The Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest
As a child, author Amanda Swinimer dreamt about mermaids. Here, in this paean to the ocean gardens, she sounds like one of their ilk. In this luminously illustrated book displaying eye-catching photographs of the flora and fauna of the sea, the reader is introduced to the macroalgae along the northwestern ocean coast. These are divided into three groups by color: the red, green, and brown seaweeds. These ocean plants are carefully harvested, tasted, dried, and sold to restaurants and diners. The nutritional and health value of these products from the kelp forest is detailed along with recipes and emphasis on their importance in maintaining the ecology of the ocean.
Not only are seaweeds described, their ocean company of crabs, orcas, fish, and a spellbinding tentacled octopus are also admired. Linking the informational chapters are the lyrically expressed dreams and emotions of this impassioned nature lover, who infects the reader with reverence for the kelp forest and lovingly portrays its significance for life on our planet. Perhaps these ocean plants are misnamed; they are not weeds or unwanted species. In fact, they have been and are essential organisms within this ecosystem.
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