I read the ingredients on my kelp noodles this afternoon and was startled by the “chemical-like” name of one of the ingredients, so I have just spent a while looking up kelp and “sodium alginate”, to make sure that kelp noodles are, indeed, a decent food for me.
Here is what I have found out so far, aside from the fact that the noodles have, apparently, little nutritional value:
Kelp is a “brown algae. (In my very cursory investigation of the word “algae”, it seems to be used differently in different places. All sources do agree that this is a “seaweed”, or “sea vegetable )
According to various sources, Wakame, Kombu, Porphyra (the sea vegetable used in “nori”), agar-agar (also known as “kanten”), and alaria (also known as dulse) are common kinds of kelp available in the U.S. since the 1960s.
Alginate, a carbohydrate derived from kelp, is used as a thickener or a “gel-ing agent” in the manufacturing of ice cream, jellies salad dressings, and toothpaste.
SODIUM ALGINATE (from Wikipedia)
The chemical compound sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid. Its form, as a gum, when extracted from the cell walls of brown Algae, is used by the foods industry to increase Sodium alginate is a good chelator for pulling radioactive toxins such as iodine-131 and strontium-90 from the body which have taken the place of their non-radioactive counterparts.
Well, for sure, kelp noodles are not a “natural” product, in that the kelp has been way processed. The package says they are raw. Okay. Somewhere at the beginning of the life of this product there was kelp that was raw. How much? Is it really worth it for me to eat this product? Am I wasting my chewing power eating a non-nutrititive food item? Is this junk food?