“With just one bite of algae powder you take in more than a billion healthy plants”
From a publisher to microalgae. “Thus,” said Dino Frederking of the Dutch company “PlanktonHolland”, “Algae are the future. Apart from being the best cleaners and providing life on earth with oxygen, they also are an important food source for humans and animals. “The Man with the Hammer went to Almere, where he transformed a former greenhouse into a large algae breeding ground to introduce Plant Power.
Algae or Plankton?
“Plankton is actually the collective name for microscopic organisms, single-celled or multicellular, that live floating around in the water. The vegetable protein part of the micro-algae are called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is capable of photosynthesis, by means of CO2 in order to convert both into organic matter and oxygen. It’s by all means the foundation of our food chain. But did you know that the tiny plants – in one drop there are ten million organisms floating around – and take on seventy percent of the worldwide production of oxygen on their behalf? Probably not. Without phytoplankton there simply wouldn’t be any possibility of life on earth.
Dirty or nutritious?
“With algae you might think of the green stuff occasionally flooting around on the beach with a nasty smell. However, this has nothing to do with the microalgae PlanktonHolland cultivates, which supplies us with super-healthy nutrients. These algaes are packed with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and poly unsaturated fatty acids. Normally you would only get a small part of these essential fatty acids by taking fish or fish oil capsules. Fish however get in their turn the healthy oil inside by spooning algae inwards. By going back to the source, for example by adding Omega 3-rich algae powder to a vegetarian spaghetti dish, having no longer to endanger any fish in the future to be angled from the sea. Which seems a win-win situation to me.
Jack or grower?
Obviously a cultivater, albeit a biotechnological grower. We make sure the algae can grow optimally on the banks of the Oostvaardersplassen. Unlike a regular grower of crops our company doesn’t use pesticides, fertilizers or water-guzzling irrigation systems. As long as the light can flow freely through the greenhouse and make proper nutrients extensively available, the algae grow freely without intervention from outside well to their liking. For the latter, we use 130,000 year old sea water located in a sealed reservoir at 90 meters below the Flevopolder. The pumped primordial water contains exactly the right mineral mix and is more pure than water from the polluted North Sea.
Daily harvest of seasonal vegetables?
“The peak of the harvest season is distinctly between February and November. The other months are calm with a conscious choice. To keep the growth of the algaes up to rate during the dark winter days we would have to heat up significantly the entire winter and bombard the growing pools with strong lights. But that’s not our choice; it is bad for the environment and it does no good to the end product. You can draw the comparison with artificially grown tomatoes; they are more tasty when grown in a vegetable garden. We have no complaints about the amount of harvested algaes. For example: we produce 3 times as much proteins per hectare as a similar large soy plantation in the tropics. This is simply done in just one of our 1.3-hectare greenhouse complex in the polder.
Short term trend or future?
“The future in algaes looks pretty prosperous. Our growing world needs healthy and affordable food that can be produced in a sustainable way. Large-scale growth of microalgae here in the polder can certainly contribute: with just one bite algae powder you take in more than a billion healthy plants. Each individual plant consists of numerous vital building blocks antioxidants to pigments and essential fatty acids. That’s true plant power.
Curious about our algae nursery in the Netherlands? Look up planktonholland.com
#Thanks to Salt magazine