Food Sourcing

Marine Algae Could Nourish Growing World Population




NiklasAdrianVindelev/Space10

According to the United Nations, more than 800 million people today are regularly undernourished. By 2050, a rise of another 3 billion in global population is expected to escalate pressure on food supplies. The challenge means providing not just sufficient calories, but also a balanced diet for good health.

Fish present a viable solution, but most of the world’s inventory is already overharvested. Some scientists propose “cutting out the middle fish” via the commercial production of marine microalgae as a staple food. They produce fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polymers and carbohydrates that humans need and that can be used to feed animals and farmed fish. Microalgae are found in both freshwater and marine aquatic systems. Only a handful of algal species are used commercially now, but hundreds of strains have similar potential.

Meanwhile, innovators at Copenhagen’s future-living lab SPACE10 created the Algae Dome, a 13-foot-tall urban ecostructure powered by solar energy that pumps out oxygen and produces food in a closed-loop arrangement. This hyperlocal food system grows microalgae, which are among the world’s fastest-growing organisms and can thrive on sunshine and water almost anywhere.


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.

Add your comment: