What is Kombu and what is the benefit to using Kombu in Eden products?
Kombu is a dark brownish in color sea vegetable, also known as kelp. Its scientific name is Lainaria japonica. Eden's Kombu is hand harvested in pristine waters off the southeastern coast of Hokkaido, Japan. This type of kombu, known as 'Ma-konbu', is highly prized for its minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Its natural mineral salts have long been valued as a flavor enhancer and tenderizer, especially for cooking dry beans. We use it in Eden Organic Beans instead of salt; it's the tiny brown specks you see. Kombu is always used to make the delicious, Japanese, noodle broth called 'dashi', seasoned with shoyu soy sauce. It is a versatile sea vegetable, which imparts delicious flavor and healthful nutrients to soup stock, soup, stew, sauces and vegetable dishes. Kombu is low in sodium, and a good source of iodine, as are all sea vegetables. For those who cook with sea salt, which does not contain iodine, cooking with kombu and eating sea vegetables can be a valuable source of iodine in ones diet.
What is the shelf life of Eden sea vegetables?
Eden Sushi Nori, Nori, Toasted Nori Krinkles, and Spicy Nori Strips will stay fresh for 2 years if the package is properly sealed and is stored in a cool, dark, dry place. All other Eden sea vegetables will stay fresh indefinitely when stored under the same conditions.
Where do Eden's sea vegetables come from?
Eden Sea Vegetables are the highest quality in the world, cultivated or wild, hand harvested in pristine, environmentally protected seas. All Eden Sea Vegetables, except Eden Organic Dulse, come from Japan where they are continuously fed and cleansed by Arctic Currents, and collected off shorelines that are protected as national natural treasures. Dulse, for Eden Organic Dulse Flakes, is hand harvested in a sustainable manner from pristine waters of Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada. Eden has frequently visited each area where our sea vegetables are grown and processed and we are proud to support these local crafts people.
Are there any benefits from eating sea vegetables?
Sea vegetables contain a whole spectrum of nutrients including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, K, and trace minerals. The polysaccharide, alginic acid, found in brown sea vegetables such as kombu, arame, hiziki and wakame, has been found to bind with heavy metals found in the intestines, rendering them indigestible, and causes them to be eliminated from the body. In Nature, alginic acid protects these sea vegetables from bacteria and fungi. It has been observed that people living in areas of Japan where sea vegetables were eaten regularly enjoy long and healthy lives. Scientists have concluded that antioxidants in sea vegetables may promote immune system health.
Are EDEN Sea Vegetables safe to eat?
Yes. EDEN Sea Vegetables are the highest quality, purest that we can procure. Some cultivated, some wild, all hand-harvested in pristine, environmentally protected seas of Japan and Canada. Since the Fukushima disaster, all EDEN food imported from Japan is multi-radionuclide tested, both in Japan and in the USA, to ensure safety that allows us to unhesitatingly enjoy and recommend our sea vegetables. We know of no other company that does so.
Of the twelve EDEN Japanese sea vegetables, ten of them are from the Ria coast of Ise-Shima, an environmentally protected national park that has been so for over 70 years. It is well south of Tokyo and just north of Osaka on Japan's Pacific east coast. Its position relative to Fukushima could not have been more fortuitous and, so far, has not been impacted by atmospheric or oceanic drift radiation. Prognosis for ongoing supply seems good, although price pressures began immediately. Air current dispersion models that we are monitoring show nothing reaching this seaweed producing area. Additionally, ocean currents around Japan are miraculously favorable for taking seawater radiation directly away from Eden's sea vegetable producing area south of Ise Bay. (Please see the chart below.) EDEN Kombu is from Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. Tsunami damage to the crop is still being repaired, and this area too has been protected from contamination by both ocean and air currents. It is very, very lucky that our supplies and suppliers have remained protected from Fukushima contamination. Our testing protocols remain vigorous and stout as we protect ourselves from possible exposure, and continue availability of traditionally prepared edible sea vegetables. One completely destroyed Eden sea vegetable supplier was Riken and their Sanriku coast wakame flakes. The crop and village of harvesters were totally destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami and are now subject to nuclear radiation. Our source for EDEN Instant Wakame Flakes was relocated and are now cultivated in the Naruto Strait between Shikoku and Awaji Islands where powerful tidal currents and whirlpools between the Inland Japan Sea and the Pacific Ocean create exceptional wakame. Please read this article for more information and ocean current map.
Can Eden Agar Bars and Agar Flakes be used as a substitute for animal derived gelatin, and how is it used?
Yes, substitute 3/4 tsp agar flakes for 1 tsp gelatin. Eden Agar is a vegan quality, odorless, tasteless gelatin made for a variety of red sea vegetables that are simply boiled and naturally freeze dried in the cold of winter. Use the same as animal gelatin for vegetable and fruit aspics, custard, pie fillings and more. Simply follow the package directions, as they require soaking prior to using. The flakes dissolve faster than the bars and are more convenient to use, but the bars will give a slightly firmer texture and are worth the extra effort. Both are high in dietary fiber. The flakes are very low sodium and the bars are sodium free.