Seaweed superheroes

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When: 28th November 2013, C218 Forum
What: Lecture, debate & seaweed tasting
Number of participants: ~60 students
Speakers: Job Schipper (Hortimare) and Agnes van Dijk (Atlantica Verse Zeewier)

Job Schipper, the founder of Hortimare, shared his vison on many different uses of seaweed in the coming decades. Seaweeds are seen as a renewable source of different compounds, including protein and micronutrients; they can be produced sustainably in the open sea, at the same time they bio-remediate the sea and improve biodiversity. Locations where nutrients are abundant (e.g. effluent from the Rhine or fish farms) form a perfect place for seaweed production.

Hortimare focuses on all aspects of seaweed production: from selecting the seaweed to integration of the seaweed farms with aquaculture. At the moment more attention is given to the production of protein – thus also the attention to breeding for better yields, health and resistance. This, however, will be done with local species and genes without genetic modifications between species.

Atlantica Verse Zeewier, where Agnes van Dijk works, produces fresh seaweed products, including sandwich spreads. These are biologically certified – and harvested in France from the wild. There are at least 9 different seaweed types that at the moment are allowed to be eaten in the EU, each with a unique combination of (micro)nutrients. Apart from its nutritional value, seaweed can also enhance the flavour of the foods that it is prepared with.

The evening was concluded with lots of questions to the speakers, ranging from the survival of the bred species in the wild to the role of seaweed in combatting global food crisis, followed by tasting of seven different kinds of seaweed spreads (and it was delicious!).

The photos of the event you can find here.

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