Given the superfood benefits that sea moss offers, it becomes very important to spot “fake” or pool-grown sea moss. This “fake” choice is growing in abundance in the market, so buyers should be wary of the type and quality of the sea moss they are purchasing.
Here are some things to look for to tell if sea moss is real, including looking for the presence of large grains of processed salt, the lack of imperfects that are naturally occurring, and signs that there’s chemical interference in the product.
Why All the Fuss Over Fake or Pool-Grown Sea Moss?
Back in 2011, Dr. Sebi addressed a crowd in the Bahamas regarding the challenge of fake sea moss.
While the vast majority of commercially available sea moss today comes from the open ocean, there is also plenty of truth around pool-grown sea moss, which does not have the benefits of the genuine ocean ecosystem. What this means is that the naturally occurring minerals are not present, and the quality of the pool-grown sea moss relies on the tank or pool environment it’s grown in.
While growing sea moss in this method is indeed possible, it can pose challenges in sustainability and cost when compared with traditional sea moss farming, which depends on the bountiful gifts of the open ocean in the first place.
The seaweed and sea moss industry faces the same business difficulties as other sectors, and their profitability can largely dictate their survival. However, it’s also necessary that consumers get optimum value for their money, and that sustainable ocean farming practices are observed.
Now, let’s proceed to the signs that sea moss is “fake” or pool-grown.
Sea Moss Shouldn’t Look Perfect
Pay attention to how your sea moss looks, particularly if it shows a perfect appearance and roughly the same size and thickness.
Note that sea moss grows in a distinct manner and it is quite easy to know pool-grown from ocean-harvested type based on the physical appearance. Real sea moss appears thicker in some parts than others, and will display differences in the length and density of the thallus.
These variations are a result of different factors, keeping in mind that sea moss is also a food source for aquatic animals and resources. There may be distinct bits on the ends of the sea moss, a sign that fish and other creatures nibble the tender young shoots during its growth.
Look for Salt Grains
Surface salt will naturally occur on sea moss. Since sea moss soaks up the saltwater it grows in, this manifests once it dries. However, the appearance of the salt grains also matters. Authentic sea moss comes with a light dusting of salt, just like the look of icing sugar. If the salt looks more like table salt or rock salt, then the sea moss is likely pool-grown.
Finally, it will be fairly easy to know the difference between the taste of natural and processed salt.
Other Seaweed Attached to the Sea Moss
Another indicator that you have real sea moss is it has a few stray pieces of another kind of seaweed. This is normal contamination.
On the contrary, pool-grown sea moss lack sand, sea “dirt,” and other naturally occurring pieces of seaweed mixed in. Sea dirt, for instance, can settle on the sea moss while it’s growing. Too much buildup of sea dirt, though, can lead to plant suffering and introduce the crop to disease and complications.
Color, Tone, and Other Visible Differences
Sea moss comes in a number of different colors. This is because of when the sea moss is grown as well as the differences in species characteristics in the seaweed family. In short, there can be tonal differences following the sun drying step. Sea moss can go from an olive hue or a purple or brown tone to golden white, a process that doesn’t entail chemical interference when done right and when there’s controlled exposure to direct sunlight.
You will also know for sure if the sea moss has been bleached. There’s a consistent white appearance and it will look absolutely processed. Simply put, tank-farmed sea moss exhibits no natural differences.
Not everyone has direct access to high-quality ocean-farmed sea moss. Even sea moss grown in the ocean can be low-grade given the quality of the water. There are a lot of considerations that go into getting the sea moss that will be the superfood it’s been promised to be.
A sea moss pill from a reputable manufacturer often serves as the answer for these quality and access concerns. Created in GMP facilities and with utmost regard for safety, purity, and quality, a sea moss supplement that hits the mark can be an ongoing source for this valuable health food today.