Harvested vs. Farmed Seaweed: What’s the Difference?
If you’re late to embrace the many benefits of seaweed, you’re not alone. Many parts of the world are experiencing all the benefits that seaweed has to offer. They’re excited about how seaweed can add new layers of texture and nutrition to our meals, in addition to the role it can play in restoring the environment. But when it comes to harvested vs. farmed seaweed, what’s the difference? Here’s an overview.
Asian countries pioneered the use of seaweed centuries ago, long before modern farming techniques were available. In China, Korea, and Japan, seaweed has long been part of the daily diet, and they gathered it simply: by hand. Traditionally, women in villages would gather fresh seaweed when it washed onshore.
Do people still harvest seaweed today? Yes, but it’s a delicate process that only professionals should handle. Responsible harvesters:
- Use sustainable techniques that preserve the local marine ecosystem
- Source seaweed from unpolluted water
- Rinse and inspect the plants thoroughly
Now that we understand how seaweed grows, we can farm it ourselves in the ocean or even in tanks on land. It requires no land, fresh water, or fertilizers. It actually cleans the water as it grows and helps restore marine ecosystems. This is good news, considering that seaweed is becoming a truly versatile vegetable with endless uses. In addition to cooking, people are now using seaweed as a source of animal feed, biofuel, beauty treatments, and more.
At Ocean’s Balance, we take the proper steps to ensure a fantastic product that adds more vitamins and minerals to your plate.
Do You Have To Choose?
What’s the difference between harvested vs. farmed seaweed? At Ocean’s Balance, we know that farming seaweed makes it more plentiful for food products and other uses. We work with fisherwomen in Maine to start kelp farms to diversify their income. Farming seaweed is sustainable and restorative—plus, it supports the local economy.
We also partner with responsible harvesters to source some of our seaweed varieties. You don’t have to choose one process or the other. But you do need to choose a company with a mission that goes well beyond profits.
Ocean’s Balance wants to help Maine’s coastal communities thrive while preserving the environment. And we want to do it by delivering delicious seaweed to a new audience.
Seaweed is high in nutritional value and can do a lot of good. Ultimately, though, we like the way it tastes—and we think you will, too. Try our organic kombu, dulse, and wakame seaweed varieties in flakes and whole leaves. It’s just a matter of time before you find out for yourself.