• UMassD Eats

Kelp what? Learning from the Professionals!

Updated: Sep 10, 2019


By: Marketing Manager Intern, Kendall Foundation-UMass Dartmouth,

Michaella Lesieur

Kelp can be a mystery word for some leaving one to think…is it a type of vegetable or a new face mask that is supposed to leave your face feeling flawless and radiant? Not so much... What exactly is it you may be wondering? Well, kelp is something that should be incorporated into your diet today! It is not one of those diet fads, that is not the answer, but rather farmed fresh from our seas and has been around for years.

When attending the kelp dinner in Portland, Maine earlier this year during Portland Seaweed Week what we learned was interesting. There are so many ways on how we can incorporate kelp into our everyday lifestyles. What most people don’t know is that kelp carries along with it many benefits anywhere from nutritional to environmental. It has all the benefits of potassium, calcium, iodine and iron all of which our bodies need more of.

Kelp is a type of seaweed and is grown locally, which makes it surprising how underutilized it is. From seaweed salads, to pastas, on top of fish, to topping it on meats kelp can be incorporated into so many various recipes that you can make right at home. You can even add it to your smoothies. These products are really easy to use and require little to no work when preparing. My favorite part is it’s grown locally, which means it can’t get any fresher and does not need to be shipped or imported we know exactly where it’s coming from.

UMass Dartmouth Dining and Chartwells is working on incorporating kelp into our communities. As they partner up with Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Northeastern University, and Eastern Connecticut State University to raise awareness and to start integrating this sea green onto their menus through the Kendall Foundation Food Vision Award that UMass Dartmouth Dining won in 2018.

According to Briana Warner the CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms “Kelp farming is increasingly popular in cold water states, and some fishermen in Maine and Alaska are starting to farm kelp as a way to diversify their income in the face of vulnerable wild fisheries.”

The process starts at planting and grows right in the ocean until harvesting time. This simple yet tasty trend creates an abundance of this sea veggie. Aquaculture is a new way of farming that actually works to help the environment and better water quality as we learned at the dinner. We also learned that it’s pretty easy to grow and is a great way to create more jobs for our fishermen.

As we continue to explore the ever-growing industry, we look forward to sharing with you the benefits of kelp throughout our journey. You can follow us and stay up to date with all there is to know about the kelp life by liking us on our social media outlets and tuning into our blog. You too can participate by challenging yourself by incorporating this sea gem into your next dinner party meal or breakfast smoothie before that morning run. Happy tasting!

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