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Q & A: Sea vegetables

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
May I have some info about the food products produced using underwater plants gowth by underwater farms?
- Yusuf Sayıta (age 17)
Incesu Anatolian High School, Ankara, Turkey
A:
Hi Yusef,

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.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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