vegetables
One reason why sea vegetables became popular is because of their health benefits.
Sea vegetables are packed with protein, iodine, fiber, and vitamins A, B, C, and E that are in amounts 10 to 20 times higher than land vegetables. Some sea vegetables also contain more calcium than milk, while sea lettuce has 25 times the iron found in beef.
Another health benefit of sea vegetables is that they are rich in antioxidants that promote cardiovascular health, stabilize blood-sugar levels and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
3. They are trendy
Many food producers are turning to sea vegetables to keep up with the demand of their consumers. And to have leverage in the market, some producers are finding various ways to make it trendy and innovative so that the public will be interested to try it out.
4. Sea vegetables provide new flavors and textures
Like land vegetables, sea vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on the consumer’s preference. Although they exhibit a range of subtle flavor differences, sea vegetables taste similarly to cooked greens but are more savory in flavor.
5. They are easy to grow
Unlike land vegetables, sea produce has minimal requirements for growth. With the right amount of sunlight, saltwater, and mineral inputs, they are sure to grow rapidly.
This has been proven by a team of researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute when they grew more than 100 pounds of sea asparagus, sea purslane, and saltwort within 10 weeks with just saltwater and fish waste as fertilizer.