Making Waves for a Thriving Future with Seaweed
-Shriya Swaminathan A former shrimp farmer, Beau Perry was working towards making the business more “sustainable,” when he inadvertently fed shrimp…
A former shrimp farmer, Beau Perry was working towards making the business more “sustainable,” when he inadvertently fed shrimp seaweed. He was amazed by the miraculous positive effects it had on their survival and health. Such was his impetus to dive deep into the literature and learn all about the wonders of seaweed. Through the process, he realized that we should be eating seaweed directly instead of the circuitous approach of reaping their benefits by feeding them to animals bred for consumption. Not long after this epiphany, he founded Blue Evolution with the mission to harness the powers of seaweed “to fill our bellies, nourish our bodies, expand our imagination, and deepen our experience.” Beau credits the humble algae and his 8-year old animal rights activist son for helping him arrive at his plant-powered lifestyle.
Envisioning Creative Cuisines with Seaweed
When Perry founded Blue Evolution, he aspired to integrate seaweed’s magic into familiar American favorites. “Healthy snack options and hearty meals were our main focus. If we can improve the nutrition profile while adding a depth of flavor to traditional staples like popcorn and pasta, why not?” Even more exciting- when it comes to celebrating diverse cuisines with seaweed, the possibilities are endless. From tortillas to soups, and smoothies to desserts- a sprinkle of seaweed may just elevate your culinary experience to a whole new level you didn’t realize you were missing out on!
Among the company’s products, Perry’s favorite is the Alaskan Kombu Kelp Puree. Kelp is a type of seaweed that is packed with nutrients and flavor. “Typically, when you have a bowl of minestrone soup, you can pick up disparate ingredients and individual flavors of vegetables. But when I add our kombu paste, it elevates the entire experience of the dish! I find it more substantial as a meal; it keeps me full longer. Just a teaspoon or two of the paste brings a unique, harmonious balance of flavor which is hard for me to describe in words!”
Regenerative Farming at its Finest
“Seaweed is the fast-growing crop, requiring the least amount of input, and has the broadest applications,” says Perry. This affords enormous potential for a sustainable approach to feeding the Earth’s population, tackling climate change, and creating more job opportunities. Perry explains that ocean carbon is markedly different from atmospheric carbon. While atmospheric carbon sequestration does not affect oceanic carbon levels, removing carbon from oceans improves the ocean’s ability to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere.
The noble act of planting trees is indeed valuable. But the time required for them to grow to have any notable impact on atmospheric carbon and their inability to tackle increasing oceanic carbon calls for an immediate, scalable, feasible solution. Interestingly, oceanic carbon sequestration also facilitates ocean deacidification. Seaweed saves the day by both atmospheric decarbonization- tackling climate change, and ocean deacidification in the same stroke!
Working with Local Communities for Integrative Solutions
It is crucial to acknowledge that specific locations are primed to harbor fruitful seaweed farms. Blue Evolution consciously sources their seaweed and processes them at a facility owned by the Sun’aq Tribe in Kodiak, Alaska. The team believes that including indigenous populations whose wisdom about their land and waters is essential for guiding responsible farming practices.
Any farming endeavor has an accompanying set of risks- overfarming, lack of knowledge of indigenous species, introducing genetically modified seaweed, etc. that could wreak havoc on the local ecosystem and resident communities. Working with the native Alaskan tribes has allowed Blue Evolution to plan their harvest around the spawning cycle of the local herring population. By helping these keystone forage fish species rebound, other aquatic and terrestrial life that rely on them in the food chain can thrive, hence boosting ecosystem health!
An Ideal Future for Sustainable Food
According to our pioneering seaweed expert, Perry foresees his ideal food system being led by conscious, compassionate vegans eating plenty more seaweed! The team at Blue Evolution hopes to collaborate with more plant-based food tech companies and feature seaweed in future formulations of their products. The concern of missing out on flavor and satiety is common amongst the skeptics and veg-curious. However, like mushrooms, seaweed can deliver the desired umami flavor, meaty texture, and satisfying satiety.
It appears that this is only a glimpse of the untapped potential of seaweed power. Owing to its versatility, it might not be long before we find seaweed kicking plastic packaging to the curb, and fueling our vehicles! A delicious plant-based product delivered in compostable or biodegradable packaging sounds like a win-win for all Earthlings and the planet!
Blue Evolution products are available for retail at grocery stores. Don’t fret if you cannot find them near you! They also ship nationwide so be sure to stock up on some planet-saving seaweed supplies!
The post Making Waves for a Thriving Future with Seaweed appeared first on VEGWORLD Magazine.plant-based nasdaq-bynd fish desserts shrimp