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Seaweed: Flavor of the Sea for the Table and the Environment

Cultivating 2% of the Oceans with Seaweed Could Supply Food to the Entire World Population, According to the UN

Seaweed in sushi plate

Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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It can be said that humanity is currently feeling more strongly the environmental crisis that experts had been warning of decades ago. Likewise, governments have not done much to improve the conditions of the planet or at least mitigate the damage already caused. Therefore, the impact that is coming is complex, since it will directly affect the food security of millions of people.

Given this scenario of difficulties, all is not lost. In fact, there are alternatives so that humanity does not have to go through famines. For example, seaweed promises to be a solution to the problem of food scarcity and at the same time, it can contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Why seaweed can solve the global food crisis?

Something important about seaweed is that its reproduction only requires sun and salt water. According to the United Nations news portal, if at least 2% of the oceans were farmed sustainably, it would be enough to feed everyone on the planet, as they are rich in protein, vitamins, zinc and iron. It should also be noted that they are low in fat and carbohydrates.

In Asia, for some years the consumption of seaweed has become popular, especially in Japan, where some varieties are used in sushi. So, the Japanese already consume it three times a day.

On the other hand, in Korea and China they also use them in many of their dishes. This is essential because the more common this food is, the more opportunities there will be to change the eating dynamics of the human being and avoid the forecast that has been made for the year 2050.

Among other things, for the meat sector, it would be advantageous to feed livestock with seaweed instead of soy, because thanks to its digestive benefits, it could reduce the methane emissions produced by these animals by up to 90%. In addition, it improves their immune system and thus avoids the use of antibiotics for it.

Other benefits of seaweed for the environment

Seaweeds will not only represent a benefit for food in the future. They also turn out to be very useful for everyday life and the productive sector:

  • Seaweed farming can trap gases that are present in the atmosphere.

  • They can be used as natural fertilizer in the field.

  • It would be a sustainable replacement for plastics.

  • Can be components for medicines and cosmetics.

  • They help clean the nitrates and phosphates that pollute the oceans.

This potential alternative is encouraging news for humanity that for years has had to deal with the idea of a devastating future. However, implementation policies must be effective and promote social objectives in the face of climate change, according to the United Nations.

A food opportunity for Latin America

In ancient times, seaweed was part of the daily diet of Latin American peoples. Today this scenario is reborn, creating a space in a region with social and nutritional difficulties.

According to figures from the FAO, in Latin America there are more than thirty-four million people who suffer from hunger, especially in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Therefore, exploring and cultivating seaweed could be an elementary factor in solving this problem.

Finally, the implementation of these processes of cultivation in the sea will strengthen the fishing sector, generating sources of employment, since in the coming years it will be practically necessary to produce seaweed on a large scale to supply the world's food.