Earlier this year, Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of Zivo Bioscience (one of our newest ABO members), published a fantastic piece on algae’s potential in Food & Drink International . As Dahl points out, the global population will increase to about 8 billion in just under 25 years and all of those individuals will need protein. Yet protein production is not on track to increase enough to satisfy the increasing demand. So how do we find more?
Many proposed alternatives have a far too negative energy gradient—they consume much more energy than they provide. Others require less energy, but they instead are in need of great swaths of desirable land, or vast water resources to produce.
Enter algae. Algae can be grown, as Dahl describes it, in “a covered, shallow pond constructed of inexpensive, readily-available materials obtainable in many parts of the world.” And not only that, but algae’s energy efficiency is impressive: it is 5x higher than soy and twice that of corn. Its yield per acre is significant as well: “under ideal conditions, the same amount of land used for growing corn could produce up to 25 times more protein from microalgae in part due to continuous harvest year-round and significantly higher protein content found in microalgae.”
Yet Dahl is not shy about pointing out that we still have a long way to go. Major companies haven’t yet committed to algae because it has yet to be grown at scale, and algae producers are hesitant to increase production without an established market. Rurthermore, support from federal and state governments for R&D has much room to grow.
Once those steps fall into line, however, algae is primed to capitalize on the opportunity, and Zivo Biosciences is positioning itself to a leader in a space with some exciting times ahead.