I am a lover of nature since as long as I can remember and now that I live near the ocean, it is amazing to me how much I feel as if it is vital to me as I age. What I have learned over the last few years is just how much we as humans depend on the ocean for a slew of things. Most of them, we are not even aware of and we tend to take for granted. Armed with this newly discovered information, I have lately been sharing it with friends and family members in an effort to change their views on how the ocean impacts the way we live and what we eat.
The ocean is a vital resource and there have been lots of studies done over the past few years that demonstrate just how the ocean works as an integral part of our food resources. For those out there that may be asking themselves what the ocean does for us, well I can tell you now. Where exactly can we see influences of the ocean in our foods?
Well, it is present in chocolate milk, peanut butter, the toothpaste we use to brush our teeth, sunscreen, makeup, and many other items. The first of these four include carrageenan, a red algae in the ocean that aids in giving these products consistency. Did you know that the sunscreen you buy with a factor of over 50 comes from the coral reef? It really doesn’t matter where you live, the chances are fairly great that the products you use are coming from the ocean and her are few more of them:
- ice cream (that contains carrageenan)
- yogurt (which contains agar, known as a thickening agent)
- salad dressing (which contains algin, known as another brown algae)
- cake mixes and shampoos (which contain kelp)
- allergy medicines (come from sea whip corals and aid against inflammation)
These are just a few of the things that come from the ocean that make life more enjoyable, and since the ocean helps to meet our needs through jobs, food, clean air, medicines, and more, we should be more thankful and grateful that it exists. But the last century or so, it seems as if we do not as the oceans are in a bad state of health at the moment and we really should be doing more to ensure they return to their former glory. With World Oceans Day on June 8th, here are some things you can do to help the ocean and Mother Nature’s gift to us.
- Eat fish the proper way that is caught in the proper way
You probably have already heard about fishermen that look for sea creatures that are near extinction. Try to buy seafood that is locally sourced, especially when you are eating out.
- Speaking Out
Whenever you see something, say something. That means contacting your local congressperson or senator and telling them to support certain acts that protect the oceans.
- Adopt Coral Reefs
We only have a few in the world and they must be protected as they give us breakthroughs each year in cancers, diabetes, and other diseases and illnesses that can be terminal. If we lose the coral reefs, those could dry up and affect our health in a totally new way.