The increase in the number of people on the planet: why we have to eat Tina

The marketers claims that there are people who are willing to pay a lot of money for so-called Superfoods, such as for Tina (the hair algae) from the pond. About it writes BBC.

Рост числа людей на планете: почему вскоре нам придётся есть тину

Photo: Depositphotos

According to the UN the world population will grow by 2023 to 8 billion, but recent studies show that our planet is able to feed only 3.4 billion people. What about the rest?

To avoid a global shortage of food, the person would have to violate its borders.

And so the humble slime out of the pond might come in handy.

Whether the world of microalgae and cyanobacteria to help feed the world’s population, which is constantly increasing, or is this just another food fad?

Microalgae and cyanobacteria

Microalgae — single-celled organisms living in salt or fresh waters that feed through photosynthesis (process of converting sunlight into biological energy).

Cyanobacteria, or Cyanophyta, is also aquatic and photosynthetic microorganisms.

In structure they are identical, but microalgae — harder cyanobacteria and photosynthesis in them is different.

The earth contains a huge diversity of microalgae, but as a food additive most often used Chlorella and spirulina.

Instagram sensation

A few years ago #spirulina became a sensation on social media.

Millions of people shared recipes smoothie, which is due to the spirulina had the luxury emerald color.

It was a new superfood.

Spirulina and Chlorella can be bought in the form of powder or tablets. Producers indicated that they are rich in vitamins, minerals, iron and protein.

In a London restaurant Kitchen Yeotown spirulina and Chlorella added to almost all dishes.

There you can try green cookies, ice cream without milk, the green energy balls and cheesecake with blue spirulina.

Professor Alison Smith, head of the Department of plant breeding at the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading scientists, explains that the algae used as food long before Instagram: “There is evidence that a few hundred years ago people in South America thrived on spirulina from ponds to add it to your diet”.


The high protein content of microalgae makes a wonderful vegan alternative to meat.

Today they are added to food in small quantities.

But Andrew Spicer, Algenuity CEO, says that chlorella vulgaris can replace eggs in cakes and pasta.

Spirulina can be used for making mayonnaise, as it is in composition reminiscent of egg yolk.


Let’s face it: the flavor of spirulina will not please everyone.

“Imagine the smells in sea Harbor — a mixture of fish, iron or other metal,” explains chef Simon Perez.

The color is also not so simple. If you give people green bread, most will refuse.

Besides continuing lively debate about whether the algae are healthy.

And spirulina and Chlorella contain protein in large quantities, but scientists agree that they are not “food response” to all of our problems.

“Spirulina contains up to 70% of the concentrated vegetable protein and more amino acids than other plant foods, says nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. But this does not mean that it is better than animal protein”.

Microalgae is also a source of omega-3 that contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) vegetable origin.

But they are less digestible than those found in fish.

Same story with vitamin B12, which is necessary for energy metabolism and proper functioning of the nervous system.

“B12 contained in spirulina that is not working — says Rhiannon Lambert. — The body cannot effectively break down”.

Food for the future?

Despite some shortcomings, the microalgae have significant advantages.

The Earth’s population constantly increases as the area of arable land. It is therefore necessary to look for new ways to feed people.

Unlike other sources of protein, microalgae do not require high quality agricultural land.

“They can be grown in different places. In the oceans, ponds and lakes. Even in your courtyard and in the snow,” says Alison Smith.

Microalgae can be grown even in space to feed to astronauts during long missions to Mars.

Add taste

So, make microalgae — comfortable, but for many of us is not a very attractive offer. After all, scare away the color and smell.

However, there are scientists who say that this problem can be solved.

Algenuity company is developing a species of algae, which remove the chlorophyll molecules, creating instead a component that has a neutral or subtle colors and flavors.

“We’re trying to get a vegan source of protein that can be added to various products, — says General Director of Algenuity Andrew Spicer. — It’s a time of new opportunities for cooking and eating”.

Will microalgae food of the future? It depends on us.



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