If you're at all intrigued by edible seaweeds, you probably know there are two types: wild foraged and farmed (or cultivated) seaweed and kelp. Part of our mission is to be transparent in sharing how and why we source seaweed the way we do. We think you should know where your food comes from -- and at Daybreak Seaweed, you can trace each seaweed flake back to the bay it was grown in.
To share a little more about our sourcing process, in 2020 we made the decision to work exclusively with West Coast regenerative ocean farmers — where seaweed and kelp are grown in the ocean on long-lines, oyster gear, or shellfish bags. For us, the decision was motivated by the desire to support an industry that produces nutritious, mineral-rich food in a non-extractive way, helps move the needle on climate change mitigation, and provides sustainable jobs for coastal communities.
Seaweed farming produces nutrient-packed plant-based food from just sunlight and saltwater, making it a low impact, sustainable crop. When compared with land agriculture, it truly has an impressively low impact: no freshwater needed, no arable land, no inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, or feed. It also supports healthy ecosystems by providing habitat for invertebrates, fish, and mammals. Seaweed farming helps mitigate the impacts of climate change, by helping to improve the quality of the water where it is grown. By absorbing carbon from the ocean, seaweed, kelp, and sea grasses can locally impact pH, helping to create a more balanced ecosystem and reducing local ocean acidification.
The world’s oceans absorb around 30% of the CO2 released in the atmosphere , which in turns leads to ocean acidification. As more CO2 is released across the globe, our oceans are becoming more and more acidic - learn more here.
Seaweed is also complementary to a variety of aquaculture systems, including oyster and mussel cultivation. By producing a quick-growing crop during winter, ocean farmers can incorporate a new food product into their rotation.
For these reasons, the decision to support seaweed farmers on the West Coast was aligned with our values and goals as a business. Though wild seaweed harvesting can be a sustainable way to harvest food, we took seriously the balance of ecosystem health, human responsibility, and impact on a local environment. We're sensitive to impacts of scaling a wild-harvest operation, while staying truly sustainable and accountable to the communities that have stewarded the land and water since time immemorial. When considering the alternative— of supporting small-scale ocean farmers — we are ALL IN on sourcing regeneratively-farmed seaweed!