Akua's Kelp Jerky

By Samantha Tassone

I’m definitely a big fan of snacking. I love to snack during the day when I’m at work and when I’m at home. My biggest dilemma is always: what do I snack on that’s actually healthy and delicious? I think I’ve found my soon-to-be solution: Kelp Jerky by AKUA. It’s a plant-based, sustainable snack that’s high in protein and fiber. And don’t worry—it’s Richard-Branson-approved. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the artificial snacks from the vending machine. I’d much rather eat a vegan, superfood-packed treat that will help energize my body to get me through the day. AKUA’s lattissima kelp has been a source of nutrition for centuries and it’s time to bring it into the spotlight. AKUA’s co-founder Courtney Boyd Myers helped educate us on how kelp farming is a fantastic alternative to the standard land based farming we are all familiar with.

“Seaweed farming is a zero-input crop that requires no fresh water, fertilizer, feed, or dry land to grow. Planting an ocean farm is like planting a forest in the ocean. And our ocean-farmed kelp soaks up 5x more carbon than land-based plants while also filtering excess nitrogen and phosphorus from our seas.” - Courtney Boyd Myers

Ocean farming can even help combat climate change. Not only is this snack a crazy healthy and affordable option, but by supporting this company you can help protect the environment. If you would like to help support AKUA and pre-order some of their uniquely flavored Kelp Jerky, you can visit Indiegogo! Some of their flavors include Sea Salt and Sesame, Turmeric, Thai and Coconut—and we can’t forget Rosemary Maple and BBQ. What I really wanted to know is how this Kelp Jerky product comes to fruition.

Myers explains, “Our kelp is harvested from May to June each year and sent to our processor in Maine where the kelp is blanched (and turns bright green!) and then packed and frozen. Then it’s shipped to AKUA’s manufacturer where it’s mixed with all of the other ingredients in Kelp Jerky like shiitake mushrooms, pea protein, and chickpea flour. After all of the ingredients are mixed, they are dehydrated in the shape of jerky strips.” It’s really exciting how simple and natural the ingredients are in Kelp Jerky. It’s also soy free, dairy free and non-GMO. Clean and sustainable eating can benefit our bodies in so many ways imaginable. This snack is made for everyone to enjoy, not just for vegans and/or vegetarians. Healthy eating is something everyone can and should do.

Myers is planning on making AKUA a household name for sustainable seaweed-based food and beverage products. They even have ideas to introduce AKUA to an international market.  It wasn’t until Myers became a advisor at GreenWave, an ocean farmer and fisherman-run organization dedicated to building a new blue-green economy that mitigates climate change and cultivates seaweeds like kelp in the New England area, that really got her interested in the overall benefits of kelp. She says, “I was hooked by the idea that seaweed as a form of agriculture could have a triple bottom line of positive impact - nourishing our bodies with healthy vitamins and minerals, nourishing the planet’s body with powerful carbon sequestering capabilities, and helping to boost our shoreline economies.”

AKUA is making major change in the sustainable food industry and is gaining popularity by the minute. Don’t miss out on their new Kelp Jerky flavors that will launch sooner rather than later!

Photographed by Benjamin Achilles