why seaweed hasn't replaced kale yet

A very interesting article in WHYY marketplace called “Is kelp the new kale? It was supposed to be” hits at an interesting point. A few years ago seaweed was being called the next superfood, and bold claims like, “seaweed would become the new kale” were commonplace. But that hasn’t happened yet, why?

Anoushka Concepcion is an assistant extension educator with the Connecticut Sea Grant. She works with seafood producers and researchers and answers questions about the latest technology and trends. In an interview Anoushka said “The idea sort of took off before all the practical challenges can be addressed,” Concepcion said. “Farmers are finding it difficult now just to get rid of their seaweed. They can’t get rid of it.”

Bren Smith, co-founder of GreenWave, says the seaweed business is past the startup phase and now needs to build infrastructure and grow market demand by changing people’s tastes on a larger scale.

We all know it’s good for us, now we just need to start eating it.

Is seaweed the new superfood?

When it comes to superfoods, kale is king. Not only is kale nutrient rich, but affordable, sustainable, and versatile as well. People have become incredibly crafty, developing recipes such as pickled kale, kale nachos, kale cocktails, and even frozen kale cubes- the list goes on. For those of us looking for a little superfood variety, let’s turn our attention to seaweed.

Orlando style wrote an article comparing the USDA reported nutrient values of kale and seaweed. They explained that not only is seaweed twice as rich in nutrients, but also rich in iodine.

Where seaweed falls short is the lack of creative and interesting recipes. You just don’t see seaweed infused into dishes the way kale has in the last decade. We encourage people to experiment with seaweed, but if you don’t know where to start, the internet is becoming more robust in seaweed recipes. Currently our favorite cookbook is ‘Seaweed: A collection of simple and delicious recipes from an ocean of food’ by Claudia Siefert. Claudia recognizes seaweed as the new superfood and provides a range of simple to complex recipes using a variety of seaweeds that can be collected or purchased in the northern hemisphere.

Start experimenting, and we hope to start seeing seaweed used in fun new ways.