Saturday, December 16

Seaweed: A Universal Type of Food

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All the oceans across the world contain rich life. They are in the form of marine algae. The microscopic marine phytoplankton’s, a rich source of food, are so far neither explored nor studied. The seaweeds a part of the food chain forms an important base for the higher forms of sea life and ultimately the fisheries industry,

Seaweed is a universal type of food. There are more than 7000 species of seaweeds of which only 160 species are commonly used as food in different parts of the world.

About 25 species of them are green seaweeds, 81 species belong to the red-seaweeds and another 54 species belong to brown seaweeds.

Seaweeds became a staple food in some countries. In some island nations when conventional land farming fails to meet the needs of people, they turn to sea-farming. Man is driven to sea-farming under other compulsions such as famine.

India has a long coast line. It stretches to 7000 km. more thane 624 species of seaweeds are found in the coastal waters of our country. This valuable gift can be easily harvested and used as food, animal feed medicines, cosmetics and a number of other items.

The Japanese, Chinese, and people from the tropical pacific islands use seaweeds as major source of food. Japanese as well as Chinese are known to use the seaweed ‘Laminara’ which is known as haidal in china and ‘kombu’ in Japan.

The seaweeds contain proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, enzymes and inorganic minerals. Besides these, they possess antiviral properties, antibiotics, antitoxins, anti-tumorals, anti-inflammatory etc., compounds.

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