I like this pasta fairly uniformly across a trifecta of criteria: flavor, nutrition, and sustainability. I’m a fan to the extent that I went back to the Grocery Outlet to get more (it’s only $0.99 per box instead of the normal price of $4.99) and have now begun pushing it on others, like a seaweed pasta evangelist.
I’ll start with flavor: you cook the pasta without salt because the seaweed provides enough sodium, along with other minerals. When you eat it alone, it tastes faintly of the ocean, but not so much that it screams Seaweed! The flavor is like a light kombu (kelp) broth and may seem a bit weak on its own but it’s actually just strong enough to complement sauces without making everything taste of the sea.
My favorite thing to have with it is not really a sauce, but just portabella mushrooms that have been sautéed with spring onions, garlic, and rosemary. It also works well with things like tomato sauce and vegan sausage. I’ve cooked it several times now and it always turns out well – perhaps because there’s no guesswork with adding salt. I especially like the texture – it has a nice firm bite when boiled (with the lid off) for 8 minutes, as directed.
I’ll move on to the nutritional benefits…
Blue Evolution seaweed pasta – nutrition
Blue Evolution seaweed pasta is slightly higher in protein (8 grams per serving instead of 7 g) and lower in sugars (1 g instead of 2 g), compared to regular 100% durum wheat pasta. Like regular pasta, it’s a decent source of iron, and is also fairly rich in iodine, magnesium, and manganese. Perhaps more important than the minerals are the unique fibers (polysaccharides) found in seaweed that are believed to be beneficial for gut health, which is increasingly viewed as paramount to our overall health. The health benefits of seaweed may include protection from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The East Asian countries (Japan, Korea, and China), where seaweed is a staple food, have a significantly lower incidence of dementia (including AD) than Europe. – GSP
Note that the dried pasta is around 14% protein – fish is not that much higher in protein, at around 21%. That’s worth bearing in mind if you think of pasta as purely “carbs” – a serving of pasta contains as much protein as a glass of milk. More on our obsession with protein (and how meat industry groups manipulate us) in these GSP posts on Proteinaholic and the Paleo Diet. Also check out this post on sustainability and health benefits of carbs (spoiler: a high-protein animal-based diet will shorten your lifespan).
Blue Evolution seaweed pasta – Ingredients
Ingredients: durum wheat semolina, seaweed.
Certified Vegan, Non GMO Project Verified
Seaweed is a sustainable crop
I’ve covered seaweed on the GSP site, so please take a look if you want to find out why I think seaweed is a very sustainable food (5/5 Green Stars for seaweed, in general). At this stage, with climate change really starting to show its teeth, our diets need to change – and fast – if we want to stand a chance. Seaweed is one of the best solutions, in my opinion, for the reasons outlined in the post mentioned above.
Researchers in the Netherlands have calculated that it would only take 1% of the ocean (an area equivalent to Washington State) to grow enough seaweed to supply enough protein for the entire human population. – GSP
By farming seaweed, we sustainably source nutrition from the ocean, reduce dependence on freshwater for food production, and mitigate ocean acidification. – Blue Evolution
Roughly 98% of the seaweed we consume in the U.S. is imported. We brought harvesting seaweed closer to home – cultivating our own seaweed in farms along the Pacific Coast. In Kodiak, Alaska, we operate the largest commercial seaweed hatchery, propagating local spores, and seeding lines for outplanting by local fishermen in their offseason. – Blue Evolution
In Baja California — the renowned gastronomic and food growing region and the Wine Capital of Mexico — we started by partnering with the local University to grow our seaweed in a dynamic biological environment, learning from renowned seaweed experts and grad students alike. We’ve taken all that expertise and are thrilled to now be operating our very own onshore farm in the same region. – Blue Evolution
Dr. Jose Zertuche, who researches seaweed ecophysiology and cultivation at the Autonomous University of Baja California, is one of the experts guiding Blue Evolution on cultivation practices.
Many people are coming to the conclusion that growing seaweed in coastal waters is one of the best ways to tackle the problems of climate change, land degradation, food scarcity and acidification of the oceans. For example, John Roulac, the founder of Nutiva (which I researched last month) is one of many people that want to restore the kelp forests off the coast of California.
Ethical rating for Blue Evolution seaweed
Here’s a summary of how I feel about the social and environmental impact of Blue Evolution seaweed pasta, which I’m scoring 4.5 Green Stars:
- Made with two simple, natural ingredients: wheat and seaweed
- The main attraction for me is the company’s mission to bring sustainable seaweed culture to US coastlines. Seaweed needs to become a bigger part of our diet.
- Seaweed culture provides an alternative (and more sustainable) source of income for local fisherman. I guess I should say fisherpeople 😉
- The wheat is not organic, but it is certified non-GMO.
- A vegan product.
- Packaging is made from recycled materials, boxes are printed with vegetable-based inks, and the window is derived from plants.
Summary scores (out of 5) for Blue Evolution seaweed pasta:
- 5 gold stars for quality and value
- 4.5 green stars for social and environmental impact
If you have a different opinion, please share your rating! Until next time, stay safe : )