You can find out quite a lot about food products using underwater
plants by searching on http://www.google.com and looking for the term
"sea vegetables". I am not going to list any sites found here because
they are largely commercial. Some provide extensive lists of underwater
plants used for food.
These include (most fall in the informal category "seaweed", but there are many different types):
Dulse, Kelp, Alaria, Laver, Nori (used to wrap Japanese sushi),
bladderwrack (you find this stuff washed up on the beach -- it has
small air bladders that keep it upright underwater by bouyant forces.
Many people claim health benefits from eating seaweed products,
but I am unaware of solid research showing that eating water-grown
vegetables is any better or worse than eating vegetables grown on land.
Everyone should eat his/her vegetables, of course! They are good
sources of vitamins and fiber and are not fattening. The seaweed they
use for sushi is particularly tasty. I have heard that years ago people
tried making seaweed milkshakes. I don't think however that people
should hide foods that are "good for us" inside of preparations that we
are more likely to eat. I'd prefer if vegetables are cooked and
seasoned so that we can taste what they are like and appreciate them
for what they are. Besides, sea vegetables may be a bit salty, and
that's not good for milkshakes.
(published on 10/22/2007)