Algae as a Sustainable Crop

Going micro for high protein.
Gaby Pilson

IN 2012, ARIZONA STATE University’s Mark Edwards noted in The Guardian that algae production could open up millions of acres of land for growing other crops and could save billions of gallons of irrigation water every year. Some companies, such as American biotech firm Solazyme, are developing different kinds of microalgae powder that could be used for cooking and baking. Mark Brooks, senior vice president of Solazyme’s food division, told NPR in 2015 that the fermentation process used to produce microalgae could be a game-changer. Unlike popular food sources, which require months or years to cultivate, high-protein microalgae could be produced in just a few days through fermentation. 

Although microalgae production that could be scaled up is still in its early stages, it has promising implications.