Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Great photos from shetland by Thordale photography http://ping.fm/bzJv5

sea lettuce for sushi

fresh green sea lettuce http://ping.fm/VDdIM

feed the world

The Dutch are using their market-gardening skills to look at what the sea has to offer, writes ISABEL CONWAY 
The Irish Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The sea can feed the world

THE IDEA THAT in 2050 the world will have nine billion people to feed and possibly only half of today’s available land on which to grow crops and produce food, is making a group of Dutch scientists very worried.
They are so worried, in fact, that they are developing the world’s first experimental sea farm to grow a variety of sea vegetables, such as sea lettuce and nutritionally valuable seaweeds, and also to develop and harvest new species.
Scientists at Wageningen University, one of Europe’s leading agricultural institutes, are convinced that the predicted serious food shortages – which will be caused by a variety of factors from scarcity of fresh water to climate change, increased urbanisation and pollution – can be offset by using sea farms.
“They could offer a sustainable way of producing food,” says plant research scientist Willem Brandenberg. “You wouldn’t be using fresh water and the protein that some seaweed produces is of an exceptionally high quality.”
With that in mind, the Dutch have just trained the world’s first sea farmer, Julia Wald, to oversee the growing and harvesting of sea vegetables on a pilot farm off southwest Holland’s low lying Zeeland coast. The “fields” will consist of little floating terraces held together by cables. Racks and lines underwater will collect seaweed.
The farm’s main purpose will be to see whether large-scale sea farming could be conducted in the future.
Brandenberg says sea vegetables are an untapped resource that could provide a solution to the world’s worsening food problems in the coming decades.
“On land the possibilities for agricultural expansion are scarce, especially here in Holland,” he says. “The answer lies in the sea. It is a vast underutilised resource.
“Seaweed is very nutritious, and valuable proteins can be extracted and used in other foods. Unlike animal proteins, which require a lot of fresh water [to produce], it needs none. In fact it gives back fresh water as 80 per cent of seaweed is water based.”
To complete the circle on this project will require the construction of a refinery where, after extraction of the valuable proteins, the residue is suitable for bio-ethanol production.
But is all this feasible?
Brandenberg had just eaten some seaweed salad before talking to this reporter and he was planning to have a glass of seaweed-flavoured gin next, but that is not standard fare for most Europeans.
In southeast Asia, generations of people have tucked into seaweed in the hope of reaping rewards of fewer wrinkles, lower cancer and heart disease rates, but sea vegetables would surely need a marketing blitz to gain acceptance among consumers in the west, regardless of the health benefits?
“That is true,” he says. “It’s like everything else, seaweed and its outstanding health benefits and value as a food – perhaps in future on a par with a potato – must be promoted properly for acceptance. Cooks and restaurants have to be brought aboard also.”
Dutch marine biologist Dr Stefan Kraan, the scientific director and co-founder of Ocean Harvest Technology near Tuam Co Galway, is one of the experts involved in research at the pilot farm off the coast of the Netherlands. He says seaweed’s immediate future in aquaculture, biotechnology and biomedicine as well as the bioethanol industry is more exciting.
“Ireland is waking up to the benefits of seaweed and what a valuable resource it is, but whether it will ever really appeal as a daily food stuff to people in western societies is the challenge.
“It may never catch on to the same extent as in east and southeast Asia. But all of us who know the benefits, eat seaweed regularly. I felt a cold coming on this week and I had a bowl of Carrageen to stave it off. We know the remedy works.”
The use of seaweed and sea vegetables in the Irish diet goes back to pre-historic times. Monastic writings from the fifth and sixth centuries tell of dishes that used seaweed. Carrageen, dulse and sloke are the most common seaweeds still eaten. Carrageen or “Irish moss” found on the rocks around our coast is renowned for combating colds, bronchitis and chronic coughs.

New research shows that it may even block the transmission of the HIV virus as well as sexually transmitted viruses. Demand is now outstripping supply, according to the Irish Seaweed Centre in Co Galway, which helps firms with research and development. It sees a bright future for seaweed production here for use as food or in medical, industrial and other applications.

Long-term inclusion of seaweed or sea kelp in our diet can regulate metabolism and energy, stimulate the immune system, cleanse the blood, maintain healthy cellular function, support gland function, especially the thyroid, calm the digestive tract and protect against bacterial and viral infection.

And if that wasn’t enough to encourage us to switch from occasional sushi nibbling to daily seaweed consumption, we are reminded that sea vegetables are virtually fat free, low calorie and one of the richest sources of minerals and fibre. Their inclusion in our diets can help to build and sustain the broad nutritional balance of vitamins, minerals and vital nutrients, even halt the ageing process, according to the experts.

So why aren’t more of us beating a path to health shops or foraging around on sea rocks to stock up? It’s because our knowledge of seaweed’s invaluable properties is not up to par, it seems. But that is all set to change. 

Monday, 21 March 2011

garden seaweed for feed fertilizer

Wild hand harvested seaweed for use as fertilizer and mulch on gardens and allotments http://ping.fm/wGYtp

carrageen scottish seaweed

carrageen (Chondrus crispus) Irish moss Edible seaweed

carrageen scottish seaweed

carrageen (Chondrus crispus) Irish moss Edible seaweed

Friday, 18 March 2011

Panic buyers seek out salt, seaweed

Japan nuclear plant: Panic buyers seek out salt, seaweed and red wine as rumour fuels fallout fears

As nuclear panic began to spread around the world, pharmacies and supermarkets thousands of miles from Japan began to run out of anything and everything that was even rumoured to prevent radiation poisoning.

Japan nuclear plant: Panic buyers seek out salt, seaweed and red wine as rumour fuels fallout fears
Shoppers mob a supermarket to buy salt in Lanzhou, China Photo: AP
Russia saw a run on red wine and seaweed; in China people were buying massive amounts of salt, and chemists as far away as Bulgaria reported shortages of iodine tablets.
No matter how many scientists were wheeled out to reassure people that radiation levels outside Japan would not pose a threat to health, widespread distrust of official advice meant thousands placed more faith in old wives' tales.
In China, the government called for calm after shoppers bought huge quantities of salt in the belief that it contains enough iodine to block radiation.
Potassium iodide tablets, which prevent the body from absorbing radiation, have been handed out in Japan to those living near the stricken Fukushima power plant, and in China iodine is added to salt to help prevent iodine deficiency.
The mere mention of the word iodine was enough to prompt panic buying of salt amid fears that a change in the wind direction could blow a radioactive cloud across China from its near neighbour.

iodine in kelp helps protect against radioactive fallout (apparently)

Fears of nuclear fallout from Japan's quake-crippled nuclear plant have prompted a surge in sales of iodine-rich kelp in Russia's Far East.
Officials say there is no evidence the radiation has spread to Russia's Pacific coast and advise people against taking radiation antidotes. Iodine lessens the amount of radiation the human body can absorb.

Emergency workers continue pouring water on troubled reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to try and avert a meltdown of nuclear cores, but say progress is slow.
Fukushima has been hit a number of explosions since last week's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Seaweed for Gardens and Allotments http://ping.fm/wy9ol

caring for kelp zones

The good condition of seaweed beds is essential to have a sustainable abalone industry. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)
Caring for seaweed zones ensures sustainability of abalone
Click on the flag for more information about ChileCHILE 
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The first stage of a survey that was conducted on macro algae in the country revealed the need to care for seaweed meadows in order to avoid exhaustion and to ensure the sustainability of the abalone industry.
"What we look for in this type of project, along with other government initiatives, is to be proactive, so not to wait for natural seaweed grasslands to be massively affected by extraction pressures relating to the resource," said Franklin Pincheira, Aquaculture Engineer at the Catholic University of the North and a consultant at the company Aquaculture Consultant Engineer (A.C.E. Ltd).
The research project, entitled 'Transfer of knowledge and training required for the sustainable development of brown seaweed growing on the coast of Region III from hatchery and planting techniques at sea', was commissioned to Pincheira by theCorporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO), the Corporation for the Development of the Atacama Region (CORPROA) and the Project for Improvement of Competitiveness in the Aquatacama (PMC AquAtacama), reports El Diario de Atacama.
Both government officials and professionals of the aquaculture sector agreed on the need to address this research after identifying that the removal of seaweed historically went hand in hand with natural varazone resources.
"Although there is currently data regarding the consumption of seaweed from abalone and chemical industries, extracting these resources ​​far exceed the same tonnage of seaweed which are removed naturally. That led us to conclude that they were being artificially obtained in natural grasslands, which is a threat to the survival of these banks," said the expert.
Although some seaweed zones can become 50 hectares in size, it is not large enough to withstand the level of extraction.
Pincheira stressed that they "seek to train the workers in the area [farmers and fisherfolk] to have more knowledge about how to handle these grasslands, perpetuated in time, working with technical suspension systems and stocking of seaweed in order to allow them to recover."
For his part, Matías Cassanello, manager of PMC AquAtacama stated that this project will last for a duration of 11 months and will cost around CLP 56 million (USD 114,000). But he said that it will benefit some 500 people and the aquaculture sector of the Atacama.
The first phase lasted two months and had the purpose of seeking the best areas for which to award recipients with pilot installations and the potential Management and Exploitation of Areas for Benthic Resources (AMERB) for testing repopulation.
Nestor Lloyd, director for the Atacama at the National Fisheries Service(Sernapesca), underlined the importance of developing fisheries studies such as those for seaweed, which are vital but which have few technical grounds.
"It helps guide both extraction and marketing and even industry standards requiring adaptability to the changing methods surrounding this activity," he said.
According to Irma Oviedo, Regional Director of CORFO, the most important part of this study is that it will allow "them to know the effective tools in other sectors and will be designed to repopulate those areas which are overexploited due to a lack of technical knowledge and even of regulation."
Finally, Manuel Andrade, a professional at the Fisheries Directorate of Zonal Regions for Atacama and Coquimbo, said: "The delivery of the results for this part of the study has a national importance as the brown seaweed cultivation has become crucial to the exploitation of other species, so it is to facilitate the development of aquaculture aimed at reversing the decline. Any initiative to improve the sector is welcome."

kombu seaweed for Japanese cookong

Kombu seaweed vitamins A1 B1 B2 B6 B12 C E K, iodine 60 trace elements http://ping.fm/Bs4CP
(NaturalNews) It's happening everywhere now: Potassium Iodide supplements are getting wiped out as people concerned about the possibility of radiation fallout are purchasing them for their own protection. Yesterday evening, we posted a story about an alternative source of iodine -- Nascent Iodine -- and now it has been completely sold out everywhere in North America, too. (Our store was sold out within minutes and now the product is back-ordered with 1,000 more bottles arriving on Monday and another 1,000 four days later.) The U.S. Surgeon General has even publicly supported the idea of buying potassium iodide as a "precaution" in case the radioactive fallout reaches the United States.

In the midst of all this, some sellers are jacking up their prices to exploit the shortage for their own financial gain. One seller hiked his price from $49 / bottle to $499 / bottle on eBay. Another guy was asking $1500!

The NaturalNews Store has been the lowest price on the 'net for Nascent Iodine, and we kept our prices on sale through this entire iodine shortage because we always strive to deliver exceptional values to our customers (and we operate with ethics, too, meaning we don't price gouge just because people are desperate -- shame on all the pricks and shysters who are trying to rip people off in this moment of crisis! They remind me of the price gouging practices of the pharmaceutical industry...).

Remarkably, our Nascent Iodine still sells for just $23 even though the exact same product costs at least 50% more elsewhere (http://store.naturalnews.com/index....). (The manufacturer will only allow us to run this low price for another week or so, after which we will be forced to raise it back to "regular" pricing, which is just under $36 a bottle. We often negotiate incredible discount deals for NaturalNews readers, but the always have a time limit window of opportunity...)

Not surprisingly, at this price we sold out very, very quickly. And now people are asking what else they can consume to increase their intake of natural iodine.

Fortunately, there are several key foods that are very high in iodine -- and no, table salt isn't one of them. To boost your levels of iodine from table salt, you'd practically have to poison yourself with an excess of salt. The best forms of natural iodine, it turns out, are sea vegetables.

And YES, sea vegetables can provide sufficient levels of iodine to help prevent radiation poisoning of your glandular system. One quarter of a teaspoon of organic kelp granules (see below), for example, provides 3mg of iodine (milligrams, not micrograms).

Remember, 1 mg = 1,000 mcg. And the recommended daily intake of iodine is just 150 mcg (micrograms). Dr. David Brownstein recommends a daily intake that is significantly higher -- as much as 6 - 12mg per day, which you can reasonably achieve from eating a planned quantity of sea vegetables. Of course, an iodine supplement such as Nascent Iodine (http://www.naturalnews.com/031708_i...) is going to provide a far larger serving of iodine, which it's why it's worth ordering some and having them on hand for the future.

Sea vegetables with natural iodine: Kelp, Nori, Kombu and Sea Spaghetti

One of the very best natural sources of iodine is Kelp. The NaturalNews Store consistently carries an inventory of Organic Kelp Granules that provide 3mg (yes, milligrams, not micrograms) of iodine in just a 1/4 teaspoon serving.

You can find that product at this link:

We are probably already sold out by the time you read this, but we have 1,000 more bottles arriving on Monday, so if you order now, you can most likely receive them within 10 - 14 working days.

You can also find this same product sold at health food stores and online nutritional retailers. It will be the next iodine source that's sold out as soon as enough people realize that kelp is an abundant source of natural iodine.

This product is normally used as a kind of natural salt shaker, to add a salty taste to soups, salads or just about any meal, by the way. It's a regular superfood source that's also very high in other trace minerals.

All seaweeds contain iodine in a natural state. One of the highest is kombu, which contains up to 2500 mcg (micrograms) per gram of kombu. You can find kombu seaweed at many local health food stores, too. Just soak it in water to reconstitute it, then you can cook it into foods, eat it on a salad, or whatever you want. Cooking does not destroy iodine, so don't be afraid to heat it if you want to. Iodine is a trace mineral, and no minerals are destroyed through high-heat cooking (just vitamins, proteins and other phytonutrients).

Nori sheets (the seaweed sheets used to make sushi) are also a source of iodine, although they only contain about 16mcg per gram. So they're not nearly as iodine rich as kombu. But nori is easy to find and delicious to eat. Make some nori wraps!

Nori is often very easy to find at health food stores, and we also sell it at a special sale price at the NaturalNews Store: http://store.naturalnews.com/index....

Can you overdose on iodine from nori sheets? It's almost impossible to do so. You'd have to eat hundreds of nori sheets at one setting to get that much iodine. And given that most people are chronically deficient in iodine, a person can safely consume up to 50 mg of iodine per day to restore sufficient levels in the body, according to Dr. David Brownstein (yes, 50 milligrams, not micrograms). The U.S. government's "official" numbers on iodine are, just like all the other nutrients, kept artificially low (like with vitamin D) in order to encourage people to actually stay deficient in essential nutrients (http://www.naturalnews.com/030598_v...).

Sea Spaghetti

As luck would have it, we just launched a new seaweed-based superfood product at the NaturalNews Store called Sea Spaghetti. It's made entirely from a natural brown seaweed called himanthalia elongata. It's made in France, and we just got it into our store yesterday.

It's a natural source for many trace minerals, including iodine. Although it's not a huge amount, each 5-gram portion (a very small amount) of sea spaghetti delivers 500 micrograms of iodine (333% of daily value). This is not enough to correct a severe iodine deficiency, but every little bit helps, and even seemingly small portions of this food can start to add up to several milligrams of iodine. It can truly help supply a steady source of iodine to meet your body's nutritional needs.

This is also a fantastic product for completely removing grains and pastas from your diet. You can just make your favorite spaghetti sauces using these sea noodles instead! It contains just 12 calories per serving! (Yes, 12.)

Pick some up at:

The nutrition facts on this product are:

Serving size 5 g
Servings per bag 10
Calories per serving 12
Protein 1.5% DV
Fat 0.4% DV
Fiber 6% DV
Sodium 7% DV
Carbs 0.5% DV
Vitamin C 7% DV
Potassium 13% DV
Magnesium 50% DV
Calcium 3% DV
Iodine 333% DV

DV = Daily Value

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031717_iodine_sea_vegetables.html#ixzz1GkDXJCKJ

Sunday, 13 March 2011

New Treating Agents from Kelp

Search for promising treating agents has come a long way from testing all possible substances, hoping, that something would help, to making treatment with given properties in near future. Currently we are between these two stages with choosing from several hundreds substances and then modifying best of them by chemical means.
Sea dwellers have always been promising from a point of view of a treatment hunter. A group of Russian and foreign biologists is focused on studying fucoidans – sulfated polysaccharides from kelp. During studies researchers have tested biological activity of polysaccharides from various types of kelp and found out that Laminaria saccharina, a close relative of edible kelp, was the most promising source of new treating agents. Recent paper in PLoS ONE describes the study very well.
In the beginning of the studies scientists thought that there was only one polysaccharide of their interest. However, after applying fractionation technique researchers showed that what was considered to be one compound turned out to be a mixture of various polysaccharides and extremely varied structure. Researchers successfully isolated main active component of the mixture – it turned out to be fucoidan. Now scientists want to compare biological activity of fucoidan with other polysaccharides, contained in the extracted mixture. Experiments showed that fucoidan had anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and anticoagulant properties.
As for anticoagulant properties, they aren’t very important for researchers, since plenty of anticoagulant agents already exist. More interesting properties of thepolysaccharide from kelp are anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic activities – fucoidan was demonstrated to prevent blood vessel growth inside a tumor. Mentioned properties were studied in culture and on laboratory animals.
Laminaria saccharina
General mechanism of fucoidan’s anti-inflammatory activity is not a mystery, and researchers have found a protein receptor, responsible for binding with the polysaccharide. How fucoidan prevents blood vessels of tumor from growing – this is the question. Researchers are not going to perform any clinical trials of whole fucoidan molecule, because it is almost impossible to certify a sulfated polysaccharide due to extremely poor reproducibility of some tests. Fucoidan itself will not be a treating agent – its low molecular weight fragments, synthesized by biochemical means, will.
Currently researchers proceed with studying fucoidan by means of computer modeling. They virtually break the polysaccharide into low molecular weight fragments and check whether they are able to bind with mentioned receptors. This study is aimed at identifying parts of the polysaccharide, responsible for a particular therapeutic effect.
After mentioned studies promising from a therapeutic point of view fragments of fucoidan will be synthesized in laboratory conditions. Techniques, developed in the Institute of Organic Chemistry of Russian academy of sciences, allow synthesizing long fragments of polysaccharides. Such fragment will later be tested on laboratory animals, and the best ones become the basis for human treating agents.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

the aphrodisiac power of seaweed


the aphrodisiac power of


There is evidence of seaweed’s appreciation as a potent aphrodisiac by many cultures around the world and through the ages. The ancient Roman poet Juvenal advised arguing lovers to douse their anger with a snack of seaweed. In Shakespearean times, the bountiful vegetables of the sea were celebrated throughout England.
In the Caribbean, a traditional drink still enjoyed today is an aphrodisiac potion made from Irish moss (a variety of seaweed named for its moss-like appearance) with milk. In some regions, rum and spices are added for extra potency. The drink is so popular that one clever manufacturer has mass-marketed the seaweed drink, selling it in cans. In Belize you’ll get a wink and a giggle for just mentioning a desire for seaweed. In Tobago, you’ll get a scoop of it made into ice cream, served on a cone.
And while culinary use of seaweed is reserved for dairy products in the Caribbean, in Japan, seaweed is served as a salad, a wrapper for sushi and even dried and used as a salt-like seasoning. In New England, seaweed is used to steam shellfish at clambakes. A variety commonly called sea lettuce can be dried until crisp and served much like paper-thin potato chips.
From a nutritional standpoint, it is easy to see why seaweed is classified as an aphrodisiac the world over. Low in fat and calories, it is rich in vitamin B1, which combats fatigue and depression. Seaweed’s B2 content aids in hormone production.
Seaweed boasts a dose of vitamin E, which helps in maintenance of healthy sperm by fighting free radicals in the sperm membrane. (It can take as much as three months of steady vitamin E doses to reap this reward). E has also proven useful in helping regulate the function of sex glands. In addition, seaweed contains soluble fiber, iodine and selenium. Nori, the seaweed prominent in sushi restaurants, is valued for its protein content which composes as much as 30% of this seaweed’s dry weight. Lastly, seaweed is a good source of manganese, a mineral known to help maintain a healthy sex drive.