We believe that food is better when you know where it comes from. That’s why we’re committed to sharing the origin of our products and the process of how they’re made. We’re also just so dang proud of where our snacks come from, the farmers we work with to grow them, and our family of customers who get as geeked out about good food as we do!
This is the story of SEA[d] snacks.
The Aquafarm: A Hidden Gem
It all starts in a protected bay in South Korea. The bay has been cared for by the same community of aqua-farmers and fishermen for centuries who depend on it for their livelihoods. No industrial activity is allowed nearby. Not even motor-boat traffic is allowed to pass through. Over countless generations the community has developed a relationship with the unique mud-flat ecosystem to a point where they themselves have become a part of it – acting as stewards and protectors, providing habitat by cultivating seaweed, then taking their fair share of fish, octopus and scallops that live in and around the aquafarm.
The Aquafarmers: One With Nature
The aqua-farmers that grow our seaweed are the superstars of SEA[d]. On the waters day in and day out, our snacks wouldn’t be as delicious or healthy if it weren’t for their hard work and ancient knowledge of seaweed cultivation. The tradition of aqua-farming in balance with the ecosystem is passed down from generation to generation. This local knowledge isn’t found anywhere else on Earth, and we’ll share its secrets with you.
The Process: Quality Over Quantity
When most crops are being harvested our aqua-farmers are just getting started, seeding the aqua-farm in the early fall just as the waters start getting colder. If you’re going for quantity, this is hands down the wrong way to do it since seaweed grows much slower in the colder, darker winter months. So why grow seaweed in the winter months?
Seaweed that grows slowly has more time to lock in nutrients, which results in a more nutritious product in the end. From our travels around the world to find the best seaweed, we noticed right away that the flavor was also uniquely clean and fresh thanks to the cold winter waters.
Like most crops, seaweed also has pests. Conventional seaweed cultivation involves the use of chemicals, typically hydrochloric acid, being dumped in the water to kill off everything in the surround area. While this method certainly produces more yield (about twice as much), our aqua farmers have developed an incredible chemical free way to control pests.
Every other day during the entire growing season, the seaweed is lifted out of the water and exposed to the air and sunlight. Aquatic pests can’t survive this, so they naturally fall away on their own. This process requires a lot of time and labor, but eliminates the use of any chemicals all together, resulting in cleaner seaweed that’s never been exposed to pesticides.
In late winter the seaweed is harvested while the waters are still cold. Between harvesting and landing in your snack pantry we do nothing but clean, dry, and roast our seaweed snacks. While some seaweed brands choose to soak their products in oil and flavorings, we don’t have to. The cold-water and chemical free tradition of our aqua farmers leaves the seaweed tasting naturally clean and slightly sweet. We think that adding anything to our seaweed would be taking away from its health benefits and organic flavor.