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Would You Eat Algae to Help the Environment?


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Jun 13, 2018

Would You Eat Algae to Help the Environment?

Algae, the green sludge-like liquid found on the bottom of ponds and lakes, is now a snack? Yes, it is.  Rachel Crane from CNN went to Columbus, New Mexico where a company named iWi is growing algae at massive rates for human consumption.  For 12 months year, 98 of the farm's 900 acres are used to grow algae.  The type of algae grown here does not taste disgusting, reported Crane, as she thinks it would be sellable to the general population.

Although algae is seen as a healthy option, the reasoning behind backing this trend is greater than that. The world's population is expected to increase greatly within the upcoming decades, even to as much as 2.5 billion more people than now.  That is, the world's population would skyrocket from 7.5 to 10 billion by 2050.

Rachel Crane and the algae farmers see this as potentially problematic due to the limited supply of edible protein for humans. Currently, Americans are over-eating protein, particularly protein from meat, by a substantial amount which eventually will cause its elimination. Hence, algae, made up of 40% protein, is a viable option for humans to receive their daily protein from a renewable source, rather than animal meat.  Essentially, the environment will thank you for choosing this green snack as part of your daily protein.

Algae is produced from carbon dioxide, salt water, and an open space (i.e. a desert). It is considered to be both 100% sustainable and 100% scalable.  This is seen as a positive next step in the environmental preservation. Currently, this strain of algae from New Mexico (called nannochloropsis) is currently being sold in the form of vitamins/supplements from the Vitamin Shoppe as well as Amazon.  They are currently beginning the production of an algae protein powder and algae snacks. Termed a "green gold" by algae farmers, algae does not seem to be going anywhere. 

Do you think algae is the food of the future? Would you be interested in swapping our your animal protein (i.e. chicken, beef, pork) for it?


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