Seaweed - Treasures from the Sea II

Ireland shore with seaweed
photo courtesy of Quality SeaVeg

In the first part of Treasures from the Sea, we talked mostly about Algaran and how they work. Today, it is Quality Sea Veg's turn. Quality Sea Veg concentrates on processing seaweed as a very healthy food supplement. Parts of the seaweed is washed, dried and packed as it is. Some is milled and blended with sea salt to make the perfect spice.

They have their own harvesting rights to areas on the shore and on some islands in County Donegal. Gathering seaweed is an old tradition in Donegal as well as in other parts of Ireland. Manus McGonagle from Quality Sea Veg told us how he used to go out with his father and others in his summer holidays to gather carragheen and dulse and... Read more here on our website

Here are some more interesting facts about seaweed:

In 1959, there was an outbreak of the food & mouth disease in Europe, and it affected many animals which died as a consequence. Only those that had been fed on a diet that in parts contained seaweed survived unscathed. The reason for that is that seaweed contains some complicated forms of sugar the cell structure of which is very similar to those of viruses. So the virus “thinks” that the infected body is already saturated with its own destructive cells, and will not reproduce any longer.

Something similar happens when an extract in oil of a red seaweed called Dumontia is applied on cold sores. It stops the virus from growing, and after a while the virus just dies because it cannot reproduce any more.

Seaweed has been around for about 3 billion years now. It is something in-between, not an animal and not a plant. Some seaweed kinds reproduce sexually through male and female reproductive cells by producing eggs and sperms. Others reproduce asexually by splitting from the main plant in a process called fragmentation or division. These are clones of the mother plant.