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Under The Sea

September 29, 2015
This slimy sea vegetable is packed with magnesium, zinc and iodine.

In the morning when we fire up our blender for a smoothie, we ask ourselves “what have we not put in yet?”

And until we found the Portland, Maine-based company Ocean Approved, kelp was most definitely not on superfood additions list.

When you pop a vibrant green kelp cube into your smoothie, you are not only supercharging yourself with a dose of magnesium, zinc and iodine (especially critical for healthy thyroid and hormone function), but you are doing a solid for the ocean: The rapidly growing biomass of the kelp helps to address the growing problem of ocean acidification by removing nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon dioxide (three elements the oceans already have too much of).

The color might be in-your-face green, but the flavor is more mildly fresh than ocean funky and won’t alter the flavor of a smoothie. Besides trying out a category killer kale-kelp smoothie, try the cubes in miso soup or a tomato sauce.

Ocean Approved runs the first-in-the-nation open-water kelp farms. The farms operate without the need for fresh water, arable land, fertilizers or pesticides and produce nifty frozen kelp cubes ($10 and up per 12 pack). Find the cubes online at Vital Choice, at Whole Foods on the East Coast and everywhere from Juice Generation (NYC) and JuiceLand (Austin) to Canyon Ranch spa.

Founder Paul Dobbins started the company because he had personally experienced the grim realities associated with the collapse of Maine fisheries. He says, “I was determined to create a business that would be both restorative to the environment and the families that depend on income derived from the sea.”

Another feel-good bonus: Kelp is harvested during the winter (counter-seasonal to traditional fisheries), so Ocean Approved employs lobstermen and scallop divers when they need it the most.

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