By Kerry Crisley, The Nature Conservancy
I encounter the ocean every day. Really, every day.
Just this morning, in fact, I made chocolate milk and a peanut butter sandwich for my daughter’s lunchbox and spread a little sunscreen on her cheeks. Then we brushed our teeth, I put on some make-up and off we went to school and work.
You might be thinking: So, where’s the ocean?
It’s in the peanut butter, chocolate milk, toothpaste, make-up and sunscreen. The first four items all include carrageenan, a form of red algae that helps give products their consistency. And SFP 50 sunscreen was developed from a coral reef organism.
June 8 is World Oceans Day, and if you thought you only came into contact with the sea when you went to the beach or ate fish, think again. Whether you live in Miami, Florida or Miami, Ohio, chances are you use products made from our oceans every day. Here are five more of them:
1. Ice cream contains carrageenan.
2. Yogurt contains agar, a marine-based ingredient used as a thickening agent.
3. Salad dressing contains algin, a form of brown algae.
4. Shampoos and cake mixes contain kelp.
5. Allergy medicine’s anti-inflammatory properties were derived from sea whip corals.
And these are just a few of the things that make life more enjoyable; our oceans also meet essential needs by providing food, jobs, clean air, and the building blocks of life-saving medicines that treat cancer.