Wakame Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  8 min read
wakame benefits and side effects

Health

Wakame health benefits may include:

Wakame is…

a kids book about plant based eating
Teach Kids Where Our Food Comes From. Look Inside!

Environment

Water footprint: likely low

Carbon footprint: low, 0.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of aquatic plants, a car driving equivalent of .0 miles or .0 kilometers

Destruction: low, wakame production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Wakame is…

Animals

Kills: none, wakame production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, wakame production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from wakame production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Wakame is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Wakame…

Where is most wakame from?

Wakame is often collected for food in East Asia, specifically Japan which has been cultivating wakame for centuries.

Is wakame nutritious?

Yes! Wakame contains vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as iron, copper and phosphorus, iodine, manganese, folate, magnesium and calcium.

wakame is alkaline.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Is wakame alkaline or acidic? Wakame is alkaline once digested. Sea vegetables are an alkaline food group.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

wakame is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is wakame gluten free? Yes, wakame is gluten free. Wakame does not contain gluten. Wakame is a type of sea vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

wakame is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is wakame a common food allergen? No, wakame is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to wakame but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

wakame has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does wakame have a high or low carbon footprint? Wakame has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of wakame? It takes around 0.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of aquatic plants, a car driving equivalent of .0 miles or .0 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

wakame is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is wakame eco friendly? Is wakame sustainable?

Wakame production is relatively sustainable since there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

wakame is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is wakame vegan? Yes, wakame is vegan. Wakame is a seaweed, a sea vegetable, and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

wakame is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is wakame a product with laborer concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with wakame production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

Seaweed, wakame, raw – FoodData Central – USDA

Digestibility and energy availability of Wakame – PubMed

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.