by Olivia Vengel
World Oceans Week may have ended, but awareness of how we can help conserve and protect the health of our oceans is still just as important as ever.
Regardless of whether you live by the beach or in the city, the oceans affect day-to-day life. Our oceans produce much of the oxygen we breathe, they feed us, they regulate the climate, and they are a vital part of our ecosystem.
Over the past decade, as ocean pollution has risen drastically and ocean health has declined, people have become more aware and invested in the upkeep of the world’s oceans. Countless ways of helping have become available through companies whose platforms are dedicated to promoting ocean wellness through volunteering and creating products that reduce the exploitation of our oceans and their ecosystems’ inhabitants.
AKUA, one such company, contributes to ocean wellness with their kelp jerky, which they launched in May.
“AKUA’s mission is to create products that are healthy and delicious but also healthy and regenerative for the planet too while raising awareness for climate change, ocean health, and food sustainability,” says Founder Courtney Myers of her company’s long-term goals to help the environment. “I believe that today, eating is increasingly becoming a political act. Consumers are voting every day with their dollars. And whether or not a consumer chooses a bag of beef jerky vs. a bag of kelp jerky makes a huge difference in the world.”
The choice between beef jerky and kelp jerky may seem small, but as Myers says, it creates a ripple of effects. Kelp is a zero-input crop that filters carbon and nitrogen from the ocean, and AKUA’s jerky is sourced from a network of regenerative ocean farms on the Northeast coast of the USA. These farms and the regenerative qualities of kelp crops are helping to reverse climate change and ocean acidification because of how efficiently they filter out the rising levels of carbon and nitrogen in the water.
On top of being helpful to ocean conservation and just being a tasty snack, AKUA’s kelp jerky contains over 100% of the body’s recommended daily intake of B1 and B2, as well as substantial amounts of Iron, Magnesium, and Iodine, which supplements your body’s ability to absorb water and supports a healthy metabolism.
AKUA offers kelp jerky in three flavors so far, Spicy Thai & Spirulina, Rosemary & Maple BBQ, and Sesame & Nori Sea Salt, and they are available for purchase on their website in packs of three and twelve.
Returning our oceans to a healthy state as climate change becomes more and more daunting may seem like an impossible feat, but small things like buying kelp jerky instead of an alternative, pledging to stop using plastic straws and other plastic products, using reusable water bottles and grocery bags, and supporting companies like AKUA can create a big difference in the health of Earth’s largest ecosystem.