Antiquity coming to the aid of modern man.
A news item about the production of seaweed in Israel Today caught my attention, because one of my best memories was walking along the beach in Muizenberg, SA, as a child picking up long bandage shaped, brown, slimy, fleshy, strips of plant, namely, seaweed.
Mostly it lay rotting and stinking until someone came to clear it up, making the beaches, once again a pleasant place without bad smells.
Now I read that there was actually a company in Israel manufacturing the stuff.
Seaweed has been accumulating on beaches in many parts of the world, apparently for millions of years. It is one of earth’s oldest plants.
I remember my mother telling me that seaweed is rich in iodine and I believed her but couldn’t figure out how iodine could help people. The only iodine I’d heard of was a brown colored liquid that disinfected wounds. To this day I have a tube of iodine paste in my medicine cupboard in case of cuts, that happen, especially when shaving.
I later experienced iodine when it was injected into my bloodstream when I had an angioplasty. Apparently it showed up in X Rays so that blockages in my arteries could be easily seen by the cardiologist. The first time it was used on me I became nauseous, but I have since gotten used to it.
I again learned about the importance of iodine when my brother had a thyroid problem and took iodine tablets, which solved the problem.
Now I know a little more about how seaweed obtains iodine from the sea and how the iodine can be extracted by a chemist.
In my job as a tour guide I visited the center for arid zone research at Sdeh Boker, a village in the Negev Desert, where I saw how seaweed was being grown in big pools of salt water, found on the desert aquifer and I was impressed that the algae produced from the seaweed was being fed to fish, also cultivated in salt water pools in the desert. Thus fish were being produced in the desert, providing, not only a tasty fish dinner but also important protein and iodine for humans.
It’s no wonder therefore that I read, with great interest, about an Israeli company, Seakura, in Michmoret, a village on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast, producing seaweed that signed a multi million dollar, contract with a big food company in the USA for the distribution of seaweed food products.