Seaweed, whether you associate it with walking along the beech or wrapped around your favourite sushi, could be the superpower to help solve some of the world’s environmental issues. Plus, it is really good for you. Double win!
Australian Professor Tim Flannery identified three major uses of seaweeds:
- it can be used as the food of the future,
- it can help clean up pollution from waterways and restore biodiversity, and
- it can reduce the effects of climate change.
If that wasn’t enough, it can also provide a green alternative to plastic.
Humans have used seaweed for thousands of years to eat, farm and as fertiliser and today it is expected to reach a global market size of $22.13 billion by 2024.
Seaweed as food
Seaweed has several health benefits and a brags a long list of vitamins and minerals including Calcium, Vitamin K and Iron, as well as protein and fibre, whilst being low in calories and fat. It is also sustainable.
Seaweed to clean up pollution
Climate change is impacting the ocean as cardon-dioxide dissolves in water and makes it more acidic. This impacts the growth of coral reefs and sea animals. Research has shown that seaweed can absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and reverse the affects of acidification in the oceans.
Seaweed to offset climate change
Research shows that animals which eat seaweed as part of their diet have reduced methane levels, studies have shown an effect with cows and sheep. An Irish study, shows soil with seaweed fertiliser produces better quality vegetables.