ENERGYbits® Blog

Save the Planet, Eat Algae

What You’ll Learn

  • How the decisions you make every day affect your health and the health of our planet.
  • Why algae is one of the most sustainable foods on earth.
  • What you can do to lessen your carbon foodprint.

Living a sustainable, eco-friendly life is important to us at ENERGYbits® and we know it’s important to you too. That’s why Earth Day is so special. But honoring Mother Nature is something we should do every day. To learn why, just keep reading. You’ll also find out why algae is the best form of “self-care” and “earth-care”. And right now, we need a lot of both.

We are all on this planet together

The decisions you make every day affect your health and the health of our planet. Your choices of transportation, lifestyle and personal activities create your own carbon footprint. But have you heard of a FOODprint? A foodprint is a measurement of what you eat and how these food choices affect both your health and the health of the environment [1].  A foodprint looks at things like the amount of land, water, ingredients, pesticides etc. required to grow your food and how this impacts the world and you.  

We are producing more greenhouse gases than ever before. This is causing temperatures to rise, polar icecaps to melt, bees to disappear, species to go extinct, dead zones in our oceans, extreme weather fluctuations and food/water insecurity [2]. Sadly, no part of our planet is immune to these devastating consequences. But this downward spiral doesn’t need to continue. We can stop this. But only if each of us make better choices and work collaboratively.

 It’s not too late. But it’s very close.

The good news is that consumption of sustainable, eco-friendly, plant-based foods like algae is on the rise. This change in the right direction presents MAJOR opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving our earth [3]. Take algae, for example, not only is it the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, it’s the most eco-friendly, sustainable food in the world. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a deeper dive so you can see for yourself!

Algae creates zero carbon footprint-it helps to clean our water, our land and our air.

Algae has the support of International Organizations

Algae has been recognized by the United Nations as the answer to world hunger since 1974 at their global conference on spirulina algae. Algae is also endorsed by NASA as the most nutrient dense food in the world, having 1,000 x more nutrients than any other fruit or vegetable. That’s why they have identified it as the first crop they want to grow in space. Hey Elon, give us a call!

Algae is increasingly becoming attractive to conservationists not just for its nutrient density but also for the amazing benefits it offers the environment. This is one of the reasons why the White House and Congress passed the very first Algae Agricultural Act as part of the 2019 Farm Bill. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Algae requires 20% less water than other traditional crops so it saves water/aquifers
  2. Algae kills bacteria as it is growing and is used at virtually every water treatment plant
  3. Algae yields 10 x 12 times the number of crops per year as traditional crops
  4. Algae provides 200 x more protein per acre than livestock
  5. Algae provides 80% of the oxygen on earth
  6. Algae captures carbon dioxide while it is growing (unlike livestock which create CO2)
  7. Algae requires no pesticides or fertilizers when it is grown as an agricultural crop
  8. Algae creates zero compost – it is 100% usable
  9. Algae creates zero carbon footprint and in fact it is a negative carbon footprint
  10. Algae is a sustainable source of Omega-3 so it protects oceans and fish
  11.  Clothes, packaging and other materials that use algae are 100% compostable
  12.  Algae is being used as a renewable energy source and causes no pollution [4]
  13.  And this is just for starters!

How algae supports our land, water and air for the better…

Our Land is Suffering

Livestock not only use a large portion of the earth, they also require a lot of feeding.  Ninety million acres are used exclusively to grow corn to feed these livestock. BTW corn isn’t good for them and causes their digestive tract to be acidic which causes them to fart. Yes we said fart. And those farts are full of CO2 which damage the ozone [5] and seven football fields of land are bulldozed worldwide every minute to farm these animals [6]. Does this sound as crazy to you as it does to us?

In addition to the QUANTITY of our land resources decreasing, the QUALITY of our land is also decreasing. Monocropping and excessive use of glyphosate and other GMO fertilizers have left  our farm soil virtually lifeless, without the microbes and minerals crops need to grow into nutrient-rich food [7]. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says if we continue to destroy the soil at our current the rate, the world could run out of topsoil in 60 years [8].  Even if you eat organic, your greens no longer contain the nutrients they used to [9].

Algae helps support our ocean and is the original source of Omeaga-3’s. Save the fish, eat algae!

Algae Rescues our Land

Instead of super-sizing our meals into big macs, maybe we should be super-sizing our agricultural initiatives! Growing and eating algae is a powerful and proven way to do this. Algae crops grow ten times more rapidly than other crops and use a tenth of the land to produce an equivalent amount of biomass (food) [10].  It grows in outdoor water tanks on non-productive and non-arable land, so it doesn’t even compete with other crops- so it can even grow in the desert!

Algae farms produce 30-times more protein per acre than traditional field crops [11] and spirulina algae provides 200-times more protein per acre than beef [12]. Additionally, one kilogram of beef protein causes 145 kilograms of topsoil loss, yet spirulina does not deplete any topsoil and in fact helps improve topsoil by acting as a natural fertilizer [13].

Are you on board yet? Do you see why algae is the best solution for our agricultural and food crisis, not to mention our environmental, water, air and ocean crisis? And while this knowledge may be new to you, algae isn’t new. Algae farms have been a multi-billion-dollar industry in Asia for fifty years and international agencies like the United Nations have endorsed spirulina since the 1970’s. So, put down that burger and fries and give your body and the earth a chance to be healthier! If you don’t voluntarily change your ways now, it could soon be too late. The devastation of coronavirus has made this abundantly clear and algae can help with that too.

Algae Rescues our Fresh Water

You may be stunned to learn that 70 percent of the world’s fresh water is used for agricultural crops and livestock [14].  So, if you want to save earth’s precious supply of fresh water, you may need to reduce your consumption of animal protein (and eat more algae!).

Algae requires 50-times less water than crops such as corn, and 80-times less water than cattle [15]. The total amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons of water and one pound of pork takes 576 gallons of water [16]. Spirulina, on the other hand uses just six gallons of water for a 10-gram serving [13].  Algae’s preservation of water is one of the many reasons why it is considered the most eco-friendly crop in the world.

BTW the Environmental Protection Agency points out that animal agriculture is the number one cause of water pollution [17]. So not only are cattle contributing to the rapid disappearance of our freshwater, they also cause its contamination. In contrast, algae is used at virtually every water treatment plant to clean and disinfect our water. Yup. Algae is the clean up crew!

Algae Rescues our Air

Cattle farming is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. EPA confirms that animal agriculture is a leading cause of carbon-dioxide, nitrous-oxide, and methane emissions. Remember those cow farts we told you about? [18]. This is serious stuff. Animal agriculture causes more greenhouse emissions than ALL the world’s transportation systems combined [19]. Is it any wonder why plant-based nutrition like algae is so needed?

In fact, did you know that algae produces about 70-80% of the oxygen on Earth and removes CO2 from the air[20]? We have algae to thank for helping us to breathe! If every American skipped just one meal of meat per week and ate plant-based food instead, it would be like taking 500,000 cars off the road [19]. Algae is so efficient at producing oxygen that scientists are considering relying upon it for future oxygen production on Mars [21]. Hey Elon give us a call!

Algae Rescues our Oceans

Our oceans are also suffering. We are overfishing them for the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish to help fight heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression. But where do you think the fish get the Omega-3 from? You guessed it. They get it from algae. You should too- it’s the original source and the bottom of the food chain. So, if you take algae, not only will you be giving your body the original source of Omega-3 (which is safer and never goes rancid like fish oil does), you will also help save the oceans and its aquaculture. Fish are depleting faster than they can reproduce, and scientists believe that if current practices continue, our fisheries could collapse by 2050. People that is ONLY 30 years away! [22].

SUMMARY

The rapid spread and devastation of the coronavirus has made it abundantly clear we are all connected, and that our individual actions affect each other and our world. All we ask is that you examine your daily food choices and start making healthier, more sustainable eco-friendly ones. This is what self-care is about. When you show more respect for your own body, you will automatically improve the world you live in. We promise.  

And this doesn’t have to be difficult! Preparing a meal with a small carbon footprint is as simple as using less animal protein [23]. If you want to do more and have a bigger impact, simply add algae to your diet and encourage others to as well.

Algae is packed with forty vitamins and minerals, it the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world (250 times more than spinach), contains over 60% protein- three times the amount of protein as steak has a nutrient profile it is very similar to mother’s breast milk. As the graphic below indicates, one bag of our algae tablets has the equivalent nutrition of 551 pounds of fruits and vegetables. That’s efficient nutrition! Are you starting to see why we love algae so much?

Regardless of your stance on climate change, or your feelings about the “The End” of the world, you can’t argue with the fact that everyone deserves to have cleaner, safer air, water, land and food. To do that, we all need to make better choices and that means including more eco-friendly plant-based foods in our diet like algae.  All of us at ENERGYbits® are doing everything we can to help. Without sounding too dramatic, we truly feel that algae is part of the answer to saving the health of our earth and yours too.

Please help our earth. Please help yourself. You can accomplish both by embracing more plant-based choices and taking algae tablets. Mother Earth thanks you and we do too!

Sources
  1. https://foodprint.org/eating-sustainably/
  2. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5811770/
  4. https://hippocratesinst.org/algae-how-algae-saved-the-planet
  5. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn-and-other-feedgrains/feedgrains-sector-at-a-glance/
  6. https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/7036/DEFOREST_PREDICTORS.pdf?sequence=1
  7. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/?redirect=1
  8. https://www.sej.org/headlines/only-60-years-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues
  9. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/?redirect=1
  10. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2018/06/15/see-how-algae-could-change-our-world/#129c75593e46
  11. https://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/foods-can-algae-microfarms-grow/
  12. https://www.hunger-undernutrition.org/blog/2011/03/micro-algae-spirulina-the-solution-to-malnutrition.html#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20with%20around%2070%25%20protein%20content%2C%20Spirulina%20yields,200%20times%20more%20than%20beef.
  13. https://books.google.com/books?id=6EtHo7N3-PYC&pg=PT119&lpg=PT119&dq=spirulina+protein+per+acre&source=bl&ots=Jg_C1_L205&sig=b59-9wUoffxh2G0LNjbwKgdbrbo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAWoVChMIpdyU8vLRxwIVQnE-Ch1-EQzn#v=onepage&q=spirulina%20protein%20per%20acre&f=false
  14. https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/water-topics
  15. https://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/foods-can-algae-microfarms-grow/
  16. https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/the-ripple-effect-of-meatless-monday-can-it-extend-to-china#.UjC7yz_hePD
  17. https://www.epa.gov/nps
  18. http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm
  19. http://www.fao.org/3/i3437e/i3437e.pdf
  20. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/oceans/plants-alga-plankton.htm
  21. http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/6407/20150516/nasa-hopes-to-rely-on-algae-and-bacteria-for-oxygen-production-on-mars.htm
  22. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/omega-three-fish-oil-craze-oceans/
  23. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/109/3/526/5303906?guestAccessKey=e2fba450-af88-4dd4-855e-b83a88215f81

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