Is algae the new kale?
As the global population inches toward 10 billion and climate change threatens existing food security, versatile, nutritious algae is entering the stage.
“It tastes like bacon. It’s crispy, and then you get this big flavor bomb,” says Beth Zotter, the CEO of Umaro foods. The San Francisco-based start-up is making bacon from an unlikely source—seaweed.
Zotter is one of many entrepreneurs tapping into the potential of algae, a category that encompasses thousands of different marine species, ranging from floating clumps made of green-tinted plankton to long ribbons of kelp.
It’s a booming industry that needs to keep growing, say the scientists who think algae has potential to help feed the world’s growing population. The global population is now hovering around eight billion; by 2050, it will reach nearly 10 billion, according to the United Nations.
To feed that many people, global food production