Dulse is the pulse of a potential food revolution that could play out in grocery stores and diets across America. And the revolution is being led by Michael Morrissey, director of Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center.
Dulse is a form of red algae found commonly off the northern coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans — and it tastes a whole lot like bacon when you fry it. Dulse grows naturally in the ocean and has long been eaten by people living in Ireland, Iceland and Canada, Morrissey explained.
When researchers at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center recently engineered a new strain of dulse that could be grown much faster and in large quantities in order to feed abalone. But faculty members of the university’s College of Business saw opportunities.
I said to myself, ‘Why can’t this be the new kale?'” said College of Business faculty member Chuck Toombs. Instead of feeding sea snails as the genetically engineered dulse had been designed for, the center wanted to see if humans would like the new dulse. In addition to its fast growth time, dulse boasts a high mineral, vitamin, antioxidant and protein content.
“Aquatic plants have been left in the background, but they have a great potential as a food source,” said Morrissey. “What we’d like to be able to see long range is to be able to produce a lot more healthy food (for) the 10 billion people we’ll have to contend with come 2050.”
“And it also eats up a lot of carbon, so we could be feeding the world and helping end global warming in the process,” said Toombs.
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