Real vs Fake Sea Moss. Wildcrafted Ocean Farmed & Pool Grown. What is the difference?
Updated: Sep 23
First I’d like to start by making the distinction that there is no FAKE sea moss. At least not that I’ve heard of yet. There are (3) ways sea moss is generally produced and I will quickly explain the difference.
1. There is the naturally occurring wildcrafted variety which is the healthiest of all. It yields the most nutritional benefits. It is developed in a specific way through its interaction with all the properties of the ocean it grows in. The environment includes the nutrients the sea moss absorbs from the rocks it grows on, air, sunshine, the amount of salt and other nutrients in the water, the movement of the water, the wildlife and other natural factors.
2. There is also a variety that is grown in the sea but it is still not naturally occurring. This is known as Ocean Farmed. Sea moss producers grow sea moss in these sea farms to make harvesting easier. Though the sea moss grows in the ocean it doesn’t grow in exactly the same way as wildcrafted sea moss does because it grows from ropes instead of rocks. This farmed variety do have nutritional benefits but not as much as the wildcrafted variety.
3. There is also another variation known as Pool Grown. This is the variety many refer to as the “fake” sea moss. Many sea moss producers take sea moss from the ocean and grow it in pool farms. The farms try to replicate the properties of the ocean by supplying constant back and forth motion of the ocean but they can’t totally replicate all of he ocean’s properties. The sea moss produced in brine pools also grows quickly and contains more mucilage than the naturally occurring moss. This changes the composition of the sea moss and negatively affects it nutrient content. This form has the least nutritional benefits of all the variations.
I know this can be confusing, but to put it in a nutshell, avoid buying pool grown sea moss which is grown in brine water. Pool grown sea moss is lighter in color and much larger than natural sea moss. It’s salty, and it is deficient in minerals. I’ve heard some say it even smells like chemicals or chlorine.
Wildcrafted is best because it grows naturally and suppliers harvest it in an eco-friendly way. Wildcrafting sea moss means harvesting it directly from its natural habitat, therefore it bypasses human intervention. Ideally, harvesters only take parts of the sea moss plant, so the plant can regrow and support its ecosystem. Also, wildcrafted sea moss is a better option than Organic sea moss. You can grow organic sea moss in salt pools, so organic doesn’t necessarily make it better. Wildcrafted sea moss is smaller, slightly darker and may have slight color variations between brown and purple. It can also come possibly covered in sand and sea debris and will need to be thoroughly cleaned prior to soaking. Also definitely avoid any sea moss that is produced in China.