We´re proud to see that Guardian’s Sustainable Business Section picked us up. We are always happy to see the rise of interest in our line of work. Primarily because we are so committed to seeing the UK make better use of the the delicious and nutrient packed sea vegetables surrounding it. With almost 20,000 miles of coastline, there is nourishing food adorning our towns, villages and cities, and people are waking up to it.
This article focused on using seaweed to help out in what is becoming a meat crisis: high demand meaning poor quality and conditions for many livestock. We were proud to make an appearance in there.
You already know about how delighted we’ve been to be classed as a supplier by Andy Appleton, the head chef at Jamie Oliver´s Fifteen, Cornwall.
We started working with Andy some months ago now, when we were asked to serve our fresh seaweed to at an event for HRH Prince Charles and his wife. Along with some other Cornish food producers, we were selected to show what the county has to offer in terms of its provenance and did so as proudly as we did at the food events we attended during the summer months.
What Tim contributed to this article is here, but of course, read the whole thing over at the Guardian: it covers an interesting angle.
Even though seaweed is constantly being touted as a superfood and has captured the imagination of trend chefs, there is generally still an aversion to eating it. Part of the problem is it’s a food that’s often been associated with poverty.
“I believe there has never been a real need to explore alternative food sources as we haven’t known hardships such as the potato famine [in Ireland, during which seaweed became part of diets],” says Tim van Berkel, co-founder of The Cornish Seaweed Company. The enterprise sustainably harvests, processes and packages seaweed to be used as an artisanal ingredient, and helps restaurants put it on the menu. “Maybe, also, the English are traditionally not well known for their extravagant food habits, as opposed to the French, and the use of seafood and shellfish in this country is very limited.”
Van Berkel admits that attitudes are changing, albeit slowly. Recipe books promoting ‘sea vegetables’ are becoming increasingly popular and a minority of people are beginning to learn how to use seaweed in everyday cooking. “It is a real education for people as well to see seaweed as a food and not as the slimy green, black stuff that you find stinking and rotting on the beach,” he adds. “So a mental, as well as an educational change, is needed.”
The answer to getting over the psychological barrier is to introduce seaweed into our diets without us even noticing.