The Next Big Thing Is Seaweed. (You Can Even Get Some That Tastes Like Bacon.)
Like the tide creeping in, so slowly that you hardly notice it, the idea of seaweed as a food seems to be taking hold among some corners of the food universe, particularly with those concerned about the environment. (After all, you can grow it in salt water instead of using valuable fresh water.) Seaweed is also cheap to grow, and it’s highly nutritious. In any case, look what’s been happening lately, in the world of seaweed and food:I was about to use the "I have seen the future and it's seaweed" formulation for the headline but realized if I started dropping 98 year old cultural references wary reader might just decide to flee.
The seaweed industry is growing like, well, seaweed. The 2016 Global Commercial Seaweeds Industry Report came out summer, and it states that the industry is growing at 8.9 percent annually. By 2024, the commercial seaweed market will hit $22 billion. Right now, the big players in the seaweed market are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. In the United States, Maine is becoming well known for its seaweed harvesting, and in 2014 and 2015, it even held the Maine Seaweed Festival. It didn’t hold one this year, but the organizers, on their website, promise that there will be another one. Other states, like Alaska, are dipping their toes in the water and experimenting with seaweed farming.
Seaweed farming is already having growing pains. In Maine, there’s been some disagreements between seaweed farmers and land owners. In Maine, the land is yours up to the low tide line, but the public gets the final say when there’s fishing, trapping of wildlife or navigation involved. But the law hasn’t really come down who gets the final say when it comes between a seaweed harvesters and owners of waterfront property. Some waterfront owners clearly would rather not have seaweed harvesters near their homes. Apparently, the machines they use a extremely loud. The Portland Press Herald mentions a waterfront property owner named Eddie Page whose peace and tranquility was interrupted when he heard fisherman harvesting seaweed. The sound was so loud, Page measured it with an app on his smartphone. “At times we had two machines on our property, and I got 75 decibels each,” Page told the paper....MORE
Now however, having gone this far I might as well finish the thought and suffer the consequences:
The "seen the future" bit is a riff on Lincoln Steffens' famously wrong statement about Soviet Russia in a letter dated April 3, 1919: “I have seen the future and it works.”.