Spirulina farming is resource efficient & sustainable
Spirulina can Contribute to Global Food Security
Spirulina is a perfect food production system because it is 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.
How Secure Is Industrial Agriculture?
Industrial agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. Almost all our current crop varieties will not be able to perform under the temperature increases predicted by hundreds of climate change models.
During the past 100 years, we have lost 80 percent of crop genetic diversity.
So, what would happen to civilisation if industrial agriculture failed?
Urban civilization is completely and utterly reliant on broadacre industrial agriculture to produce the millions of tons of food that our cities need each day. If our farms don’t work, 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 up to 70%.
Given the above, 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% of crop genetic diversity. This leaves our agro-ecosystems vulnerable because they have very little genetic wriggle room to respond to rapidly changing conditions.
Agriculture uses 6800 trillion litres of freshwater per year! 30% of the freshwater we use for agriculture is pumped from the ground.
A Perfect Storm Is Approaching Industrial Agriculture
Change is coming.
There is no getting around it. Global warming is happening. It is happening now and will continue to do so because collectively we are probably 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.
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. They include elements like, diminishing supplies of freshwater, declining soil fertility, loss of arable land, the emergence of virulent new pests and disease bio-types, reliance on fossil fuels, pan-global conflict, destruction of natural habitats that support our agro-ecosystems and under-investment in agricultural research.
We use 16.6 billion barrels of fossil fuel to grow our crops. Fossil fuel is a finite resource which is running out.
As climates change new pests and disease biotypes are emerging, against which our crop varieties have little resistance.
The Hideous 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. Roughly one-third of the world’s fish catch is fed directly to livestock. It’s approximated that 70% of US grain production is fed to livestock. Around 5 million acres of rainforest are felled every year in South and Central America alone to create cattle pasture.
Did you know that to produce 1kg of feedlot beef, it takes:
litres of water
kilos of grain
kilos of topsoil
litres of petrol
The Incredible Efficiency Of Spirulina
More carbon dioxide?
Perfect! As a photosynthetic organism, it takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and makes carbohydrates; the higher the concentration the better.
Spirulina’s optimal temperature range is between 35 – 37℃ while the yield of our cereal crops declines sharply much beyond 32℃.
Spirulina wins hands down. To produce 1 kg of protein, it costs Spirulina 2100L, while soybean costs 9000L and beef 15,000 – 30,000L. What is more, Spirulina can be grown in poor quality water that’s 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.
Almost 100 percent nutrient-use efficient
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% nutrient-use efficient. On the other hand, up to 65 % of the fertilisers applied to our crop plants never get taken up, often running off to cause massive environmental problems.
The entire biomass is digestible. With most animals and plants, a large proportion of the biomass is wasted.
Spirulina is 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 hummus on 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 is scalable. You could farm it in a soda bottle, a fish tank, 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’s easy to grow and won’t take much of your time. It’s cheap to produce and will save you money because you can replace a lot of expensive dietary supplements.