Algae is an imprecise word. The spongy plantlike species that we dump into the taxonomic algae bucket don’t all come from a common ancestor. Algae is one of those “you know it when you see it at the end of your fishing line”-type things. Some single-celled strains are microscopic; giant kelps can stretch 200 feet. Humans have eaten some seaweed varieties of algae for countless generations; other kinds of algae poison swimmers at beaches seeped in sewage. Today’s algae include the descendents of some of the first organisms to suck up carbon dioxide, use solar energy to combine the carbon into sugars and proteins, and create our animal-friendly atmosphere by pumping waste oxygen out after photosynthesis.…
The most widely known algae are spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae AFA (its most common strain, E3 blue-majik is the one used to make the beautiful blue unicorn lattes).
Algae could be a way for vegans and vegetarians to get the right kinds of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets.
Global demand for macroalgal and microalgal foods is growing, and algae are increasingly being consumed for functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. There is substantial evidence for the health benefits of algal-derived food products, but there remain considerable challenges in quantifying these benefits, as well as possible adverse effects.
Blue-green algae is an ancient food that has been around for millions of years, consumed by the Aztecs of Mexico, the Incas of Peru and the Kanembu natives of Chad. Scientifically known as Aphonizomenon flos aquae, this blue-green algae was rediscovered by Daryl Kollman in 1976.
The snack of the future tastes kind of like fish food.
Seaweed with a side of maggots might be a regular feature on menus of the future—at least according to some researchers. Turns out these strange ingredients might be just what we need to insulate farming and food production from catastrophe.
As the climate warms, the land we use for growing energy-intensive crops such as wheat and corn is becoming less productive. We need to find ways to feed the earth’s growing population that isn’t so burdensome on the environment.
One potential solution is to cultivate microalgae - microscopic aquatic organisms that are packed with nutrients. Microalgae are single-celled organisms that look like tiny pills and taste a bit like grass.
They are relatively easy to cultivate and have several advantages over animal and plant protein.
Several companies see a bright future for plant protein, and for microalgae in particular. But whether this attractive protein source can muscle out a place for itself against heavyweights like soy and pea is an open question.
In short, spirulina is biomass derived from a type of cyanobacterium. Cyanobacterium is a family of single-celled microbes that grow in fresh and salt water. The supplement industry typically grows this type of blue-green algae in a controlled environment to lower the chances of contamination of heavy metals and other bacteria.
Microalgae is rich in protein, amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins. Should we all be eating it?
For most people, the thought of algae conjures up images of a smelly pond or a neglected fish tank.
Blue Majik is a proprietary extract of spirulina, a freshwater algae, from a company called E3 Live. The blue pigment comes from photosynthetic compounds in the algae...
Scientists have developed a superfood algae to taste like everyone’s favorite pig product — bacon — and we’re pretty darned excited about it. We’ve long fantasized about eating unlimited quantities of bacon with no ill effects on our health, and now, thanks to science, we’re one step closer to that dream.
Many algae species occupy the bottoms of food chains. When fish graze on algae, or on zooplankton that fed on algae, they absorb energy that the algae plucked from sunrays, and they lap up the algae’s nourishing fatty acids. These are the same acids that we hanker for when we buy fish oil tablets in hopes of lubricating our weary joints.