Could we all be eating algae in the future?

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Could we all be eating algae in the future?


IKEA’s future-lab, the Space10 department, has been investigating whether algae is a sustainable option when it comes to answering some of our big future problems.

Alice Pritchard

Wed 13 Sept 2017

The Algae Dome was debuted at CHART Art Fair in Copenhagen last week. It’s a four metre high, closed loop, food producing dome that creates microalgae.

Scientists and engineers are working on various uses for microalgae, using it as a superfood that could replace soy protein in animal feed (which currently is the cause of much deforestation) or work as a biofuel to replace fossil fuels. It even has the potential to be turned into food for us.

Microalgae growing in the Algae Dome by Space10
Microalgae growing in the Algae Dome by Space10

Image Niklas Adrian Vindelev

Microalgae is packed with vitamins, minerals and all the essential amino acids, and able to provide us with 50 times more iron than spinach and more than twice as much protein as meat. 

Superfood favourite spirulina is a form of algae that's incredibly good for you. The Aztecs ate it thousands of years ago and now NASA considers it one of the best foods to send into space or to a future off-world colony.

Plus microalgae has loads more benefits. It can be grown quickly, it doesn't need fresh water or any soil and it can grow in any environment with no pressure on the landscape. It also absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen, so it's a carbon positive crop with endless potential to clean the air as it grows.

Space10's team were able to produce 450 litres of microalgae in three days, making it a super quick, sustainable crop.

Whatever it ends up being used for, microalgae farming could be the future.