Neither rare nor medium rare
The phenomenon of vegetarianism has never been stronger. It coincides with the publication of numerous studies highlighting the damage done to the environment by excessive cattle breeding and the unhealthiness of a meat-intensive diet. As a counterbalance, the resources of the sea, a feld hitherto of peripheral interest, is now promising important economic benefts, notably those of seaweed, used in the food industry, cosmetics and medicine. Gracilaria chilensis is a red seaweed used to make agar-agar, a gelatin-like product popular with vegetarians. Still very abundant a few years ago on the cold-water shores of southern Chile, its existence is today threatened by overfarming. New methods of aquaculture are being tested so as not to deplete this resource. The seaweed grows naturally, and unusually, in sand, but one of the most promising approaches is to cultivate it on ropes in proximity to fish farms. The latter, which produce large quantities of micro-organic waste, feed the Gracilaria chilensis in a mutually benefcial production cycle.