You will probably never deliberately order an algae burger on rye, a bean-and-algae burrito, or an algae caesar salad. But a day will eventually come when you will be inadvertently making algae a part of your diet:
How can this be, you wonder? Start by enjoying this cool stop-motion animation, an illustration of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules created by the team of Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle for an RSA competition:
embedded by Embedded Video
In the video, Pollan made the point:
In 2008, which was a year of supposed food crisis, we grew enough food to feed 11 billion people. Most of it was not eaten by humans as food, however; a great deal of it was fed to animals, about half, to feed our meat habit. And a great deal, especially in the United States, was fed to automobiles, because we’re driving our cars on food right now.
We hear that meat takes an enormous amount of resources to produce – water, land, crops, pesticides, fertilizer – all tied up in feeding the animals to get them all nice and fat and ready for us to eat. Wouldn’t it be great if that could all change? If we could figure out a way to feed our warm-blooded protein sources without sacrificing clean water and whole grain for humans? To really have our cake and eat it too?
An article today in Grist by Claire Thomson discusses how that may come to be. Researchers are figuring out a way to substitute algae-based animal feed for corn and soy-based feed currently used. Algae has a LOT going for it – it grows quickly and easily using only sunshine as nourishment; it uses only a tiny fraction of the water needed to grow the same yield of corn and soy, it’s the actual source of omega-3 oils we’re buying in capsule form to take every day because we don’t eat enough fish, and – ready for this? – algae production also results in sucking extra greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.
Seems like a win-win to me. Sustainable burger, anyone?