The Ocean’s Superfood

3D ocean farms produce a variety of foods. But the star of the show is kelp. If there was ever a superfood, it’s kelp.

Kelp and other edible seaweeds are incredibly nutritious. These sea veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s. (People get omega-3s by eating fish. Where do fish get it? From seaweed!)

Kelp is a zero-input food.  You don’t have to add anything to it. The ocean and sunlight provide everything that kelp needs.

There's more. You may know that the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas pumps a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. A lot of the CO2 ends up in the ocean. It makes the water more acidic. The acidity does harm some wildlife. Shellfish, for example, grow thinner shells.

Kelp rolls are just one of many dishes that are made with kelp.

Bren Smith harvests kelp from his ocean farm.

Seaweed to the rescue! Kelp absorbs CO2 as it grows, just like land plants take in CO2 from the air. So, the more kelp that ocean farmers grow, the less acidic the ocean becomes.

Seaweed farms also are a boost to the economy. Orders for kelp and other seaweeds are on the rise. The growing demand means more people can get into the ocean farming business. And they can make a decent living.

Bren Smith helped to create GreenWave to help others set up their own ocean farms. GreenWave even guarantees to buy most of their crop for the first two years. That way, the new farmers know they’ll be able to sell what they grow. Thousands of people have contacted Smith for his help.

Bren Smith helps prepare kelp for eating.

Tastes Like the Ocean

Okay, so kelp does a lot of wonderful things. But how does it taste?

A lot of fans say kelp "tastes like the ocean." Some of these sea veggies, like sugar kelp, are very mild. They may have just a hint of saltiness. A mild flavor makes it easy to add kelp to dishes, like soups, salads, beans, rice, and pizza. Seaweed smoothies are a growing favorite.

Some seaweeds are a bit fishier than sugar kelp, with a flavor closer to tuna. Other seaweeds have a savory taste, like meat or mushrooms. No matter the flavor, cooks are learning that seaweed adds a delightful flavor of the ocean to many foods.

Good for food, good for the planet, good for business, and fantastic nutrition. No wonder seaweed is the ocean’s supercrop!

a bowl of kelp ready for eating