“Oh, it's this weird underwater vegetation they've been growing, it kinda tastes like a mix of spinach and carrots but it's supposed to be a good vitamin supplement. Most of the stuff I'm eating are hybridized, lab grown food.”– One of the test subjects.
Nepleslian scientists were drawn to the fact that this species of kelp resembles those found on their own planet as well as other similar terrestrial worlds.
Despite popular belief kelp is not a plant, but a complex protist. It has what is refered to as a multi-generational life cycle, meaning there is a diploid sporophyte and a haploid gametophyte stage. The mature sporophyte releases spores which germinate and grow into either a male or female gametophyte. Through meosis gametes are produced creating a zygote which grows into the mature, adult sporophyte stage. The adult sporophyte has a large holdfast which secures it to the substrate, and has vesicular bubbles which trap gases holding the kelp upright. The gametophyte is small and lettuce-like in appearance.
Through genetic manipulation of spores or gametophytes the species can be easily manipulated or hyridized to increase its proliferation and nutritional content.
This particular species can be manipulated to adjust different pigment levels in the organism, allowing for such a broad spectrum of colors.
After months of study in YE 30 after a new genus of kelp was discovered on the ocean floor of Neo Kohana, Nepleslian Scientists gathered samples and started growing it in military labs to determine its uses and if it had any nutritional value. It was determined after human subject testing with volunteers from the Star Military of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia that it was safe for human consumption and could be used as a sole means of sustenance if there were no other means around.
The Amarant Kelp comes in several color varieties: red, blue, green, orange and black. The long, wide thin stalks have a rubbery, chewy texture that has been described as chewing on a mouthful of rubber bands. The blue, green and orange varieties have a taste comparable to something like spinach and carrots but the red strain has been described as tasting like fermented and spiced cabbage (Kimchi). The black Kelp is best when it’s toasted and is typically recommended for using as a wrap for other vegetables, so it tends to be viewed in the same vein as wheat- it has a grainy, bland flavor the compliments other things well.
The Amarant kelp are rich in calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B9, and C, as well as, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). It is also high in fiber and carbohydrates.