Plant-based nutrition is a global and growing movement, with millions of people worldwide now adhering to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
For some, this is lifestyle, for others, a fashionable new trend, and for many more – a life changing and life ‘saving’ health choice. Regardless of the motivation, the stakes for the movement are high – with the world population growing from 7.5 to 10 billion people by 2050, we need alternative sources of nutrition to feed this population while respecting our planet.
One of the global systems that stands to benefit from plant-based nutrition is the ocean, which holds some of the most important – and fragile – ecosystems on the planet. The ocean needs our help – overfishing and other human activity disrupting marine ecosystems, agricultural run-off, and the impacts of climate change are immediate threats. Krill (small crustaceans found in all of the world’s oceans) in particular are in danger and, without action, marine life – especially in the Antarctic – will continue to decline.
I’ve long believed we can find a way to address this challenge of providing nutrition to our global population. Recently we found a potential solution in one of the smallest organisms on the planet: microalgae. At iWi, we are farming this amazing crop in the southwestern US to produce nutritional products in a radically sustainable way, while having zero impact on the fragile marine ecosystems we most need to protect. Why are we focused on algae? Simply put, it’s the most impressive crop we’ve ever seen.
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