US alt-meat brand AKUA has created what it claims is the first ever burger made from kelp. As well as ocean-farmed seaweed, it contains crimini mushrooms, pea protein, black beans, quinoa, and crushed tomatoes.
AKUA says the burger is a healthier and more sustainable alternative to meat burgers and existing veggie burgers. Kelp requires no fresh water, fertiliser, feed, or arable land, and it helps keep the oceans healthy by filtering carbon and nitrogen from the water.
It is also a rich source of nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, and K, as well as zinc, calcium, folate, potassium, and iron. The Kelp Burger is free of saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugar.
Currently, the burger is only retailing online, priced at $48.99 for a 12-pack. It is shipped frozen overnight in compostable packaging. It is also available at several restaurants in the US, including Honeybee Burger in Los Angeles, HULA’s in Monterey, and Central Provisions in Portland, ME.
AKUA isn’t the only company turning to seaweed to make more sustainable meat alternatives. In the Netherlands, The Dutch Weed Burger is making burgers with three different types of seaweed, while Plantruption has developed the Irish Sea Weed Burger in Ireland.
“The Kelp Burger is going to have a special place in the market for those looking to make a difference in the way they eat both for themselves, the Earth, and their local ocean farming economies right here in the U.S.,” said AKUA Co-Founder and CEO Courtney Boyd Myers. “We’re offering something better than a fake meat burger or a boring veggie burger, and we can’t wait for consumers to taste the difference.”