Monday, January 30, 2023

Is seaweed the solution?

 Seaweed farming could constitute 10% of human diets by 2050 it could reduce the amount of land needed for food by 110m hectares (272m acres) – an area twice the size of France. In parts of Asia, seaweed already makes up 2% of diets.

About 650m hectares (1,606m acres) was identified as plausible for seaweed farming, with the largest areas in Indonesia and Australia.

“Cultivating seaweeds for food, feed and fuel within even a fraction of the 650m hectares of suitable ocean could have profound benefits to land use, emissions reduction, water and fertiliser use,” the authors wrote.

Scott Spillias, a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia who led the study published in Nature Sustainability, said: “People around the world are looking at the ocean as this big ‘untapped’ resource and asking if we should be using more of it.” He said. “If we grow seaweed, the best thing to do is for people to eat it rather than feed it to livestock, but that’s going to need some big cultural shifts.”

The cultivation and use of red Asparagopsis seaweed as a cattle feed supplement that has been shown to result in drastically lower methane emissions from cows. The study suggested cuts to methane emissions from using Asparagopsis could save 2.6bn tonnes of CO2-equivalent a year by 2050 – about the same as the current greenhouse gas footprint of India.

Food, feed and fuel: global seaweed industry could reduce land needed for farming by 110m hectares, study finds | Food | The Guardian

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