World Oceans Day is June 8th! The theme of this year is “Our Oceans, Our Future.” To participate and celebrate the vast and vital oceans that cover more than 75% of our planet’s surface, you can visit http://www.worldoceansday.org/ and pledge to do your part by eliminating disposable plastic waste that ends up in our oceans. Take action by:

  • Switching to reusable shopping bags.
  • Switching to reusable water bottles
  • Avoiding plastic straws
  • Avoiding buying items with excessive plastic packaging, like six packs of soda! (If you do purchase them, be sure to clip the plastic loops, as they can turn into a noose for sea turtles if they end up in the oceans.)

At Allergic to Salad all of our classes contain an underlying element of stewardship towards our planet, and we impart values of nutritional and seasonally-driven food not only for flavor value but because this is one of the most immediate ways we can reduce our imprint and care for the earth.

In our middle school STEM classes we have the opportunity to engage in more in depth conversations about the science behind these processes and to examine our impact on the oceans and the earth.

The ocean absorbs about one third of the carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning. Ocean acidification, caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide, decreases the amount of calcium carbonate available in the water for hard shelled and skeletoned creatures, like mollusks and corals, to build their structures.

However, some scientists believe that seaweed might be able to help with ocean acidification because kelp and other ocean plants take up carbon dioxide just like plants on land do. In 2015 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the University of Washington started a five year experiment in the Puget Sound to see how seaweed cultivation impacts the chemistry of the surrounding ocean. Projects like this, and other coastal kelp growing operations like farms for “sea vegetables,” provide a possible solution, or at least mitigation, to ocean acidification.

Celebrate #WorldOceansDay and support cultivation of seaweed by making this salad at home. If available, use locally cultivated seaweed such as Maine Coast.


SEAWEED SALAD

Serves 4

1 ounce dried red dulse seaweed (small flakes)
1 ounce dried green wakame seaweed
2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt, to taste

1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds, to garnish
1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds, to garnish

Optional add-ins:
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced paper-thin
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 ounces daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 firm-ripe avocado, sliced
2 teaspoons toasted pumpkin seeds
4 green onions, slivered
Instructions

1. Put the dulse and wakame in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Drain in a colander, pat dry and place in a serving bowl.


2. To make the dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, wasabi powder, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.

3. Spoon half the dressing over the seaweed, add the lime juice and toss thoroughly. Taste and add a small amount of salt if necessary. Surround the salad with the carrot, radish, daikon, cucumber and avocado. Season them lightly with salt and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

4. Sprinkle the salad with the white and black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and green onions.

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