|Photo By SmartBoyDesigns|
Salt. Many folks have stockpiled some salt in their prepper food lockers, hopefully iodized because iodine is SO important to health, and we get it from so few foods. However, just yesterday I discovered the iodine added to salt is fragile and dissipates rapidly, which means if the salt is more than a few months old, the iodine has virtually vanished.
This is equally important for those with thyroid problems who need the iodine, aqnd those at risk of goiter problems in the absence of iodine. Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. The USDA recommends a minimum of 150 mcg of iodine per day for both men and women.
Iodine was added to salt around 1924, at the request of government initiatives, due to the growing need for regulation of iodine deficiency disorders. In the 1920′s era in the United States, the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest region of the country experienced high incidences of goiter (a common thyroid-malfunction-based condition). This was because their soil levels were extremely low in iodine, and people weren’t eating iodine rich foods .
To be on the safe and healthy side, I suggest adding some dried kelp to your storage locker. Dried seaweeds are a good source of iodine as well as many trace minerals, and is often salty enough to use in place of salt, or with a lesser amount of salt.
I have several quart jars of seaweeds in my pantry, notably kombu (kelp), hiziki, dulse, nori (in sheets) and Wakame. Probably that's not enough to have in storage, and I live far from the coast where seaweed is easily harvested.
1 tablespoon of Kelp contains about 2000/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Arame contains about 730/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Hiziki contains about 780/mcg of iodine, 1 one inch piece of Kombu contains about 1450/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine. I recommend sprinkling them in soups or on salads.
If you have eaten a California Roll, you have eaten the seaweed called Nori.
|Nori Sheet by psd|
|Oarweed by La.Catholiquehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lacatholique/6118562625/|
Here is a whole big thicket of oarweed kombu. In OR, no license is required for personal seaweed harvesting, although there is a limit of 10 lbs per person. For WA, you must obtain a license through the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. It's also important to check for closures or other health risks prior to harvesting. See this site for contacts for WA state. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shellfish_seaweed_rules.html
|Kelp Drying in the sun, by garycycles3|
I happen to like Dulse a lot; it makes a slightly sweet rather than salty snack just by itself. I am out of it, and I couldn't find a decent free photo on the internet to use here. Dulse is one of the red algaes, whereas kelp is considered a brown algae.
There are many edible seaweeds. Check out Edible Seaweed here.
How to prepare and cook seaweed.