In Israel, a specific aquatic duckweed is grown, sold and promoted under the registered name Mankai, from the Hebrew Man (manna) and the Thai Kai (water eggs). These are tiny plants that live floating in water. The plant and its seeds hold tiny air bubbles so perhaps they can pop like popcorn.
In South-East Asia, for hundreds of years, it’s known for its rich nutrients (“water lentils”). Like all greens, it takes up greenhouse gas and produces Oxygen. And it ‘filters’ water from bacteria. But, if you want to eat it, it should have lived in clean water (it can grow in sewage water). (Don’t eat nettle from the woods that grew in a place nothing else could. Someone dumped there a leaking car battery and the plant is now full of poison.)
It is advertised as a superfood since it contains all the essential amino acids, iron, other minerals, and even vitamin B12. We’re looking forward to independent scientific research showing if any of it comes in significant quantities and how (un)easily these are absorbed from the intestines.
Flaxseed oil is great. But if you eat the tiny seeds whole, they come out whole and you get none of its goodness. Spinach has 10 times less Iron than Popeye assumed, but it’s also harder to absorb than meat’s iron. Vitamin C helps absorb calcium. Calcium hinders Iron absorption.
How does one best absorb the good from duckweed? Do you need to cook it (like potatoes), or better leave it as unheated as possible (like grains), or grind it freshly (like lattice)? It doesn’t have a lot of taste, many say. Is that for seasoned meat-eaters’ tastes or really? If it’s kind of bland, it has the drawback that many may start spicing it up like meat. So much salt is bad. The claim that it has low sodium is then as fake as the claim that sugar has no cholesterol. (It’s true, but our body transforms sugar into cholesterol!)
The next issue is, of course, if it is a safe food. For starters, it seems to have a lot of calcium oxalate, which would mean that you need to serve it mixed with a little chalk if you want to keep calcium in your bones and teeth.
At some places, it said this duckweed is highly cultivated, while in other places it was claimed to be genetic-mutation free. I hope that’s correct.
When it’s grown close to the consumer, it’s environmentally excellent, it seems. But here again, talks a promoter. It’s nice to be enthusiastic but why is he silent about the footprint of the lighting in this vertical farming?
It’s hyped as beautifully Israel-grown, good for the proud Zionist. But Amazon sells it USA-grown without mentioning that the mother company is Israeli, good for the angry anti-Zionist? (Hey, they need to eat too!)
It’s greener than green but anyone raising kids knows that they are ‘allergic’ to green. What can be done to de-color this food, switch it to another color (beetroot?), or breed it to have a redder underside?
Without clarity about the above, any text is mere an ad or propaganda. I am happy with anyone making a good living but I would be happier if everyone could make a good living honestly. We need information, facts.