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11 Things You Didn’t Know Came From the Ocean

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11 Things You Didn’t Know Came From the Ocean

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.

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96 comments

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2:54PM PDT on May 22, 2015

Carageenan is very unhealthy. Another reason to skip ice-cream, apart from sugar.

2:54PM PDT on May 22, 2015

well said, Nimue and Dale

8:36AM PDT on May 22, 2015

Thank you

8:58PM PDT on May 21, 2015

Interesting article. Coral reefs are very important to the environment, it is sad that many of them are in danger.

8:55PM PDT on May 21, 2015

Most of those things I don't use/eat, and the ones I do, do not contain carageenan, my organic peanut butter only contains 100% organic peanuts and nothing else. And because of our strict labelling laws in Australia, ALL ingredients ARE listed.

8:54PM PDT on May 21, 2015

Most of those things I don't use/eat, and the ones I do, do not contain carageenan, my organic peanut butter only contains 100% organic peanuts and nothing else. And because of our strict labelling laws in Australia, ALL ingredients ARE listed.

9:12PM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Thank you

8:49PM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Gracias por publicar.

1:21PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

very interesting, and i would never have guessed!

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Fascinating and intriguing, there is a wealth of knowledge and delight in the oceans around the world! Let's try and keep them as pristine as possible!

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