It’s no secret that we love kelp. Kelp is a truly amazing organism with a variety of health and environmental benefits. Kelp absorbs nutrients from the environment around it, making it very rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that are important for health. Kelp is especially rich in iodine, a mineral that is a necessary part of thyroid hormone production. Iodine has also been shown to boost brain function and raise energy levels. Kelp is high in antioxidants, specifically carotenoids and flavonoids. Antioxidants can help fight against inflammation and stress which serve as the risk factors for many chronic diseases. Kelp is also high in many other vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are very important parts of a balanced diet.
In addition to its health benefits, kelp is one of the most environmentally friendly food sources. Kelp is a zero input crop, meaning that it requires no land, water, pesticides, or fertilizer to grow. Land is one of the largest resources that agriculture operations use up. Earth has a very limited amount of arable land and this amount is shrinking due to unsustainable agricultural practices that degrade soil. Water is another resource that is very limited. Of the water on earth only 3% is fresh water and only about 1% is available to humans for drinking water and irrigation. It is vital that we protect the few water resources that we have which is why a nutrient dense crop like kelp that does not require water is so important. Pesticide and fertilizers can lead to pollution, soil degradation, and other environmental issues. In contrast to land based crops, kelp does not contribute to the environmental issues that many of the major crops like corn and wheat which are the main ingredients of most snack foods on the market.
Kelp is also a regenerative crop. This means that as it is grown, kelp improves the environment around it. Kelp absorbs carbon from the ocean which reverses ocean acidification and which helps to support biodiversity. Kelp forests serve as an important habitat for many ocean species like otters, fish, sea stars, and sea urchins which rely on them for shelter and as a food source.
Eating more kelp is good for you and for the environment. The delicious possibilities are endless when it comes to our kelp chips. The umami flavor and perfect crunch make an amazing canvas for all types of flavors. Here are a few ideas and recipes to unlock the full potential of our tasty kelp chips!
1. Make movie night kelp-tastic with this Furikake Popcorn
2. Feed a crowd with a 12 Tides Charcuterie Board
Image and Idea Courtesy of @veganbunnychef on Instagram
3. Lean into the green with this Kale, Quinoa, and Avocado “Tabbouleh”
4. Fuel up with the 12 Tides Power Bowl
5. Bring some color with Roasted Garlic and Beet Hummus
6. Keep it plant-based with these Vegan Nachos
7. Smash snack time with this Smashed White Bean Dip
8. Use 12 Tides as a garnish on these Deconstructed Sushi Bowls
9. Keep it simple with this Seaweed Hummus
10. Spice it up with this 5 Minute Bean Dip
11. Make it bite sized with these Flavor Packed Hummus bites
12. Or these Nacho Bites!
About the Author: Emma Gamble is a junior at the George Washington University majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in public policy. Emma is passionate about incorporating greater sustainability into our food systems in order to create a greener future for people and the planet. Emma enjoys sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.