Comments on Seaweed
in a 2006 Health Tip:
Truth About Kelp)
I recently answered
an email with the subject:
Factual errors concerning "The Truth About Kelp".
I received a response filled with even more detailed
comments which I won't be answering because the writer is so
adamant in his own opinion that nothing I respond with would
be adequate in his mind. I invite comments from others on
Pastor M's comments
are in italics and my comments
Dear Pastor M,
I have addressed your
First, Rich Tucker's
anecdote concerning his wife's problem with kelp tablets is
not indicative of a problem caused by kelp. There is
literally no information that could lead to that conclusion
in his story. It is only one of many possibilities for the
symptoms that occurred (i.e. "oozing pus from her joints").
More likely is a joint infection of some kind, unrelated to
the kelp. Without repeated tests, it would be impossible to
tell whether her problems were caused by kelp or any number
of other possibilities, including disease, infection,
allergy, etc. Certainly there is a possibility that kelp was
the culprit, but the likelihood is quite low. Many other
greater possibilities come to mind. This is not enough
information on which to base a "Truth About Kelp" story.
This woman was healthy
until she started taking the kelp. As soon as it was
discontinued, the problems disappeared and never returned.
Second, it also seems
unlikely that the woman in the story got fluoride poisoning
from spirulina. Was this self-diagnosed, or was this
discovered by laboratory tests? Spirulina supplementation
has been proven in a number of studies to LESSEN the effects
of fluoride poisoning, which seems contrary to the woman's
This woman's problems were
verified by a physician using rigorous tests. It was a
grueling search for the cause. The effects were debilitating
to the woman.
Third, the reference to
Leviticus 11 not stating "creature" is misinformation. For
proper understanding of Old Testament references, one must
go to the Hebrew (or Septuagint Greek) language. In fact,
Leviticus 11 does use TWO terms that indicate "animals" as
we would call them today.
One is the term "sherets"
(Heb.) which is translated "move" or "moving" in many
English translations. The actual meaning of "sherets" is
"swarm" and is only used in Scripture of small, moving
animals such as insects or small reptiles. The second term
is "nephesh" (Heb.) which is "breath" and is used only of
the higher creatures.
Have you ever heard of red
tide? It is a swarm of seaweed (algae blooms) that produces
toxins that kill fish and make breathing difficult for
people at the beach when it or the fish it kills comes
And Moses ... lifted
up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river,
in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of the
servants; and all the waters that were in the river
turned to blood. And the fish that were in the river
died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not
drink of the water of the river; and there was blood
throughout the land of Egypt.
The Bible has absolutely
NO references whatsoever to bacteria, whether plant, animal,
or other. The ancient Hebrews had no concept of bacteria, so
God had no reason to tell them about it. Besides that, it
should be obvious that we cannot control our ingestion of
bacteria of any type. It is utterly impossible! Every bit of
your food is filled with bacteria, and there is no obvious
way to sort among the plant, animal, and other types. You
may be able to clean 99.999% of the bacteria out of what you
breathe in, eat, drink, etc., but that 0.001% of bacteria
still numbers more individual creatures than all the humans
Of course, microbes are
necessary for all life to exist, but you don't have to eat
the stuff you can hold in your hands.
Are you certain that you
have no algae in the fish you eat? If you think so, then you
are sadly mistaken. Algae grows directly on the skin of many
I can't find anything to
verify that "algae grows directly on the skin of many fish."
Rich Tucker's final
statement is utter nonsense. Water is cleaned by seaweed in
the same way that sewage is cleaned by our trees, herbs, and
vegetables. Tiny portions of the impurities in seawater are
biologically processed by seaweed. Air is not only cleaned
by ozone produced by lightning. It is also cleaned by plant
life, including the ones we ingest. Tiny portions of the
impurities in air, water, soil, etc. on land are cleaned by
our trees, herbs, and vegetables, even the ones we eat
daily. Fortunately, God has designed all plants (including
seaweed and algae) with the cell walls that filter out the
crap. What about all the "kosher" fish that "clean" that
same water with their digestive systems (and defecate in the
same water they eat and breathe in).
Greg Rorrer, a professor
of chemical engineering at Oregon State University said,
"Marine seaweeds have a more efficient uptake mechanism than
even terrestrial aquatic plants to at least neutralize
organic pollutants." That sounds like cleaning the water to
Finally, seaweed is a
PARTICULAR type of multicellular algae. It is generally
regarded as plant life. There are other algaes that are
regarded somewhere between animal and plant, but seaweed is
not that type of life. This is, of course, a modern
classification. Ancient peoples, including the Israelites
viewed seaweed as plant life. Modern classifications have no
relevance to Biblical interpretation of Leviticus 11 or
other passages. For instance, bats were classified as birds
in Scripture. They are classified as flying mammals now. If
we wish to learn the truth of Scripture, then we need to
interpret Scripture as it was meant to be interpreted.
Plants have roots and
don't float around. The "roots" of algae are like tendrils
that anchor but they do not deliver nutrients.
The truth is that God
gave us seaweed to use and eat, the same as all other
plants. Many types of seaweed have great health benefits.
Where in the Bible do you
find anyone eating seaweed? You can find the eating of a
gourd, figs, pomegranates, lentils, etc. (plant origins) but
show me a reference to eating seaweed.
You should inform your
readers of the errors in this article for their own sakes
and for the sake of truth.
I would not tell people
to eat pigs or shrimp. Why would I tell people to eat
seaweed when I know it is not good for human consumption?
This article can be
ignored just like the rest of the prohibitions in Leviticus
11. Certain people like to tell me or others, "Oh, this pork
(shrimp, lobster, etc.) is so good. You should try it." Is
this what you are trying to tell me about seaweed?
P.S. Seaweed (algae) is an important
organism. I just don't think it is suitable for the diet of
human beings. See the articles
The Most Important
Using Algae to Clean Wastewater, Make Fuel
2733 E Battlefield Road #234
Springfield, MO 65804
This page was updated on
October 24, 2011