A bit of fresh shore in your supermarket
Cornwall’s very own seaweed hits the shores across the UK
Famous for crystal clear waters rolling away behind tin mines, Cornwall has a history of doing things differently. The Cornish Seaweed Company are the first company to sell fresh seaweed in supermarkets in the UK.
71 Tesco stores around the country are now stocking the 80g pouches of freshly harvested seaweed, which have been popularised by celebrity chefs such as Nathan Outlaw and Raymond Blanc. Currently, the seaweed most reminiscent of a store cupboard ingredient is being sold: Himanthalia elongata, or sea spaghetti. So called for its long and fettuccine like appearance.
Numerous foodie publications have recognised seaweed as this year’s hottest new food trend, and the supermarket sales serve only to support this.
Of this news, co-founder of The Cornish Seaweed Company, Tim van Berkel said, “we wanted to make seaweed accessible to everyone. Whilst some other people in Cornwall and coastal areas are also able to forage, our fresh seaweeds allow anyone to experience the health benefits of seaweed.”
Both van Berkel and Caro Warwick-Evans founded the Cornish Seaweed Company after having worked in environmental sustainability sectors and ‘making things work in the UK’s poorest county’. Tim as a conservation biologist and Caro as a renewable engineer.
In 2012 Tim and Caro visited a small seaweed harvesting company in Ireland to gain an insight into the industry. Shortly after this, they were granted the license to harvest from the county’s beautiful Lizard peninsula. Like their Irish counterparts, everything is done by hand; sometimes they must don a wetsuit and swim to the bottom of the sea in order to cut the sustainable algae.
Despite its well documented inclusion in human diets for centuries, and its popularity in coastal areas such as Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the Cornish Seaweed Company are the first company to sell the fresh and nutrient rich seaweed in supermarkets. Having seen success with selling the dried seaweeds through outlets across the UK, and building a solid reputation as knowledgeable, professional and sustainable.
Co-founder and developer, Tim Van Berkel said, “When you consider the extreme environment that sea plants have adapted and survived in, it’s not surprising that they are so potent at providing care for our immune system.” But only when they are sourced in clean seas.
Operating on Cornwall’s most southerly peninsula, The Cornish Seaweed Company are rapidly growing and their mission to get seaweed into homes across the UK is strengthened by this support from the Tesco superstore.
To find out more about the health benefits of seaweed, please visit http://cornishseaweedcompany.co.uk/
Notes for editors
Sea spaghetti - Himanthalia elongata
Sea spaghetti (also called thongweed or buttonweed) is another of the large brown seaweeds, although it is not closely related to the kelps or the wracks. It grows explosively up to 3 m long and can form dense mats near the shore which can cover large areas.
They grow from small button like structures, from which a single front develops which branches in two, which branches in two, which branches in two…you know what happens!
Sea spaghetti can be only found in the East of the Atlantic, from Portugal to Norway, but it is most common around the British Isles.
Mild, crunchy and moreish. Best used rehydrated, quickly stir-fried for a few minutes with garlic it will turn bright green. Add lemon or lime juice and eat.
Typical Nutritional value per 100g dry weight
Sea Spaghetti Content % RDA
Energy 747 kJ -
Energy 179 kCal -
Moisture 9.7 g -
Protein 10 g -
Carbohydrates 29 g -
Dietary Fiber 31 g -
Fat, total 2.7 g -
Saturated fat 0.4 g -
Mono unsaturated fat 0.4 g -
Poly unsaturated fat 0.8 g -
Sodium 3620 mg -
Magnesium 1590 mg 424%
Phosphorus 100 mg 14%
Potassium 5870 mg -
Calcium 700 mg 88%
Manganese 2.3 mg 115%
Iron 2.5 mg 18%
Copper 0.2 mg 20%
Zinc 4.5 mg 45%
Iodine 14.6 mcg 10%
Vitamin A – retinol 253 mcg 32%
Vitamin D – calciferol 0.3 mcg 6%
Vitamin E – tocopherols 5.8 mg 48%
Vitamin C – ascorbic acid 66 mg 83%
Vitamin B1 – thiamin 0.3 mg 27%
Vitamin B2 – riboflavin 4.5 mg 321%
Vitamin B7 – biotin (H) 33 mcg 66%
Vitamin B9 – folic acid 60 mcg 30%
Even though sea spaghetti contains less minerals and vitamins than most other seaweeds, it is rich in polysaccharides such as laminaran. These substances are known to assist the immune system. Sea spaghetti is also known to have anti-microbial and anti-oxidative properties. Research into this has been documented by
A study on the antibacterial activity of sea spaghetti is being completed under Michiel Vos at the ECEHH at Exeter University in Penryn. Michiel's contact details are M.Vos@exeter.ac.uk.
Issued by The Cornish Seaweed Company.
Please direct press enquiries to Laura Barnes. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07729263818
Press manager for The Cornish Seaweed Company
The Cornish Seaweed Company was created in 2012 by Caroline Warwick-Evans and Tim van Berkel. We aim to provide sustainably hand harvested Cornish sea greens.