Israeli Teens Science Project Could Bring Algea ‘Superfood’ To Africa
Liquid algae may taste like sushi which is unknown in poor parts of Africa, but it is easy to grow with basic equipment like old plastic bottles, and it is packed full of protein – a veritable superfood. Just ask the Japanese who consume algae and algae derivatives as a way of life. Now, kids from an Israeli highschool are perfecting an algae growing system started in Kibbutz Ein Shemer (and which Green Prophet reported on here) so that algae farms can made in communities in Africa to wipe out malnutrition in areas where desertification claims land and livestock. The local Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the project will be multiplied by ten and replicated at Jewish and Arab highschools in the region.
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According to Haaretz pupils at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium are working on a growth system for Spirulina, an algae that’s been dubbed the “superfood” because it contains 70% protein.
Algae isn’t filling the stomach, but at least it’s nutritious, say the students growing the algae medium in old plastic soda bottles. Aerating the mixture with a bubbler, it prevents the need for them to take the bottles home and shake them by hand – as algae needs ample sunlight, and carbon dioxide to grow.
The kids’ project is so promising that UNESCO, Rotary International, and international education organizations and dozens of African schools are interested to know more about how it’s done. The pupils are working on a system so that it can be done in areas in Africa where food is scarce. The algae, which is a plant-based micro-organism, and the slime you find on the inside of your swimming pool, could potentially feed millions of people.
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Via Green Prophet
Photo courtesy of Nir Keidar