Guide to Edible Seaweed

There are many types of edible seaweed, and knowing how to identify them can lead to a more healthy diet.

| April 21, 2014

More than a listing of plant types and general facts, Guild to Wild Foods and Useful Plants, Second Edition (Chicago Review Press, 2014) is full of fascinating folklore, personal anecdotes, and tasty recipes perfect for anyone who is interested in living closer to the earth. Christopher Nyerges — co-director of the School of Self-Reliance — offers hikers, campers and foragers an array of tips for harvesting and consuming wild edibles. Excerpted from "Seaweeds," this selection seeks to fully educate the reader on the nature of edible seaweed, and how it can be part of a healthy diet.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants, Second Edition.

Edible Seaweeds (All species)
Brown, Red, and Green Algae Phaeo-, Rhodo-, and Chlorophyceae

Most Prominent Characteristics of Edible Seaweed

Overall Shape and Size: The marine algae, taken as a whole, constitute a vast array of shapes, sizes, and colors.

All algae are nonflowering plants, one of the two categories of thallophytes (the other category is fungi). Thallophytes, growing in both water and on land, are the simplest of all plants, which means that they’re not differentiated into roots, stems, and leaves as in the higher (or more complex) plants.

Although all marine algae contain chlorophyll, they are distinctly colored by pigments. The variety of their coloration is so great that pigmentation plays an important role in marine algae classification.

11/21/2014 11:27:17 PM

I would like to mention Bull Kelp from Pacific Northwest. It is paper think when it is dried and flavorful and salty to eat as is. Bull Kelp is worth mentioning. Find out more at

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