Goodbye, Kale: Science Says This Peculiar Veggie Is the Next Big Superfood

Amanda Montell
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Saveur

It's slimy, it's wiggly, it's weird, and it just might be the vegetable that saves the planet. We're talking about kelp, or seaweed, the underwater plant that we predict (or at least hope) is going to take the place of kale as America's green superfood of choice. Here in the U.S., most of us know kelp by the salty seaweed salad often served at Japanese restaurants, but it is so much more than a crunchy appetizer. In fact, according to a new video from web show AsapScience, kelp might just be the earth-friendliest, most nutritious vegetable in the world.

Let's start with the environmental benefits. As a whole, the agriculture industry accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions (and yes, kale is part of that), but AsapScience says that kelp actually has a negative footprint as it absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dioxide. Plus, because it grows in the ocean, seaweed doesn't require any land, fresh water, fertilizers, or pesticides. Kelp can grow even under the least hospitable conditions—scientists planted a field of kelp in the murky waters off the coast of the Bronx, and amazingly, it didn't take in any toxins or harmful metals. It actually grew faster because there were overall more nutrients in the water. As AsapScience puts it, kelp "is like the Tesla of food."

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