If you are consuming sea moss, it is most likely because you have heard of the potential medicinal properties you could get from it, including lowering high blood pressure and improving gut health.
You are also aware that purchasing the right sea moss can be difficult. Lately, there has been a craze in the health community about wildcrafted, ocean-farmed and pool-grown sea moss and which one is best for consumption.
If the authenticity of sea moss has made you worried, you are in the right place. This article covers everything you need to know about wildcrafted, ocean-farmed and pool-grown sea moss.
What Does Wildcrafted Sea Moss Mean?
Wildcrafting means harvesting in the wild. Wildcrafted sea moss, also called real or natural, refers to sea moss caught in its natural habitat in the wild.
An important distinction between wildcrafted and ocean-farmed sea moss is that wildcrafted sea moss grows naturally without human intervention and is found growing on rocks in the ocean. On the other hand, ocean-farmed sea moss doesn’t just grow anywhere in the ocean. Areas such as sheltered bays are set up to allow the sea moss to grow without disturbance. Unlike wildcrafted that grow on rocks, ocean-farmed sea moss grows on ropes and nets.
Is Wildcrafted Sea Moss Better?
Wildcrafted sea moss grows naturally in the marine environment so that the seaweed can absorb the nutrients from the ocean. This type of moss is preferred because it is more nutrient-dense, has the most nutritional benefits when consumed, and is often preferred to make sea moss capsules.
What Is The Difference Between Farmed Sea Moss And Wildcrafted Sea Moss?
Companies have found a way to grow sea moss outside its natural habitat. Pool-grown, also called fake moss, refers to sea moss grown in tanks and pools. This farmed sea moss grows in an environment that tries to replicate the ocean in terms of lighting and water movement.
Ocean-farmed refers to sea moss that people grow in the ocean in designated areas.
When trying to tell apart the difference between pool-grown, ocean-farmed, and wildcrafted sea moss, some of the things you can look out for include:
Depending on the natural habitat you harvest, ocean farmed and wildcrafted sea moss will have a wide range of dark colours. These include colours: golden, red, tan, and purple.
Pool-grown sea moss will be lighter or pale than wildcrafted. Most of the colours this sea moss will have is yellowish and beige.
Wildcrafted sea moss grows in an uncontrolled environment, and its structure is expected to be disorganised. This sea moss structure appears tangled and has a mesh-like feel.
Pool farms are deliberately organised to grow the seaweed. Thus pool grown sea moss has a structure that appears like noodles that are put together carefully.
Wildcrafted and ocean-farmed sea moss have thin stems of about 1-3 mm. Pool-grown sea moss has thick stems of about 5-10mm. The increment in pool-grown sea moss is due to the addition of chemicals that help the seaweed grow faster.
Wildcrafted and ocean-farmed sea moss will take on the scents in the ocean. Hence these will have a fishy or sea-like smell.
Pool-grown sea moss has a chemical-like smell which they take from the chemicals that are added to them to help them grow.
Dried sea moss that is wildcrafted will not contain any moisture when you touch it. In contrast, dried pool-grown sea moss will have a bit of moisture to it.
Soaking is one of the definite ways to tell wildcrafted and pool-grown sea moss apart. When you soak wildcrafted sea moss in water, it will become slippery and slimy, and Pool-grown will maintain the same look or develop a gummy texture.
Wildcrafted and ocean-farmed sea moss have very low salt concentrations; therefore, they hardly have any visible salt crystals on their surface when dried.
Dried pool-grown sea moss has visible salt crystals on its surface. No salt is usually present in the pools where the sea moss grows; therefore, to compensate for the salty taste, some producers add rock or table salt to the seaweed when packaging it.
Sea Moss taste can vary depending on it's form. Wildcrafted sea moss has a slight sea taste. If you love seafood, then you should be able to stand the seaweed taste. If you don’t like the seaweed taste, add lemon to it and get rid of the sea taste.
Sea moss that grows in pools has a chemical smell, and adding lemon to this fake moss does not eliminate the chemical taste.
Naturally grown and ocean-farmed sea moss have impurities such as debris, rocks, sediment, and other seaweeds harvested alongside it. When you wash your sea moss, you will likely encounter these impurities, and the best way to get rid of them is by soaking overnight.
Pool-grown sea moss is farmed in a controlled environment that doesn’t have sand and debris. Thus this will be clean when harvested and will not contain any impurities.
Different species of sea moss grow in different locations, but real sea moss grows mainly along coastal islands. The Caribbean islands such as Jamaica and St Lucia are ideal for harvesting wildcrafted sea moss.
Farmed sea moss is mainly grown in Asia in countries like Vietnam and China. Therefore, looking at your suppliers’ country of origin is one way to help you differentiate between wildcrafted sea moss and farmed sea moss.
The price range of sea moss is an excellent way to differentiate between the types of sea moss, but it is not a definite way to tell them apart.
Pool-grown sea moss is cheaper than wildcrafted sea moss, whose price retails as much as three times more than sea moss grown in pools.
Which Form Of Sea Moss Is Best?
If you are wondering which type of sea moss is best for purchase, it all comes down to whether you want to go eco-friendly or are looking to load up on nutritional benefits.
Wildcrafted sea moss has a high nutrient content, and this sea moss naturally grows in the ocean and gets more environmental nutrients. Pool-farmed sea moss has chemicals added to it to aid in its growth; therefore, this seaweed is not nutrient dense and is degraded in quality.
Ocean farming of sea moss is sustainably done in open waters. Consequently, ocean-farmed sea moss is eco-friendly and great for the environment because it replenishes the over wildcrafted sea moss that people have harvested over the years.
The bottom line is that wildcrafted sea moss and ocean-farmed sea moss are good for you to consume. However, it is best to avoid pool-grown sea moss altogether.
How Is Sea Moss Harvested?
Local sellers must wait for tides to go down to harvest wildcrafted sea moss in the ocean. Low tides give the harvesters ample time to go and gather as much sea moss as they want. The seaweed is harvested from rocks and tide pools with knives and blades that assist in cutting the seaweed if it is stuck on the rocks.
When the seaweed is fully grown, sea moss producers harvest ocean-farmed sea moss once or twice a month. Drivers go down and collect the seaweed from near the ocean bottoms and the hanging ropes from which the seaweed grows.
An advantage of harvesting ocean cultivated sea moss compared to wildcrafted sea moss is that it is less time-consuming. Divers go to harvest farmed sea moss less often compared to the people who harvest wildcrafted sea moss, who look for it every day.
The sea moss market today is flooded with so many companies. As expected, each company claims that it sells the best and most authentic sea moss. Telling apart the sea moss can be tricky, but luckily, this article serves as a complete guide.
Knowing if you are consuming wildcrafted, ocean-farmed or pool-grown sea moss is crucial to getting the benefits of the seaweed. Pool-grown sea moss is not as nutritious, and the chemicals that grow it could cause your body more harm and good.
In case you are still unable to tell apart the sea mosses, you can rely on a trusted distributor like ourselves to get you the authentic wild harvested product.