Seaweed consumption is becoming more and more common in the Netherlands. Already have a cookbook, scientists are planning large-scale cultivation of algae.
1 kg of algae at Green Grocers, algae burgers at a cornered snack bar, or algae parts Car equipped. Maybe this will be completely normal soon. Scientists want to grow plants on a large scale and process them into all kinds of products. The first algae farm has already been tested in Oosterschelde, Zeeland, and funds have been raised to grow algae in the North Sea. But how nutritious are seaweeds?
Nourishing 10 billion mouths
“Few people realize that the earth isn’t growing.” Dr Willem Brandenburg has a floor. He is an expert in the field of algae and works at the University of Wageningen. He predicts that 10 billion humans will be born in the second half of this century. “While we are already depleting the planet, we will all occupy more space.” Algae are the ideal solution for feeding all these people.
We cannot produce all the substances our bodies need. We can only absorb some building blocks like essential amino acids through our food. These are contained in good proportions in animal protein. So if you eat meat, you probably eat enough. However, the protein contained in seaweed is a good alternative. A seaweed found in the Dutch seas and beaches, Zeesla contains almost all of the essential amino acids it needs. Therefore, algae can be an excellent source of nutritional value for humans. However, algae have other advantages.
Algae can grow on a large scale without harming the environment.
You can also grow it relatively easily. We rarely use the sea to grow food. “When it comes to the use of the sea, we’re still in the Stone Age. We hunt, call it fishing, throw away waste there, and extract minerals from it,” he said. Brandenburg. “But it could be much more sustainable.” Growing algae at 2% of sea level can provide the protein needed by 10 billion people. It is a region twice as large as Portugal. “And remember,” he says. Brandenburg, “You don’t need freshwater to grow algae.”
Does that really make sense? After all, we have already destroyed a lot of nature in agriculture. Dr. Brandenburg thinks so. “Algae farms do not adversely affect the marine environment.” That is if you do it right and use ecological methods to prevent illness and harmful animals. Algae fields can even be a resting place for fish. Also, use only the upper part of the sea.
Fields full of algae also offer the opportunity to close the cycle. “In the end, everything ends up in the ocean. Phosphates used in agriculture can be recovered through algae and reused in agriculture.” Algae clean the ocean and prevent CO2 acidification.
Other Benefits of Seaweed
And that’s not the only benefit of seaweed. It can also be used to manufacture industrial raw materials. Theoretically, long and strong carbon fiber can be made from algae, which can also be used in the manufacture of automobile parts like in the Honda suv used in our transportation. The starch contained in seaweed can be used as a thickener for pudding and condensed milk and has many uses.
Many problems still need to be overcome for the algae to grow on a truly large scale. Cultivation is still expensive. Dr. Brandenburg is optimistic. “We were able to experiment with agriculture for 10,000 years. Ten years later we will have a large farm in the North Sea, and 40 years later we will have very large algae cultivation around the world.”