According to a recent study, growing edible seaweed could help address issues like deforestation, food scarcity, and climate change.
Food must have room to grow for humanity to survive. To clear space, people cut down trees. Less vegetation means fewer trees absorb greenhouse gases. Then, as the world continues to warm, the most vulnerable communities in every country suffer greatly due to climate change.
It is so simple that there is no other way to explain one of the primary causes of climate change. The Weather Channel claims that the majority of deforestation worldwide is caused by the expansion of farmland.
Edible Seaweed Farming
A study demonstrates that there may still be actionable options. People could try to alter their eating habits, but since certain crops are the foundation of many societies, doing so would be extremely difficult.
Nevertheless, there may be a solution that has been staring humanity in the face for some time: seaweed.
Given that the oceans cover 70% of the planet, it seems logical at first. Fortunately, there isn’t even a need to clear large tracts of forest land to make room for seaweed cultivation, which benefits the climate in numerous ways.
Furthermore, seaweed is not a particularly novel food. Up to 5% of the staple Japanese diet is made up of edible seaweed, which is increasingly popular in smoothies and chips. Additionally, a lot of its species are great sources of a variety of macro and micronutrients.
Potentials of Seaweed
Scott Spilias, an environmental scientist and author of the study, says that. As a healthy food and a component of commercial goods like animal feed, plastics, fibers, diesel, and ethanol, seaweed has enormous commercial and environmental potential.
According to The Seaweed Site, seaweeds are currently used as human food, cosmetics, fertilizers, and to extract industrial chemicals and gums. They could serve as a source of both long- and short-chain chemicals with both medical and industrial applications.
According to Spilias and his team of researchers, if we put a lot of effort into seaweed farming, it could significantly increase the world’s food security and halt the loss of biodiversity.
According to Spilias, according to their research, increasing seaweed farming could lower the demand for terrestrial crops and lower global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by close to 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent annually.
Saving 110 Million Hectares of Land
This means that the loss of approximately 110 million hectares of land could be prevented if people replaced just 10% of their global diets with some form of edible seaweed alternative. Instead, this area could be kept forested for a while longer as humanity’s line of defense against climate change.
Additionally, since there are so few players in this field globally, there is a ton of unexplored territory. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research noted that there are 342 untapped seaweed growing sites in India alone that could contribute to the annual production of 9.7 million tonnes of seaweed. We are currently limited to producing only 34,000 tonnes.
Spillias adds expectantly that seaweed may one day hold a similar potential to the staple crops that support modern societies, which humanity has developed over thousands of years of breeding, The Weather Channel reports.
The findings of this research by Spilias and several of his colleagues have been published in the journal Nature Sustainability.
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