Seaweed is the vegan protein food of the future, says CNN

A recent article by CNN hailed seaweed as “the food of the future”. The vegan dish is high in protein, does not require fresh water to be produced, and releases oxygen into the atmosphere, unlike most proteins in today’s world which are derived from animals.

About 70 percent of the world’s available fresh water is used for raising livestock or growing crops. Algae, however, can thrive without the presence of fresh water. It can grow anywhere, from deserts to oceans, ponds and aquariums. This has an extremely positive effect on food production, as algae blooms quickly, is rich in nutrients, and requires almost nothing to grow.

Seaweed is 40 percent protein, and when you compare land use, it produces seven times more protein than soybeans. Algae also release oxygen into the air – scientists say 50 percent of the world’s oxygen is accredited for algae – unlike raising livestock which emits greenhouse gases into the planet’s atmosphere, ultimately leading to climate change.

The plant has already caused a sensation on social networks. Sustainability-focused newspaper Space 10 recently took to Instagram to share photos of five classic dishes reinvented with sustainable ingredients that are healthier for the Earth, humans and animals. The post featured a “dogless hot dog” made with protein-rich seaweed.

Company producing algae, iWi life, uses 900 acres of farmland to grow algae year round. The company has just launched three supplements, comprising an omega-3 complex, DHA and EPA. These alternatives contain no animal products but are reliable sources of omega-3s, sought after for their cardiovascular, neurological, immune and mental health benefits. Notably, iWi Life’s vegan version of the supplement boasts upper a bioabsorption rate of omega-3s than fish or krill oil, which means the body can absorb more nutrients into the bloodstream.

The brand uses the nannochloropsis strain of algae, and note that it is different from the strain of algae found in stagnant ponds. “There are hundreds of thousands of strains of algae in the world and there is a subgroup of those that are stinky and gooey and disgusting, but there are many that are not,” Rebecca White, iWi’s vice president of operations, told CNN Tech.

“The protein we produce will not be green”, commented iWi CEO Miguel Calatayud, who later revealed that the brand is developing seaweed snacks and protein powders. These products will closely resemble other protein supplements on the health market today, he said, and won’t compromise on flavor. “[Algae will be] in each food you take every day ”, Calatayud noted. “Algae are going to be part of a regular food chain for us. It will be a good thing for all of us and for our planet… What we build is 100% sustainable and 100% scalable.

Sustainability starts on the plate. The traditional food system is already considered unsustainable and the United Nations predicted that with our current eating habits, a 70 percent Increased food production will be needed to feed the additional two and a half billion people estimated to be on Earth by 2050.

Plant-based proteins are gaining popularity for several reasons, including their low impact on the environment, health advantages, and animal wellbeing the reasons. Therefore, food Technology future experts look to veganism to feed the masses for generations to come.

Image Credit: MyIwiLife

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Tanya S. Norvell

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