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Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 24, 2008 07:56PM

I eat various kinds of sea veggies everyday or so,i'm worried that they may be contamined with heavy metals.

I purchase my seaweed from asian markets, and i don't think the food they sell is regulated the same way american food is. Just referring to the labelling, you can tell that there is not much control...

Is it dangerous to eat some everyday?

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: liberation ()
Date: November 25, 2008 08:14PM

hey mira, before we get into the debate around this nutrient or that nutrient, this or that scientific opinion, for perceived health, that i observe is typical for this forum, (see various bee vomit consumption rationale for a perfect example), let's address a very basic question:

how many billion years ago were future humyns last bio equipped to thrive underwater?

nuff said?

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: phantom ()
Date: November 25, 2008 10:54PM

Ah... but what about coastal settlements? :O

When buying from the Asian markets, I'd be a lot more wary about MSG that was added post-harvest, when it comes to seaweed.

I know basic idea with fish in regards to mercury toxicity, is the bigger the fish, the more toxic it becomes, because it consumes all the toxins that the little ones were consuming... So it seems like the more you climb the food chain, the worse it gets.

That's just a guess, though. But seaweed helps a lot of people out!

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: November 25, 2008 11:05PM

Mira I tend to think along the same lines as what Phantom said .. Id be more concerned eating tuna (further up the chain) then i would eating sea veggies smiling smiley

Maybe you could research where the sea veggies you are buying .. are coming from somehow .. due to language barriers though you might find it a bit tough




liberation Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
before we get into the debate around
> this nutrient or that nutrient, this or that
> scientific opinion, for perceived health, that i
> observe is typical for this forum, (see various
> bee vomit consumption rationale for a perfect
> example),

Liberation .. you dont seem to enjoy it around here? .. if you feel that we shouldn't be talking about, debating about , questioning, tossing around ideas .. what exactly do you think a discussion forum should be doing?

Perhaps were not all as elightened as you ?

nuff said? winking smiley



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2008 11:08PM by Jgunn.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: debbietook ()
Date: November 26, 2008 12:21AM

I've wrestled with this one myself. Algae doesn't seem a very natural thing for a human being to eat, but in some communities sea vegetables are gathered from the beach when the tide's out.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2008 12:23AM by debbietook.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Pistachio ()
Date: November 26, 2008 01:15AM

debbietook Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Algae doesn't seem a very natural
> thing for a human being to eat,
> but in some communities sea vegetables are
> gathered from the beach when the tide's out.

I grew up in a coastal area and people actually went out into the water, usually around waist deep, to harvest seaweed. They'd wash it and set it to dry in the sun before using it. It made a nice tasting beverage prepared by boiling it with other ingredients.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: liberation ()
Date: November 26, 2008 06:54AM

thanks for insightful reminder jgunn, and please see my last "honey" post to k for a mitigating, but still conciliatory response to this question.

love,
me (someone has toyawning smiley)

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 26, 2008 03:30PM

The only thing i know is that the wakame i buy is from Japan, due to the japanese caracters on the bag...But there's not even one word of english ( or any other language) on it... And when I ask the people at the store, they just look at me with big round eyes and shake their heads :"I dunno, I dunno..."

I was'nt even thinking about MSG, but it makes sense, they put that damn poison in everything!!

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: la_veronique ()
Date: November 26, 2008 05:24PM

whaaaaAAA??

they just automatically add MSG to seaweed?
what the heck?

is that for ALL the seaweeds at asian stores?

baaaahsad smiley

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: November 27, 2008 09:49AM

mira Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The only thing i know is that the wakame i buy is
> from Japan, due to the japanese caracters on the
> bag...But there's not even one word of english (
> or any other language) on it... And when I ask the
> people at the store, they just look at me with big
> round eyes and shake their heads :"I dunno, I
> dunno..."
>
> I was'nt even thinking about MSG, but it makes
> sense, they put that damn poison in everything!!

It's "hijiki" [en.wikipedia.org] from Japan that you might want to limit or avoid.. it has arsenic, a "toxic metal".. it's the nature of that particular species of seaweed to contain arsenic. Food watchdog warnings went out in some countries in 2004.

I like seaweed and look for it when at the beach.. I have not heard of heavy metal problems with them, and agree it's not like fish high on the food chain.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2008 09:53AM by loeve.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Sundancer ()
Date: November 27, 2008 11:11AM

Of course -- hijiki is my favorite seaweed!

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: November 27, 2008 11:40AM

Sundancer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Of course -- hijiki is my favorite seaweed!

Oh No! -- I was afraid that might be the case for some. Well, in Japan they have been eating hijiki for generations and they say in the amount they consume on average (0.9g) it is not a problem.

"The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan has responded with a report pointing out that, while the consumption of more than 4.7g hijiki seaweed per day could result in an intake of inorganic arsenic that exceeds the tolerable daily intake for this substance, the average daily consumption for Japanese people is estimated at 0.9g.[5] Several of the reports from other food safety agencies acknowledged that occasional Hijiki consumption was unlikely to cause significant health risks, but advised against all consumption regardless. [4] [3]

"Although no known illnesses have been associated with consuming hijiki seaweed to date, inorganic arsenic has been identified as carcinogenic to humans, and exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic has been linked with gastrointestinal effects, anemia and liver damage. People who follow a macrobiotic diet that often includes large amounts of seaweed may be at greater risk."

A trace of arsenic in the diet is not uncommon after reading a little about it..
What do you make of it?

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Sundancer ()
Date: November 27, 2008 09:57PM

Well, I don't eat a lot of hijiki, because it's so expensive, so I'm not going to worry too much about it.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 28, 2008 11:48AM

That's exactly what i heard about Hijiki, so i tought that other varieties could be contaminated as well...

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Wheatgrass Yogi ()
Date: November 28, 2008 01:31PM

I use Dulse, and Sea Lettuce, from the Maine Coast (SeaVeg.com) in
my Green Smoothies. I've tried all the different seaweeds and like
these two the best.
Maine Coast sea vegetables are certified Organic, and they test for
heavy metals. It just makes sense that sea vegetables will absorb
whatever is in the water (good or bad). We all came from the Sea,
and are still, even now, in a state of Individual Evolution......WY

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: la_veronique ()
Date: November 28, 2008 01:55PM

why on earth would hijiki be more prone to containing arsinic than other seaweed?

i don't understand

does hijiki "naturally" contain arsinic
or does it imbibe and absorb arsinic through the arsinic that is thrown in waters by manufacturing companies?

why wouldn't other seaweed also contain the same amount of arsinic
does it have to do with their shape, size, density and ability to absorb arsinic into their pores?

i read the wikipedia thing

this is very unclear

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Tamukha ()
Date: November 28, 2008 02:05PM

I don't see the point of adding MSG to a food that naturally contains MSG, like seaweed[mmmmm . . . umami]. So I don't worry about the Japanese government's covertly lacing my konbu with that : )

Liberation, you speak in riddles . . . what do you mean by, "how many billion years ago were future humyns last bio equipped to thrive underwater?" Heh? I'm not sure my primordial ancestors ate seaweed. I'm not sure my primordial ancestors WEREN'T seaweed . . . am I a cannibal? . . . .

Seriously, we aren't supposed to eat tons of seaweed a day; we could overmineralize[as the study on hijiki cited above demonstrates--a bit of arsenic is necessary to humans; a lot is toxic]. And we must assume that eventually the oceans will be so overpolluted that simpler organisms, like seaweed, will be inedible. But for now, eh. By the way, I have heard that toxins like mercury seat in fatty tissues. Therefore fish are more likely to be contaminated than a non-fatty-tissue bearing thing like seaweed. Any retorts?

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 28, 2008 03:40PM

Good points Tamukha.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: phantom ()
Date: November 28, 2008 03:55PM

I don't buy any seaweed at the various Asian stores unless there is a list of ingredients in English. If you take the time to read all of your packaging (and the labeling is usually in small print, somewhere between the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, it can get crazy), I think you will be hard pressed to find seaweed that does NOT have MSG.

Or bonito extract. You have to be a shark. tongue sticking out smiley

Really. I used to buy all kinds of packs of seaweed when I first discovered it, and had my heart smashed open when I realized I was consuming ungodly amounts of MSG.

So, now, when I look for seaweed, I have to spend a lot more time reading and comparing prices. >.< Do not take anything packaged for granted, even seemingly "innocent" things like seaweed. That seems to be one of the harshest lessons being raw/vegan teaches... AWARENESS!!

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: November 28, 2008 10:23PM

"You have to be a shark."

There's so much out there.... hijiki seems to be the only seaweed with watchdog warnings out on it at the moment.. a 2006 Japanese study [www.speciation.net] concluded the inorganic arsenic in hijiki was real, and that it occured in various seaweeds in varying amounts depending on species, growing condition and season. Arsenic is a naturally occuring element found in the earth, air and water.. in the Pacific Ocean it is at low levels due to biological activity [cat.inist.fr] . "The chemical structures, bioavailabilty, and retention of certain arsenic compounds notably, arsenobetaine and related organoarsenic compounds, suggests they may play a role in osmoregulation and other biological functions in aquatic marine organisms." [www.biology.sdu.dk] Some are skeptical of the test methods used with hijiki and conclusions reached, particularly the possible mitigating effect of Organic arsenic to help metabolize the Inorganic [www.edenfoods.com] .

Life began in the sea.. it took maybe a billion years for the single cell organism to evolve there, and then perhaps another billion before our ancesters ventured onto land.. I appreciate what comes from the sea..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/28/2008 10:32PM by loeve.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 29, 2008 04:42PM

Phantom, are you saying bonito extract is another name for MSG?!

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: Tamukha ()
Date: November 29, 2008 08:15PM

Bonito extract is from tuna--bonito is a type of tuna, Mira.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: November 29, 2008 08:29PM

..and sharks make good sleuths sorting it all out in the seaweed isle..

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: November 30, 2008 12:38PM

oh... (blushes) i really didnt know it was a kind of tuna...Good to know.

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Re: Heavy metals in seaweed?
Posted by: mira ()
Date: January 03, 2009 06:15AM

According to this article, seawwed really absorbs all the @#$%& in the water...Considering our oceans are polluted like hell, i guess safe seaweed cannot be found?

[www.rsc.org]

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