New bacon-flavored seaweed is healthier than kale

Let’s face it – we all know that we should really be eating healthy food like kale, but we wind up consuming things like bacon because they just taste so darn good. Now, researchers from Oregon State University have developed a product that gives us the best of both worlds.

According to KOIN-TV in Portland, researchers at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center have developed what they are calling a fast-growing, “succulent red marine algae called dulse” that is packed with nutrients and tastes like everyone’s favorite pork product when cooked. The seaweed grows in the wild along both US coasts and sells for about $90 per pound.

This strain of dulse, which has been patented by the university, resembles red lettuce and was created over the course of 15 years by OSU researcher Chris Langdon. Langdon and colleague Chuck Toombs came up with the idea and, following a series of experiments and trials, they were able to come up with a healthy bacon-flavored product.

Tastes like bacon and is more nutritious than kale

The bacon-flavored dulse is “packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants,” according to the UK newspaper The Telegraph, and believe it or not, it is “twice as nutritious as kale.” It has been eaten throughout Europe for centuries, but has historically been far less popular in the US, where no manufacturers are currently commercially producing it.

“The dulse grows using a water recirculation system,” said Langdon. “Theoretically, you could create an industry in eastern Oregon almost as easily as you could along the coast with a bit of supplementation. You just need a modest amount of seawater and some sunshine.”

“In Europe, they add the powder to smoothies, or add flakes onto food. There hasn’t been a lot of interest in using it in a fresh form. But this stuff is pretty amazing,” he added.

The Associated Press (AP) noted that the OSU team even recruited a culinary research chef to further refine recipes and products created using the special seaweed, and that several Portland-area chefs were in the process of testing the dulse in both its raw and cooked form. Students at the university are also developing a marketing plan for foods created using the product.

(Image credit: Oregon State University)


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