Food crisis and over-population? Microalgae and malnutrition
With 7 billion inhabitants, and an annual world population growth of 90 million, our planet struggles to provide the resources necessary to sustain our life style. With 1 in 9 people suffering from hunger, fighting malnutrition is one of the world’s greatest challenge. Many solutions have already made their way on a global scale, like insect consumption (already in use in some Asian and African countries) and microalgae consumption (especially spirulina). Both types have been pronounced food of the future by the U.N. Organization, as they gather solutions for emergency situations for some populuations.
Microalgae indeed participate in several ways to fight against malnutrition. Let’s take the example of spirulina, the well-known microalgae, easy to produce and already available on international markets.
Cultivated and consumed for more than 2,000 years by the Maya people, spirulina ticks all of ideal food boxes. Already known for its contribution in iron or beta-carotene, spirulina also provides vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, B12, I, K), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, sodium, chrome selenium), and also mais aussi des essential amino acids (Isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophane, valine), fibres and antioxidants.
Spirulina’s nutritional potential has naturally given way to its broad commercialisation as a food supplement in European countries. Several other microalgae species have been allowed on food market in Europe: Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina), Odontella aurita, Chlorella, etc. Their benefits for human body are as varied as their composition!
Environment and growth of large cities: microalgae’s city conquest!
In large cities – megalopolis – where populations keep expanding, the urban atmosphere tends to be enriched in CO2: this means less oxygen… Why don’t we keep on growing with the help of microalgae, placed at the top of our buildings’ roofs? Their ability to stock CO2 and reject oxygen in the atmosphere is the solution!
Experiments, led on roofs in London and Paris where spirulina was grown, have shown tremendous results: less energy waste and more CO2 capture.
Microalgae as a remedy for our lands.
With strong mineral and organic elements in their composition, microalgae decompose easily, so they have been studied for their benefits on soils impacted by modern agriculture as well. Microalgae can be used today to enhance land fertility, without the need for any more chemical products currently used by agro-farmers.
Cosmetics and microalgae, beauty from the sea.
So many species produce so many components (antioxidants, pigments, vitamins, etc.) which are key to the cosmetics industry. As a natural complement, face mask, scurb solution, soap, or skin treatment, microorganisms from the sea are our well-being ally.
Microalgae’s powers are infinite: nutritional, moisturising, protecting, regenerating… science keeps finding new benefits each year, so that microalgae’s powers will be hard to ignore.
Agrifood (on earth and outside!), cosmetics, energy, materials… so many sectors will be impacted by microalgae in the future: for the better, and only for the better!