Skip to main content
Menu

Biodiversity   |   Climate change   |   Farming   |   Fish

Watch: The wonders of seaweed

Lying between ocean and land, and bypassing the issues of overfishing or intensive farming, a quiet revolution is brewing. Seaweed, harvested or farmed, can provide a plant-based fish-like flavour, nutritious food source or packaging material - and even help clean up polluted waters.

In our latest Wicked Leeks film, we visit the company behind England’s first seaweed farm and hear about research looking into its many benefits.

How to forage for seaweed safely

Foraging is a free activity, connecting us to nature and to nutritious sources of wild food. But it’s important to follow a few guidelines, always tread lightly and leave plenty behind, and if in any doubt, consult an expert.

Here are a few baseline tips:

- Check the water quality – use the Safer Seas & Rivers Service app, run by charity Surfers against Sewage, for the only national and real-time water quality service to check for notifications of sewage releases or flood water issues in your area.

- Forage from living seaweed growing on rocks, rather than anything washed up on the shoreline.

- Use scissors or a knife to cut seaweed, leaving about a third so it can regrow, rather than pulling it off the rocks.

- There are almost 700 varieties of edible seaweed in the UK but some are easier to cook with than others. Do your research from experts like The Cornish Seaweed Company or Down the Cove.

Consult experts if in doubt – bloggers like Fergus the Forager, or author John Wright with his Edible Seashore book are both valuable sources.

- Wash your collected seaweed well under clean, running water, before rinsing through a colander.

- Tread lightly, as with all foraging. Respect nature, take only what you need and leave plenty behind. 

Keep an eye out on our Instagram to see Riverford chef James Evans cook with seaweed in the kitchen for recipe inspiration for this nutritious sea green.

    Comments

    Christopher S Jones

    1 Month 1 Week

    Sea weed and aquaculture provide an enormous opportunity BUT, we have to clean up our rivers as a matter of urgency. What goes on in our coastal waters is a reflection of the way we treat our inland waters, which is a reflection largely of how we farm, and how we treat sewage.

    0 Reply

    Wicked Leeks Issue 9: Out now

    We explore seasonality and hear from cover star Poppy Okotcha on the secret power of gardens.

    Read now

    Choose food that hasn't flown.

    Riverford organic veg boxes are delivered directly to your door. Choose your box now.

    Go to Riverford

    Grow Your Own

    Our monthly gardening advice column offers timely advice for your organic patch, whether you're an expert grower or just starting out.

    Explore
    Spread the word

    The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity losses will be the defining stories of our future, but it is not too late to change direction. 

    Here at Wicked Leeks, our mission is to help inform and inspire positive change. Our journalism is free to all because of this, but we want to reach as many people as possible who share our desire for a better world. We know our readers are some of the biggest advocates of sustainable living, and you can help us grow this movement by sharing this article widely, with your friends and on social media. Now is the time to act.