THE DEEPER WHY
On the surface the Spirulina Grow Co is about providing people with the knowledge and means to grow their own Spirulina. This is certainly true. We want you to buy our products and start growing spirulina for your health and wellbeing and for our prosperity.
But there is more. There is a deeper why. There is the small matter of the survival of civilization as we know it. The Spirulina Grow Co intends to start a conversation about spirulina (and algae in general) and how it has a role to play in a sustainable future.
Almost all our current crop varieties will not be able to perform under the projected temperature increases.
Industrial agriculture is a major contributor to climate change.
A SHORT HISTORY
We need to consider the history of civilization as we know it:
Urban civilization began when our hunter-gatherer ancestors domesticated a few crop species that allowed them to live in fixed locations and not spend so much time running around hunting and gathering. That was about 12,000 years ago.
As farming methods improved, less time needed to be spent growing food, leaving more time to research and develop technologies such as metallurgy, chemistry, commerce, civics, philosophy, religion, military, politics, and so on. This led to larger, more complex civilizations and urban centres.
Now, more than four billion people live in cities and rely on broad-acre, mechanized, industrial agriculture for their daily bread. By 2050 that figure will have grown to more than six billion, and many of us will be living in science fiction style megacities.
We lose around 10 million hectares of farming land each year to land degradation.
We are degrading the natural ecosystems that provide essential services to our agroecosystems at an increasing rate.
Agriculture uses 6800 trillion litres of fresh water per year
30% of the fresh water we use for agriculture is pumped from the ground.
THE FALL OF INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE
So, what would happen to civilization if industrial agriculture did fail?
The thing is, urban civilization is completely and utterly reliant on broad acre industrial agriculture to produce the millions of tons of food our cities need each day.
If our farms don’t work properly then civilization would collapse overnight plunging the world into an apocalyptic dystopia. It is as simple as that.
By 2050 demand for food is projected to increase by
A smart question to ask is “just how secure is our agricultural system”.
The answer: it is extremely vulnerable, and the future does not look bright.
During the past 100 years, we have lost 80 percent of our agrobiodiversity
This leaves our agro-ecosystems vulnerable because they have very little genetic wriggle room to respond to rapidly changing conditions.
A PERFECT STORM
Change is coming. And it’s not just climate change. A perfect storm of interrelated factors is brewing just over the horizon. This is not being alarmist or fanciful. It is just cold hard facts.
There is no getting around it. Global warming is happening. It is happening now and will continue to do so because collectively we are just too greedy, stupid and selfish to do anything about it.
Increasing cases of extreme weather are already taking their toll on agricultural production, and the situation will worsen to the point where most of our current crop varieties will fail.
As climates change new pests and disease biotypes are emerging, against which our crop varieties have little resistance.
We use 16.6 billion barrels of fossil fuel to grow our crops. Fossil fuel is a finite resource, which is running out.
Governments are spending less on agricultural research and climate mitigation
THE COST OF ANIMAL PRODUCTION
The world demands more meat and animal products each year. Farming animals is extremely expensive in terms of inputs and leaves a massive environmental footprint, which makes the whole problem worse.
litres of water
kilos of grain
kilos of topsoil
litres of petrol
to produce of feedlot beef
One-third of the world’s fish catch is fed directly to livestock.
70% of US grain production is fed to livestock.
5 million acres of rainforest are felled every year in South and Central America alone to create cattle pasture.1/3
THE BOTTOM LINE
To put it simply, we have to grow a lot more food on much less land, under increasingly harsh conditions whilst using a lot fewer inputs or we will face famine, starvation and pan-global conflict on a scale never witnessed before in human history. It is as simple as that. We must make changes or perish. This is not alarmism. It is simply being logical.
We need a in how we produce food
Spirulina is a perfect food production system because it is completely climate change proof, is incredibly resource use efficient, is the most nutrient dense food on the planet and has a whole suite of medicinal properties.
SPIRULINA IS FUTURE PROOF
More carbon dioxide? Perfect! As a photosynthetic organism, it takes CO2 from the atmosphere and makes carbohydrates; the higher the concentration the better.
Higher temperatures? Spirulina’s optimal temperature range is between 35 – 37oC while the yield of our cereal crops declines sharply much beyond 32 oC.
Water shortage? Spirulina wins hands down. To produce 1 kg of protein it costs spirulina 2100 L while soybean costs 9000L and beef 15,000 – 30,000 L. What is more, spirulina can be grown in poor quality water that is no good for growing crops.
What about land use. Again, spirulina has got it nailed. To produce 1 kg of protein it uses 26 times and 318 times less land than soybeans and beef respectively.
Because Spirulina just floats around in a nutrient-rich pond absorbing food directly through its cell wall, there is no loss of nutrients from the system. It is almost 100 percent nutrient-use efficient. On the other hand, up to 65 percent of the fertilisers applied to our crop plants never get taken up, often running off to cause massive environmental problems.
Spirulina is an ideal food for an uncertain future.
Spirulina is a perfect food production system because it is completely climate change proof, is incredibly efficient in its resource use, is the most nutrient dense food on the planet and has a whole suite of medicinal properties.
But is it any good to eat? This is where things get even more compelling. Spirulina really is a giant among superfoods with a wealth of scientific evidence to back up the claims.
It is for this reason that the United Nations asserts that spirulina is “the most ideal food for mankind”.
As well, the United States Department of Agriculture has declared that “Spirulina is a food for the future”.
And the FAO has called upon nations to look to spirulina to fulfill their food security needs.
You can read more about the nutritional properties of spirulina here and the medicinal properties here.
So, not only is spirulina a perfect food and medicine, it could literally help prevent the collapse of civilization as conditions become increasingly hostile to traditional food production systems.
You can grow it yourself!
PERFECT FOR URBAN FARMING
You can’t grow a cow, an almond tree, enough wheat to make a loaf of bread or enough chickpeas to make humous in your window sill, but you can grow enough spirulina for your own needs.
This is because spirulina only requires some light, water, and nutrients to flourish. Not only this, growing Spirulina it is totally scalable. You could farm it in a soda bottle, a fish tank, a kids swimming pool or in a massive commercial pond. It makes the perfect species for an urban farm.
So, be part of the paradigm shift. Get involved.
Start farming spirulina at home.
It is easy to grow and won’t take much of your time.
It is cheap to produce and will save you money because you can replace a lot of expensive dietary supplements.