Farming Could Begin Soon on a Vegetarian Bacon Alternative

New plans to farm a type of seaweed that has twice the nutritional value of Kale - and tastes of bacon.

Rebecca OConnell
17 . 07 . 15

The cravings of bacon-lovers are insatiable. The craze for the greasy snack has inspired lotteries, art, and even a Stanley Cup replica. If you really wanted to, you could smell like bacon or get drunk on the taste. The only thing holding (reasonable) people back are the health concerns. That's where dulse, a healthy alternative, can help.

Dulse is a sea vegetable that grows on the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Like bacon, it has a red hue and, more importantly, a salty, meaty taste when fried. The intriguing plant is not exactly new: the people of Iceland and Ireland have been enjoying it since the 12th century. Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center has been researching and growing the plant for 15 years and now they have created and patented a new strain.

This exciting food grows extremely quickly, is packed with vitamins, and tastes delicious. “Dulse is a superfood, with twice the nutritional value of kale,” said Chuck Toombs, a faculty member in OSU’s College of Business. “And OSU had developed this variety that can be farmed, with the potential for a new industry for Oregon.”

There is no commercial operation growing edible dulse just yet, but the Hatfield Marine Science Center has received a grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to explore it as a “special crop.”

[h/t: TIME]