Healthy sea asparagus thrives on Oahu's North Shore

Wenhao Sun
Wenhao Sun

By Sharie Shima - bio | email

KAHUKU (KHNL) - A super sea crop is sprouting up on Oahu's North Shore.

Scientists are working with the University of Hawaii, using marine agriculture to spread the word on sea asparagus.

It's a delicate vegetable that packs a punch when it comes to nutrition and health benefits.

The company Marine Agrifuture has been cultivating this super food for the past three years.

"It's loaded with vitamin A , vitamin B, especially vitamin B2 is high gives you a lot of energy," said Wenhao Sun of Marine Agrifuture. "Also they have a huge amount of folic acid, vitamin B9 which is a good for very stomach and skin."

This hydroponically grown sea vegetable helps detoxify your liver and improve muscle function.

It also contains what is called TMG.

"TMG is a super antioxidant against the homosystine. Homosystine is the leading cause of stroke and also cause for liver disease," said Sun.

With global warming, scientists are looking for alternative ways to grow food in ocean water versus on land.

"If we don't have enough fresh water and air able land, how are we going to do agriculture?" Sun tells KHNL News 8.

The super food is grown in brackish water in a self contained ecosystem. The sprigs of green sit above the surface and the roots help to purify the water below.

Fish provide organic fertilizer for the vegetation. The rich nutrient water combined with sunlight also encourages ogo to naturally grow here. This provides another harvest on the farm. In turn, the ogo provides high amounts of oxygen for the sea asparagus.

"We pull the tender part out and leave the strong the stem and after that the tissue keeps growing again," Sun said.

It's a cycle that's ongoing. Old plants provide seeds for the next harvest.