Diets rarely include bacon in their list of things you can eat, obviously with a very well known exception.
So if you were told there is an alternative to bacon that tastes nearly as good and is healthier than kale you’d probably be willing to give it a go at least.
Well last year researchers at Oregon State University patented a new strain of seaweed that promises exactly that.
“This stuff is pretty amazing”
The seaweed that looks like a translucent red lettuce is a form of marine algae and is said to have twice the nutritional value of kale – and more importantly for many is that it tastes like bacon.
The new strain was discovered when the team began growing a new strain in search of a good food source for edible sea snails, a popular food itself in many parts of the world.
The research team stated that the bacon seaweed has “the potential for a new industry for Oregon”.
Potentially sparking a new range of food that uses the new strain of seaweed as its main ingredient.
And it wouldn’t be that much of a leap – people have eaten seaweed around the world of centuries.
“When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”
Though no analysis has been done yet to find out whether commercializing the bacon-seaweed would be practical, the team thinks the vegan and vegetarian markets may be interested. Toombs’ MBA students are hard at work on a marketing plan for a new line of specialty foods.
Some red algae is sold in the US now, but it is a different strain from the one harvested at OSU.
The researchers say that they are growing about 20 to 30 pounds of the stuff a week, but they plans to more than triple the production.
It might take a little while for bacon lovers to buy in to the idea of swapping their beloved bacon for seaweed but in the interest of healthy eating, it might just happen one day.