Premium sea lettuce (Ulva spp.) whole leaf in bulk. We find sea lettuce to have a somewhat more bitter flavor than our other sea vegetables, and it's best used sparingly in recipes to enhance mineral nutrition. Sustainably wild-harvested from the pristine waters of the North Atlantic, and lab-tested for quality and contaminants.
- Certified Organic
- Dried at mild temperatures to preserve enzymes, nutrients, and the environment
- Sea lettuce contains more calcium than any of our other sea vegetables...about 25mg per g
- High in iron (1.1mg per g). A 3-gram serving meets 19% of the US RDI for iron
- Available as a sample portion if you are new to sea lettuce or sea vegetables!
Dried seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse. Sea vegetables are known to contain most, if not all, of the 24 minerals and trace elements required for your body's physiological functions, some in quantities greatly exceeding those of land plants. They contain significant levels of vitamins, including the B vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Their protein content ranges from 10% to almost 40%, and they contain all or most of the essential amino acids required by humans. They’re low in fat and high in fiber; two qualities that make them healthy for the heart. And then, of course, there’s iodine. Sea vegetables are one of the highest natural sources of dietary iodine, even when eaten in small quantities.
Below are two tables showing levels of selected nutrients found in our eight species of whole leaf sea vegetable, seaweed blends, and in Kelp Krunch. Milled sea vegetables have the same nutritional composition as the whole leaf from which they were milled. For example, dulse flakes have the same nutritional composition as whole leaf dulse. The levels in these tables are provided as “amounts per 100g” because this is how the information is normally presented for food industry specifications. It also makes it easier to compare levels between species and products. You can use this table to calculate how much of any specific nutrient you're getting in a specific serving size. All you need is a calculator and a simple formula: divide the level of the nutrient found in the nutrients per 100g table by 100 to get the level per gram, and then multiply by the number of grams in your serving. Just remember, it's impossible to know the exact level of any nutrient in sea vegetables because nutrients vary between season, age, location, and other factors. Also, 100 grams is not a serving size! Serving sizes of sea vegetables are much smaller than that. If you scroll down the page past the tables you will find more information on serving size, as well as on specific nutrients.
The levels provided in these tables represent average compositions determined through various published research articles and our own testing. For some species there’s no published data for certain nutrients and we have not yet tested for those nutrients. When that’s the case, it’s indicated by “ND” (No Data). Also, it’s important to keep in mind that sea vegetables are wild marine plants, and their nutritional composition is known to vary due to naturally occurring fluctuations in the plants. These fluctuations may be due to location, season, tidal flows, ocean temperatures, weather patterns, and other factors. The values presented here are not absolutes, and we believe the whole plants provide more than the sum of their parts. (You may double click on the table in order to view larger.)
Seaweed Nutritional Facts By Species
To paraphrase an old saying, oftentimes good things come in small portions. This is definitely true of sea vegetables. You don’t have to eat a lot to get the most of their flavor and nutrition. Even in Japan, where about one-third of the adult population eats seaweed almost every day, the average daily intake is only about 4-7 grams, usually over the course of 2-3 small servings eaten throughout the day. In the US, the FDA defines a serving size as the amount of food customarily consumed (i.e., typically eaten) in one sitting for that food. The FDA often refers to serving size as the “Reference Amount Customarily Consumed”, or RACC. The serving size is required information on nutrition facts labeling because it informs consumers about the nutritional value of their food in a quantifiable fashion. The serving size shouldn’t be interpreted as the amount one is supposed to eat, but rather as the amount that most people ordinarily eat. For dried edible seaweed, the FDA considers 5g to be the RACC.
The below table shows the serving size for most Maine Coast Sea Vegetable products, along with levels of the three essential minerals required on the nutrition label, plus iodine (nutritional values are rounded to nearest whole number). You’ll see that the serving size for some of our milled products is smaller than the FDA RACC of 5 grams for seaweed, whereas for whole leaf products it’s larger. We’ve learned through experience and from our customers that how much people eat very much depends on the product form and how it’s used. Sea vegetable flakes, granules and powders are usually used in small amounts to add flavor and nutrition to such things as soups, dips, or smoothies. Whole leaf sea vegetables, on the other hand, may be eaten as snacks or used as ingredients in salads or casseroles, much as one might add arugula or other greens to a mixed salad, or spinach to a lasagna.
Typical Serving Sizes For Seaweed Showing Essential Minerals and Iodine Per Serving
Order changes will result in our cancelling your original order and you placing a new order. Cancellations must be requested within 24 hours of the original order.
Holidays or Mother Nature may delay shipments.
We ship solely from our facility in rural Hancock, Maine. Most orders will be processed within two business days upon order receipt. In most cases, you will receive your order in 3 to 8 business days after processing. An email containing your shipment tracking number will be sent to your provided email the day your package leaves our warehouse.
Below is a UPS ground shipment map that shows estimated delivery times from our location. Shipments generally leave our facility by 2pm Monday - Friday.
What carrier do you use for shipping?
We ship UPS or USPS at our discretion, offering both package tracking and reliable delivery. We MUST have a street address to ship UPS. PO Boxes default ship to USPS. Please email us a note, including your name and order number, if your location requires one type of shipping.
We offer free shipping within the contiguous United States on orders over $50.00!
We require an order minimum of $15.00 and a $10.00 flat rate for any order under $50.00
Where do you ship?
We ship to every US state and Canada. We do not ship internationally (other than to Canada).
Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii & Puerto Rico:
There will be a $10.00 shipping and handling fee for orders outside on the contiguous US. We usually ship US Postal Service for deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico (& Military bases). All orders have a $15.00 minimum.
Shipping to Canada:
There will be a $25.00 shipping and handling fee for all orders to Canada. All orders have a $15.00 order minimum.
Shipping internationally by a freight forwarder:
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables will not be responsible for damage or loss that occurs to orders after they are received and shipped to the end customer by a freight forwarder. MCSV will only be able to provide a replacement of, or refund for, any goods delivered to a freight forwarder, but not beyond.
What kind of packing materials do you use?
We use environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled craft packing paper and reusable cardboard boxes.
For any other shipping questions: Email email@example.com or call 207-412-0094 and use option 8 once you get the auto attendant. (There is usually someone in the department from Monday–Friday, 10 AM–2 PM EST). Generally shipments leave our facility by 2 PM.
Returns and Refunds
Our staff strives to make your purchase experience satisfactory. Should any of the following problems arise, contact us within 30 days of purchase (USA only).
For defective packaging, incorrectly shipped product or spoilage (because we're human and do occasionally make mistakes), you will receive a full refund (shipping expense included if applicable), to your credit card or original payment method.
For damaged in transit product (the box is clearly in bad shape). If you did not refuse delivery; then take pictures, keep the packaging and contact the appropriate shipper. Once an item is shipped it is the responsibility of the USPS or UPS to deliver on time and without damage. Please review USPS or UPS shipping policy.
Other: based on the situation you may receive a refund for the cost of the product only, return shipment costs are the responsibility of the customer. Please do not return product packages without authorization. You must contact us within 30 days of purchase.
We cannot accept a return for an opened bag of product and will only consider refunds or exchanges on a case by case basis.
For MCSV products not purchased directly from us, please return those to the location originally purchased.
Canada: Unfortunately we cannot offer returns for items purchased on the web store which have been shipped outside of the United States.
Why We Test
What We Test For
Our products are regularly screened for total bacterial counts; coliform bacteria and pathogenic E. coli; foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus; and mold & yeasts. Microbial test results aren't posted on the website for the simple reason that if we found harmful microbes in any one of our products, we wouldn’t sell it! Because dried sea vegetables contain natural sea salts and have very little moisture, they are inhospitable for bacteria and they have an extended shelf life. Microbial testing is done annually and repeated throughout the year for popular products.
Widely used in agriculture and by property owners, these compounds are of concern because they can appear as residues on foods. We use a screening protocol endorsed by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for ensuring produce meets the ‘certified organic’ standard for pesticide and herbicide residues. This testing is done annually by us and at random by our certifying agency (OCIA); our test results are posted below as NOP panel.
Referred to as Polychlorinated Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). This screen verifies our seaweed is free of gasoline and oil residues coming from surface runoff or boats. This testing is done annually and the results are posted below as PAH's.
Our labs use gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to detect and quantify trace levels (<1 part per million) of cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic forms of arsenic in our seaweed. These elements are widely distributed in the world’s oceans from both natural and manmade sources. This testing is done annually and the results along with more detail on heavy metals in seaweed are posted below.
Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, customers became concerned that even seaweed as far away from the disaster as Maine could have become contaminated, and we’ve been annually testing ever since. Test results can be found below.
How We Test
Testing is done every winter after the harvest has been dried and stored. We take care to collect composite samples representative of each species, growing area, and form (leaf or milled). We don’t test every single product each year, but we do test a representative of every species and growing area. For example, we may test dulse flakes but not powdered dulse, because the two products come from the same species and area. In this case, test results for dulse flakes can be applied to the powdered form.
Testing is done through accredited third-party labs. It’s important to understand the nature and substance of seaweed to accurately analyze it. Our contract labs use analytical methods refined over many decades by scientists from around the world, and they're validated by the EPA, FDA and global certification organizations before being approved for food testing. We work closely with our testing labs to remain current with the latest changes and refinements to test methods. Some of our testing labs include: Katahdin Analytical, Northeast Laboratories, Brooks Applied Labs, and eurofins.
Seaweed is a traditional whole food that's been eaten by people around the world for many thousands of years with healthy results. However, every person is unique and we are unable to predict your body's response. There may be elements of these plants not suitable for your particular biochemistry or condition. Only you can determine what's best for you, in consultation with your healthcare practitioner. The seaweeds we sell are wild harvested, uncultivated marine algae. Naturally occurring fluctuations in the sea plants occur due to season, climate, tidal flow and time of harvest. The information we present on this website is believed to be accurate and reliable, but the testing is not carried out by Maine Coast Sea Vegetables — it represents composite averages — and it is not guaranteed as a condition of sale. Maine Coast Sea Vegetables makes no warranty, either express or implied, and assumes no liability for this information or the products described.
Table of 2020-21 Test Results
U = Undetected above method detection limit or 0.05 ppm; ppm = parts per million, equivalent to micrograms per gram, or milligrams per kilogram
Heavy Metals in Seaweed
Customers may wonder why we choose to test our Certified Organic sea vegetables for heavy metals, or why some of our products bear a "Proposition 65" warning about lead and cadmium. The reason for both is that seaweed is highly effective at bioaccumulating minerals, metals and other elements from seawater. In addition to accumulating essential mineral nutrients, seaweed also accumulates certain heavy metals that are harmful when the body absorbs them in excess.
Metals occur naturally in the ocean due to weathering of the earth’s crust. These metals are widely disbursed, even in the remote and wild areas where our seaweed is harvested far from big cities and industry. Although Organic Certification ensures our seaweed isn't harvested near local sources of contamination such as boat marinas or municipal outfalls, it can't guarantee purity.
Because we know that heavy metals are likely to be found in seaweed, we test to verify they're not present above harmful levels. We disclose the test results so that customers can make an informed choice based on their own unique health needs and perception of risk. We ourselves frequently enjoy eating sea vegetables (often every day!) because we believe their many health and nutrition benefits far outweigh any risk posed by the low levels of heavy metals they contain. Scientists have studied this topic for many years. This research establishes safety thresholds for heavy metals based on consumption patterns, examines the question of bioavailabilty (not everything we eat is absorbed), and describes how seaweed is used for bioremediation because it contains polysaccharides that chelate (bind to) heavy metals, which is why some say it can be eaten to detoxify heavy metals. For more detail on what we've learned please see the FAQ about Heavy Metals in the section about environmental concerns.
Radioactivity Testing in Seaweed
We began testing our seaweed for radioactivity in 2011 in response to the Fukushima, Japan nuclear catastrophe, and we haven't stopped since. Humans have released radiation into the environment, whether intentionally or accidentally, ever since the US first tested atomic bombs in 1945. Because eating seaweed offers some protection from radiation, it’s important to ensure the seaweed itself is free of harmful radioactive isotopes. This topic is further addressed in our FAQs.
The lab of Professor Thomas Hess, University of Maine Department of Physics, tested our seaweed every year from 2011 to 2019. In 2020 we moved to using a commercial lab for this testing. Test results are given as Bq per kg, which is a measure of the activity of a radioactive isotope. Japanese standards for acceptable activity levels in food and water, which are among the strictest in the world, call for less than 100 Bq/kg in general foodstuffs and less than 10 Bq/kg in water. The very low threshold for water is because it's essential for life, has no substitute, and has a high rate of consumption.
Our most recent test results are shown below. Past results along with more detail about testing are found in this downloadable PDF "Summary of Radiation Testing 2011-2019".
TABLE OF 2020-21 RADIOACTIVITY TEST RESULTS
Don't use a Geiger Counter to Detect Radiation in Seaweed!
The following links provide additional resources for learning more about radiation. And of course, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Information Is Beautiful: Radiation Dosage Chart