What makes seaweed a sustainable ingredient?
Not only does seaweed provide a multitude of health benefits, but our planet is also reaping the rewards of the tasty marine algae thanks to its sustainable properties.
As climate change wreaks havoc on ecosystems across the globe, scientists are turning to seaweed as a potential solution to the crisis. Not only is seaweed good for our health, but it’s also good for our planet. That’s a huge reason chefs are cooking with seaweed.
The powers of seaweed go as far as regenerating marine ecosystems, creating biofuel and renewable plastics as well as generating marine protein.
How sustainable is seaweed?
As far as sustainability is concerned, seaweed is a star crop that can heal the oceans and take pressure off the land.
Seaweed is a climate positive, carbon negative crop which absorbs around 50% more CO2 per square metre than the tropical rainforest and is one of fastest growing organisms on the planet, growing up to 50cm a day.
The ingredient is celebrated for its unique flavour profile and versatility, which is just part of the reason it has become so popular in recent years.
Seaweed plays a key role in reducing CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows quickly and easily, absorbing CO2 in the growing process.
Its natural flavour intensifies all other flavours, so it’s no wonder chefs are using it to season and inspire many magical dishes. They can sleep well at night knowing that the ingredient has a carbon negative footprint.
Seaweed’s amazing flavours and eco credentials are good enough for royalty (and eco royalty alike), with thought leaders and activists Emma Watson, Prince William and David Attenborough all tucking into Mara seaweed, which was proudly on the menu at the inaugural Earth Shot Prize awards ceremony.
Seaweed needs less resources to grow in abundance
Playing a huge role in combating climate change, seaweed doesn't require fresh water (which makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet), it also has no need for nasty pesticides or fertilisers, something which the price of has sky-rocketed over the years due to shortages.
Can seaweed remove carbon from the atmosphere?
Acting as an underwater forest that absorbs carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, seaweed is
highly beneficial for fighting global warming. It also purifies water whilst generating new habitation for a wide range of marine life.
Mara Seaweed has a stripped-back approach when it comes to harvesting. We hand pick and process sustainably from waters around the Scottish coastline. This speedy harvesting locks in flavour and nutritional properties before the seaweed sacks are filled and make their way to the factory.
We have a firm ecological commitment to our ocean and our sustainable harvesting methods guarantee the utmost respect and care for the marine ecosystem that mother nature has graced us with, allowing crops to re-grow healthily.
Silo is the world’s first zero-waste restaurant showing that sustainability and five-star culinary perfection can go hand-in-hand.
Conceived from a desire to innovate the food industry whilst maintaining respect for the environment, East London-based Silo shares the same sustainable ethos as Mara.
We’re delighted to be on the menu and part of waging the war against waste in their Cold smoke ‘Ratte’ dish topped with Mara seaweed.
To achieve zero-waste status, all products delivered to the restaurant must arrive in reusable or biodegradable vessels. We worked closely with Doug and Brendan from the Silo team to create our first zero-waste packaging range without compromising on our renowned taste. Our batch of seaweed made its way to the restaurant in fully recyclable brown paper sacks.
Mara hold a 33km license zone where we have wild harvest various indigenous species of Scottish seaweed through hand cutting sustainable methods. We see ourselves as custodians of the ocean, working hard with coastal communities and the ocean biodiversity to ensure long term protection of our incredible hero crop. Find out more about our sustainable harvesting here.