Read the article below or listen to the inspiring interview with Willem Sodderland in this podcast.
“What if we would replace half the pasta in the world with seaweed?” This question kept Willem Sodderland awake the night after he tried seaweed pasta for the first time in his life.
Willem recalls a night in November, 2013 when he and his family had dinner at Bambuddha, a restaurant in Ibiza. Willem ordered a seaweed salad. However, there was no seaweed in sight. His wife pointed at the tagliatelle on his plate. Willem didn’t believe her and went to ask the chef. As it turned out, she was right. He was eating “Himanthalia”, a culinary seaweed also nicknamed “sea spaghetti”.
Since that evening, plenty has happened. Willem started testing, creating recipes, and set up a crowd harvesting campaign to encourage chefs and crowds to start cooking with seaweed. The company, Seamore, was born. Eventually, ‘I sea pasta’ seaweed tagliatelle was officially on sale in August, 2015.
What are three reasons why seaweed should be in your kitchen cabinet?
There are several reasons why seaweed belongs in every kitchen cabinet. However, here are three of the most important ones:
It’s health food for your body
Seaweed is great for your belly and your body. It contains iodine, sodium, antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and many other minerals. In addition, Himanthalia Elongata (the seaweed species ‘I sea pasta’ is made of) contains plenty of fibres, and almost no carbs or calories! For a more scientific information, see this or this. It is the perfect alternative to your ‘normal’ wheat pasta.
Last weekend, I tried out the Seaweed Pasta in Spinach Cashew Pesto recipe. At first, I was very skeptical, expecting a rather fishy taste and rubbery texture. However, I was surprised. The bite and taste are almost like real tagliatelle. It does have a slight sea taste, similar to the one you know from sushi. However, as you combine it with other food, the flavor makes sense and adds to the dish.
I also put it to the test with the toughest food critic, my lovely boyfriend. For those who don’t know him, he is the biggest fan of German ‘Schnitzel’, baked potatoes, and cooked vegetables. Trying to get him to eat something he’s not familiar with is almost impossible. However, somehow I was able to convince him. Surprisingly, he ate a whole plate of seaweed pasta for dinner and didn’t complain once.
It’s good for the planet
Next to being delicious and tasty, seaweed is good for our planet. Nowadays, most of our food is produced on land. Studies show, that we will become short on landmass to feed the expected nine billion people in the year 2050. We need to find other solutions. “Seeweed comes out of the sea and only needs sunlight,” says Willem. It’s the perfect solution. In addition, food production on land uses a lot of resources, such as freshwater and pesticides. Seaweed doesn’t need any of these.
To remain sustainable, Seamore works together with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Together, they will develop an international standard. In addition, there are plans to start cultivating seaweed. This creates some challenges as seaweed gets its nutrients out of the sea, therefore, changing the natural ecosystem. Seamore and the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, started a research project to find out how they can grow seaweed responsibly.
Seamore conquers the world
The company’s plans are ambitious. After launching in Germany, Belgium, Australia, and the UK in January, 2016, many more countries are next on their list. “Seaweed is not something, which will immediately be accepted by everyone. However, we would like to grow fast. We plan to reach early adopters in many countries. We are similar to a tech company in that we plan to launch in many countries.”
I asked Willem, “Where do you see Seamore in five years?” He responded, “First of all, the company won’t be a one-product company. I think we will have a portfolio of 25 products. We are on a quest to find more seaweed species that can replace products we already know.” Seamore is currently experimenting with a different kinds of seaweed. A red seaweed, which if you fry it, turns into a kind of bacon. It’s pretty exciting, if you ask me.
Win ‘I Sea Pasta’ – ‘I Sea Pasta’ Recipes Contest
Seamore plans to give away three packages of ‘I sea pasta’ tagliatelle to the readers of Microbuzz! Are you excited about trying out seaweed? Join our ‘I sea pasta recipes’ contest! For a chance to win, let us know which dish you would cook with ‘I sea pasta’ tagliatelle in the comment box below before the 13th of April, 2016. The most promising dish ideas will win. Also, enter your name and email address here so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner.