Ocean life can feed land life
Kelp’s presence in today’s markets is booming.
Maybe due to the rising awareness about its ability to mitigate climate change. Or maybe due to the numerous properties that allow kelp to be processed into different end products, such as food, shampoos, textiles, pharmaceuticals, toothpastes and more. Maybe both.
Either way, kelp is a trendy topic right now, especially when talking about sustainability and health.
But do you know what’s not a ‘trendy’ topic but is still booming?
It’s the topic of Kelp being used as feed and feed supplement for livestock in the farming industry.
Kelp has been used as a feed for livestock for years. But the industry was not always booming and kelp had to overcome many challenges to get to the place it’s in today.
In the early twentieth century, a study failed to support the use of seaweed into animal rations at high inclusion rates. This stopped authorities from recommending kelp as an animal feed source.
Regardless of this, farmers and homesteaders strongly believed in kelp’s benefits on animal health and productivity and still insisted on using it.
More mainstream approval for kelp came in the 1970s when research in Norway showed that it was a rich source for nutrients, vitamins and other micro elements, such as: calcium, copper, dietary sodium, fiber, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins C and K, and more. And the marketplace grew steadily.
Today, interest in kelp as livestock feed is gaining momentum again. Perhaps because it’s been discovered that kelp fulfills animals’ requirements for certain elements that are often lacking in land-grown feeds and pastures due to erosion- a problem that’s not going away any time soon.
Additionally, while studies for kelp are still ongoing, research on other types of seaweed, such as red algae, has shown to significantly reduce the amount of methane belched by animals when added to their feed.
Other advantages of using kelp; it:
Enhances an animals immune function
Increases meat quality
Stimulates weight gain
Helps regulate metabolism
Nourishes the good bacteria in the gut
It is easily digested and assimilated.
Oh, and animals don’t hate its taste.
So while using kelp as animal feed isn’t necessarily a ‘trendy’ topic, it’s certainly a booming one.