Yahoo! Entertainment talks with Skonberg about seaweed as food source

Denise Skonberg, University of Maine associate professor of food science, was an expert source for Yahoo! Entertainment about alternative protein sources to feed the estimated 10 billion people who will populate the planet by 2050. “Seaweeds don’t require fertilizers, don’t require feed, they don’t require fresh water and they don’t require land. So those are a lot of benefits there,” she said. Seaweeds also are good at sequestering carbon and nitrogen, can be grown and harvested in two to three months, and “are extremely nutrient-dense.” More research is needed, though, including to address safety and regulation concerns. “Research is underway looking at how well different types of species can concentrate heavy metals in their tissue,” she said. “Some that are of interest include arsenic. Research has shown that some of the brown macroalgae tend to concentrate it at a much higher rate than the green or the red macroalgae. … Where it’s harvested plays a huge, huge role.”