Experts say This particular is usually the food of the future

is usually algae the food of the future?

I have commitment issues — with my diet.

Name the diet, in addition to I’ve tried the idea. I’m currently a pescatarian with fish as my main protein source. nevertheless I’ve been a carnivore, vegetarian in addition to vegan, too.

Oh, in addition to I dabble in “menu of the future” items such as algae in addition to bugs.

inside last month, I’ve had algae smoothies, algae protein bars in addition to algae chips. the idea’s not because I’m a particularly adventurous eater or of which I love the taste. I actually loathe the mossy flavor of algae.

I eat the idea because I’m a worry wart when the idea comes to our environment. We’ve gotten ourselves into some trouble. Our dining habits are a big part of the problem.

The average American male consumes 100 grams of protein daily — almost double the necessary amount. This particular overconsumption isn’t sustainable. The United Nations projects food production will need to boost as much as 70% by 2050 to feed an extra 2.5 billion people.

To survive, we need to reinvent the way we farm in addition to eat. Experts say algae could be a possible solution. Unlike most crops, the idea doesn’t require fresh water to flourish. of which’s a big deal. About 70% of the planet’s available fresh water goes toward crops in addition to raising livestock.

Meat uses up a lot of our finite resources, like water in addition to land, not just for the animals nevertheless to grow their food, too. nevertheless the green slimy stuff of which lives in oceans, ponds in addition to aquariums can grow fast, is usually packed with nutrition in addition to needs next to nothing to grow. the idea can even grow in a desert.

Related: The quest to make homes of which repair themselves

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My visit at Green Stream Farms in Columbus, fresh Mexico

Several weeks ago, I visited algae farm Green Stream Farms inside sleepy town of Columbus, fresh Mexico, a stone’s throw away coming from the Mexican border. using a location of which feels like you’re inside middle of nowhere in addition to a population of 1,0, you’d never expect This particular is usually where the food of the future comes coming from.

nevertheless of which’s where wellness company iWi is usually growing a strain of algae on a massive scale. The farm has green seas as far as the eye could see. The entire farm is usually 900 acres — 98 of which are currently being cultivated — in addition to operates all year round.

At the farm, I got my hands dirty. I wadded thigh-high in a sea of green algae in addition to reached my hand into a vat of the harvested “green gold,” coating the idea in cold, verdant goop. Feeling bold, I licked the dripping algae off my finger.

the idea was a far cry coming from the gross-tasting algae I’ve had inside past. of which’s because not all strains of algae smell or taste like pond scum. Some algae I’ve tried before even turned my tongue black-green. nevertheless the farm’s fresh algae simply tasted salty in addition to gave me desire people would certainly willingly eat This particular.

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Up close in addition to personal with the algae

“There are hundreds of thousands of strains of algae inside entire world in addition to there is usually a subgroup of those of which are stinky in addition to slimy in addition to gross, nevertheless there are lots of which are not,” said Rebecca White, iWi’s VP of Operations.

IWi is usually betting their strain, nannochloropsis, will be next big food trend. The company already sells algae as omega-3 in addition to EPA supplements at the The Vitamin Shoppe in addition to on Amazon. the idea’s currently developing algae-based snacks in addition to protein powders.

“The protein we’re producing is usually not going to be green,” said CEO Miguel Calatayud, adding its protein powders will be virtually imperceptible when added to additional foods. the idea is usually “not going to change the flavor.”

“[the idea will be] in every single food of which you take on an everyday basis,” he added. “Algae is usually going to be part of a regular food chain for us. the idea’s going to be great thing for all of us in addition to for our planet.”

Calatayud said if the entire world’s population grows coming from 7.5 billion to 10 billion as expected, we’ll need to think more seriously about protein alternatives like algae.

“There will not be enough animal protein or additional vegetable protein,” he said. “There won’t be enough arable land, in addition to what’s even more important, there won’t be enough fresh water.”

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Algae for as far as the eye can see

IWi’s strain of algae takes what would certainly otherwise be wasted — saltwater, desert land in addition to CO2 — in addition to turns the idea into something special. Made up of 40% protein, the idea can produce about seven times the amount of protein as soybeans on the same amount of land. The plant also releases oxygen into the air. (About 50% of the entire world’s oxygen comes coming from algae).

“There are tons of desert areas all over the entire world in addition to most of them have brackish water underneath,” he said. “What we are building the idea’s 100% sustainable in addition to 100% scalable.”

When the idea comes to actually growing algae, the approach falls into two classes: an open method in an environment like a pond exposed to the elements, or a closed system in a photobioreactor using a more controlled environment. IWi uses an open method by harnessing the power of the sun to feed its algae.

Algae at the farm is usually grown in long ponds called “raceways,” in addition to an engine constantly churns water to make sure the algae is usually exposed to the sunlight. CO2 in addition to a tiny bit of fertilizer is usually then pumped into the water to help the algae bloom.

Related: This particular startup wants to help the planet with meatless burgers

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The farm’s algae tasted salty (in addition to not gross)

Algae isn’t the only protein alternative scientists are tinkering with. Lab-grown meat companies such as Memphis Meats, Beyond Meats in addition to Impossible Foods are working to popularize cultured meats in addition to plant-based meat substitutes. Their products are currently on supermarket shelves in addition to have a sizable following with vegetarians in addition to vegans.

additional meat alternatives include bugs — especially crickets, largely considered the tastiest insects. I’ve popped them into my mouth like potato chips. The hardest part is usually wrapping your brain around eating something you’d usually spray with Raid or squash using a book.

nevertheless they don’t taste of which bad. I’ve even had some bug-based dishes of which were truly delicious. When crickets are ground into flour for protein powder, the idea’s unrecognizable. Form factor matters.

More than 2,000 edible bug species are eaten by 2 billion people worldwide, in addition to for Great reason.

“Insects are rich in protein in addition to essential micronutrients, such as iron in addition to zinc,” Halwart said. “They don’t need as much space as livestock, emit less greenhouse gases, in addition to have an excellent feed conversion rate.”

For example, a pound of feed yields 12 times more edible cricket protein than beef protein, he said.

Perhaps the idea’s only a matter of time before Western countries stop turning up our noses at plated insects in addition to start chowing down.

in addition to algae for dinner may be a long shot for currently, nevertheless the powerful potential of This particular tiny super crop can’t be ignored.

sy88pgw (fresh York) First published June 1, 2018: 9:14 AM ET

Experts say This particular is usually the food of the future

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