Seaweed an untapped resource for sustainable development challenges


In Malaysia, New Straits Times has published a comprehensive review of seaweed applications. NST contributor Oon Yeoh notes seaweed is a largely untapped resource to provide food and materials for the additional 2.5 billion people that will be born by 2050.

“People could turn to seaweed, a very versatile source of nutrition that is really still very much untapped,” Yeoh writes. “Seaweed is not yet a common food item and for most people, their exposure to seaweed is the seaweed wrap they find in sushi rolls.”

For use in food, almost all of the 10,000 varieties of seaweed are edible and full of nutrients. And For fuel, commercial algae farms can produce far more fuel per hectare than biofuels based on crops like corn.

“All of these things will take some time to come to fruition,” Yeoh says.  “But someday in the future, we’re bound to see seaweed based products everywhere — in the food we eat and in the containers that we use to store our food and drink; and also in the fuel we use to power our cars.”