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Can algae be a viable source of nourishment for growing global population?

In the ever-growing need to find solutions to feed the world’s population, researchers are turning to non-conventional ways for food sources.

Joel Cuello, an agriculture and biosystems engineering professor at the University of Arizona, is leading a team of researchers toward algacuture — farming algae — for human consumption.

“The Chinese has been incorporating macro algae in their diets for centuries now, as well as other cultures,” Cuello said. “It just makes sense, given the increasing global population, to explore algae as a source of nourishment for people.”

Cuello, a recognized expert in engineering of sustainable biological and agricultural systems, has served globally as the technical advisor for algae production systems, including for the Ministry of Environment and Water in the UAE, and the U.S. National Academies Committee for the Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels, among many others. Cuello is also a part of the steering committee for the interdisciplinary Global forum for innovations in agriculture hosted in Abu Dhabi in February 2014.

“Algae really is a very promising food crop for the future,” Cuello said, “and it’s all natural.”

Cuello who also does research for NASA on food production that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

“Everything has to be regenerated on site,” he said. “In space, you really have to take care of that to survive.”

Can algae provide the necessary nutrients for the human population? Watch this short video and tell us what you think.

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