Meet our seaweed harvesters10/12/2013
by Mark Walton
So finally I’m doing it! After months and months of every tom, dick and harry harping on at me to start blogging, here I am. Our blog has been going for a couple of months at this stage, and the feedback has been great – thank you
With mountains of glass jars, bottles, seaweed extracts and stacks of magazines and press clippings sitting on my desk I stare at them looking for inspiration. Well, I thought, what better to blog about than the people who bring us the seaweed! The people whom without them seaweed beauty products in Ireland and further afield may not exist.
Harvesting in Ireland, now and then
The Irish have been harvesting seaweed for literally thousands of years and here at VOYA very little has changed since. We use no machinery so as not to harm the delicate seabed. We harvest by hand and select by sight. We only cut a small portion of the seaweed at a time to ensure it grows back within 8 months. One of the things we love most about seaweed harvesting is the fact that it has never changed. Our seaweed harvesters are practicing the same tradition of our forefathers, ensuring that this indigenous therapy does not get left behind.
It all sounds very relaxing and therapeutic I know. I have to tell you it’s not always. While there are sometimes arguments here at VOYA about whose turn it is to go harvesting, at this time of year when the cold weather starts to set in, they all seem to be a little less enthusiastic. Harvesting this precious wild crop in Ireland to create our organic seaweed beauty products is without a doubt a challenging and sometimes even dangerous job. Our seaweed harvesters step into their waders and bundle into the 4×4 truck to head out west to the ocean – rain, wind or snow. Their calling is low tide. High tides can be dangerous and sometime the search for seaweed will have to be abandoned for this reason. It is the nature of dealing with a natural beauty product. The ocean calls the shots.
Seaweed beauty products in Ireland
So why seaweed you might ask? Seaweeds are among the healthiest vegetables on the planet, packed with a host of nutrients our bodies need but are unable to produce. But why is seaweed so much more beneficial than other land based plants? Well a lot of the food grown on the land is lacking in minerals because of artificial fertilizers and pesticides pumped into the ground over the years. Meanwhile seaweed is packed with trace elements, vitamins and minerals because it grows naturally in the ocean and absorbs its nutrients from the sea. Remember, life began at sea and over the many millions of years seaweed has built up a mechanism of protecting itself from harsh oceanic conditions both under and above water. We carry this form of protection into our seaweed beauty products. According to Professional Spa and Wellness magazine, “The barriers that protect the seaweed in the ocean will also protect the skin against environmental conditions such as free radicals and toxins that it faces every day”. Why not dip your toe into seaweed skincare?