Rejoice! Seaweed That Tastes Like Bacon!

Rejoice! Seaweed That Tastes Like Bacon!

Pop the champagne!

Vegetarians rarely recieve much news worth celebrating. After all, over the past decade, the number of livestock on factory farms in the United States has risen by 20 percent.

But for those vegetarians long tempted by odiferous bacon, there's finally some celebratory news: Oregon State University researchers, led by Chris Langdon, recently announced they’ve patented a new strain of dulse algae that is protein rich; an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants; grows quickly; and, the cherry on top: tastes like bacon.

At first Langdon’s team was growing the dulse as feed for abalone, but now his team has refocused their efforts on creating a line of products aimed at human consumption.

Oregon State University explains:

"Langdon’s change in perspective about dulse was triggered by a visit by Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business, who stopped by Langdon’s office because he was looking for potential projects for his business students. He saw the dulse growing in bubbling containers outside of Langdon’s office and the proverbial light went on.

'Dulse is a super-food, with twice the nutritional value of kale,' Toombs said. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.'

Toombs began working with OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland, where a product development team created a smorgasbord of new foods with dulse as the main ingredient. Among the most promising were a dulse-based rice cracker and salad dressing.

The research team received a grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to explore dulse as a “specialty crop” – the first time a seaweed had made the list, according to Food Innovation Center director Michael Morrissey.”

Toomb’s MBA students are now creating a marketing plan for a line of speciality foods dependent on a new aquaculture industry while the Food Innovation Center researches dulse-based recipes and products with the 20-30 pounds Langdon produces a week.


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