The global population is growing, presenting agriculture with a major challenge. More food must be produced without damaging the climate or the environment. The agricultural sector both contributes to and is adversely affected by climate change. Drought and flooding destroy harvests and threaten biodiversity. Meanwhile, industrial farming is causing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.These are challenges that requires an innovative approach, but also could be resolved by looking into the past. Seaweeds have long been known as a food and medicinal source and became the primary source of nutrition during the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840’s. Today many countries are taking a closer look into their surrounding oceans, and research is showing that this could be a viable contributor for mitigating the food and climate crisis.
Here are a few of the ways a growing seaweed industry can contribute to a healthier society!
Ocean farming helps create sustainable food systems. It is estimated that a network of small underwater farms, approximately the size of Washington state, could feed the planet!
Because seaweed grows at a rate 30 to 60 times faster than land-based plants, it ‘eats’ more carbon than other plants as it grows. Growing seaweed literally helps reverse global warming.
Seaweed holds incredible potential for zero-input biofuels. According to the Department of Energy, a network of farms half the size of Maine could replace all the fossil fuels used in the United States.
We can use seaweed as a powerful alternative to traditional livestock feed. A seaweed diet can reduce the methane production of cows/bovines by up to 58 percent!