Somethings are looked at as ugly, a nuisance, good for nothing. Take the dandelion, a weed by most people’s definition that is nothing but a pain in the ass. Having to pull the dandelions out of the ground because they offer no value and take away from your nice manicured front lawn. Yet if you are of Italian descent you might be thinking of making a nice dandelion wine from those ‘weeds’. It wasn’t until the 20th century with the invention of lawns did the dandelion get demonized. Before that grass was cleared to grow dandelions because of their medicinal and magical benefits and also a great source of food. With the need of having to have a beautiful front lawn the dandelion was doomed.
Just recently I came across information that another ‘weed’, the duckweed (specifically the Mankai duckweed) has been shown to possibly be the only plant that has the vitamin B12 readily available in it. Water lentils, or Duckweed, is also a source of high quality protein and studies have also shown that it does very well in managing glucose levels. Sounds almost like a super food.
What is Duckweed? If you have come across ponds that don’t have a lot of water movement, and it’s covered in green stuff kind of looking like tiny green lentils than you have more than likely seen Duckweed. And much like the dandelion, this is why people hate Duckweed. But hate it at your own parrel. Let’s look at some interesting facts about Duckweed:
- Can double in just 16 hours to 2 days
- Cost effective renewable energy as biofuel
- Natural water filter
- Prevents Mosquitos
- Prevents algae growth
- and food for humans
Pretty impresive, isn’t it. But let’s focus on the B12 vitamin aspect. If you know your B12 you might be thinking that duckweed is high in B12 because it’s been sitting on top of a pond soaking in all that bacteria. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Analysis has shown that the Duckweed’s B12 is naturally occurring, not the result of sitting on top of a pond that is bacteria laden. This is great news in that you can harvest Duckweed by growing it in controlled environments.
But think of it. A plant that contains in just 100 grams over 750% of your daily B12 requirement. THIS IS HUGE! Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with supplementing B12 but I think this might be the new response to eating a plant based diet and having to discuss B12 needs and where B12 comes from. “Where do you get your B12 from…” is one of the arguments people use when they find out you are vegan and there is a lot of misinformation out there being perpetuated endlessly. Let’s look at a frequent guess on the Joe Rogan Experience, Chris Kresser. If Joe Rogan wasn’t an honorable person in inviting one of the producers of The Game Changers onto his show to debate Chris following Chris’ ‘debunking’ of the documentary The Game Changers we would have never had heard Chris admit he was factually incorrect on his points on B12. There still is a strong belief that B12 is made by animals, which we know it isn’t, it’s a bacteria found in soil and in ponds.
A plant based, renewable source of B12, protein, and other vitamins and minerals that can double it’s volume in as quickly as 16 hours! This could be the new soy in the sense that it should be readily available and inexpensive to grow as it can be grown in a controlled environment.
I’m excited about this. A naturally occurring source of B12 and other nutrients. Who knows, maybe this is something I can grow myself and harvest my own Duckweed. It might be worth some looking into.
Yours in health,