Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable

University of Chicago Press
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Until recently, seaweed for most Americans was nothing but a nuisance, clinging to us as we swim in the ocean and stinking up the beach as it rots in the sun. With the ever-growing popularity of sushi restaurants across the country, however, seaweed is becoming a substantial part of our total food intake. And even as we dine with delight on maki, miso soup, and seaweed salads, very few of us have any idea of the nutritional value of seaweed. Here celebrated scientist Ole G. Mouritsen, drawing on his fascination with and enthusiasm for Japanese cuisine, champions seaweed as a staple food while simultaneously explaining its biology, ecology, cultural history, and gastronomy. Mouritsen takes readers on a comprehensive tour of seaweed, describing what seaweeds actually are (algae, not plants) and how people of different cultures have utilized them since prehistoric times for a whole array of purposes—as food and fodder, for the production of salt, in medicine and cosmetics, as fertilizer, in construction, and for a number of industrial end uses, to name just a few. He reveals the vast abundance of minerals, trace elements, proteins, vitamins, dietary fiber, and precious polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seaweeds, and provides instructions and recipes on how to prepare a variety of dishes that incorporate raw and processed seaweeds. Approaching the subject from not only a gastronomic but also a scientific point of view, Mouritsen sets out to examine the past and present uses of this sustainable resource, keeping in mind how it could be exploited for the future. Because seaweeds can be cultivated in large quantities in the ocean in highly sustainable ways, they are ideal for battling hunger and obesity alike. With hundreds of delectable illustrations depicting the wealth of species, colors, and shapes of seaweed, Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable makes a strong case for granting these “vegetables from the sea” a prominent place in our kitchens.
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About the author

Ole G. Mouritsen is professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark. His previous books include Life—As a Matter of Fat and Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body and the Soul.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jun 14, 2013
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780226044538
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Specific Ingredients / Seafood
Science / Earth Sciences / Oceanography
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Marine Biology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"It is clear that serious research, as well as much imagination, went into every page. It has become my new ‘go-to’ bible when I need a shot of inspiration."

Ken Oringer, internationally renowned and award-winning chef
Clio Restaurant, Uni Sashimi Bar, Boston

"Congratulations on writing such an aesthetically beautiful, informative and inspiring book. ... I shall not hesitate to recommend your book to those colleagues, who like me, are fascinated by Sushi and who will surely be captivated, like me, turning every page."

Dr. Ian C. Forster, April, 2011

• • •

In recent decades, sushi has gone from being a rather exotic dish, eaten by relatively few outside of Japan, to a regular meal for many across the world. It is quickly gathering the attention of chefs and nutritionists everywhere. It has even made its way into numerous home kitchens where people have patiently honed the specialized craft required to prepare it. Few have been more attuned to this remarkable transition than Ole G. Mouritsen, an esteemed Danish scientist and amateur chef who has had a lifelong fascination with sushi’s central role in Japanese culinary culture.

Sushi for the eye, the body, and the soul is a unique melange of a book. In it, Mouritsen discusses the cultural history of sushi then uses his scientific prowess to deconstruct and explain the complex chemistry of its many subtle and sharp taste sensations. He also offers insights from years of honing his own craft as a sushi chef, detailing how to choose and prepare raw ingredients, how to decide which tools and techniques to use, and how to arrange and present various dishes.

Sushi is irresistible for both its simplicity and the hypnotic performance-art aspects that go into its preparation. With clear prose and straightforward instructions, Mouritsen looks at every facet of sushi in a book that is as accessible as it is informative, as useful as it is fun.

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LIFE - as a Matter of Fat
Lipidomics is the science of the fats called lipids. Lipids are as important for life as proteins, sugars, and genes. The present book presents a multi-disciplinary perspective on the physics of life and the particular role played by lipids and the lipid-bilayer component of cell membranes. The book is aimed at undergraduate students and young research workers within physics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, nutrition, as well as pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. The emphasis is on the physical properties of lipid membranes seen as soft and molecularly structured interfaces. By combining and synthesizing insights obtained from a variety of recent studies, an attempt is made to clarify what membrane structure is and how it can be quantitatively described. Furthermore, it is shown how biological function mediated by membranes is controlled by lipid membrane structure and organization on length scales ranging from the size of the individual molecule, across molecular assemblies of proteins and lipid domains in the range of nanometers, to the size of whole cells. Applications of lipids in nano-technology and biomedicine are also described.

The Emerging Science of Lipidomics
We have just witnessed a scientific revolution at the end of the 20th century that took us through the genomics era with a focus on sequencing genes and mapping gene products. We are now in the middle of the proteomics era where the multitude of proteins that are encoded in the genes are identified and their functions are unveiled. In front of us we have a new era recognizing the role of lipids. The science of lipidomics is emerging. Lipidomics involves a quantitative experimental and theoretical study of, e.g. lipid and membrane self-assembly, lipid-protein interactions, lipid-gene interactions, and the biophysical properties of lipid structure, function, and dynamics.

Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year

“Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK

“One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR

Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.
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