Acres of saltwater pools in the desert are growing an algae food revolution

High in protein and low in carbon footprint, algae is a breakthrough for feeding the world in a changing climate

“Algae? But… isn’t that gross?” That’s what Rebecca White commonly hears from surprised people at her booth at trade shows, after the unsuspecting visitors find out the snack bar they just ate, and actually really liked, contains algae.

White is a research scientist at iWi, a nutrition company that runs one of the largest algae farms. She isn’t offering snacks filled with algae just to show people that the mossy greens can be added to food without making it taste or smell like pond water. The real mission is to discuss algae’s potential as a solution for a much bigger problem: the food security of our planet. 

We will soon be running out of food. The projected population of the world in 2050 will require a 70 percent increase in food production, but we are already stretching our resources with the way we grow food today, a new United Nations report warned yesterday. Land is turning into desert, rising temperatures are cutting crop yields, and soil is becoming lifeless due to overuse. Seventy percent of the world’s available freshwater is used for agriculture and raising livestock. Livestock and the food they consume generate 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human-related activity, contributing to climate change, more droughts and land erosions. It’s a vicious cycle that experts say we are running out of time to break. “We need a farming revolution,” says Miguel Calatayud, the CEO of iWi. 

Click here to read the full article by Massive Science.

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