Could Marine Phytoplankton Be The Future Of Human Nutrition?


Published:

Plankton risotto from Aponiente.

© Tavallai, Flickr CC

As human beings struggle with rapidly increasing population growth, combined with topsoil loss and contamination of the oceans, the 21 st century is likely to be a century of increased interest into alternative food sources. Amongst those substances piquing the interest of scientists is marine phytoplankton, considered the oldest food on the planet, and possibly the precursor to all human life on the planet. Scientists believe these tiny organisms have their origins several billion years ago in cells with mutations that released oxygen into the earth’s atmosphere.

Nature’s Original Source Of Long Chain Omega 3 Oil

Amongst the craze of so-called superfoods on the shelves, phytoplankton is now a growing industry. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its abundance of essential fatty acids and particularly the long chain version of omega 3 oils which account for the health giving properties of things like salmon and mackerel. While health advice over the last few decades has more than doubled the fish consumption of the average Western diet, this has meant increased reliance on farmed fish, which are notably lower in these oils than their wild counterparts.

Amongst the most worrying of the practices adopted by aquaculturists to keep their farmed fish high in omega 3’s is the now standard practice of feeding them other fish. Contributing to pressures on the already depleted global fish stocks, it takes 1.5 - 8 kilograms of wild fish to make 1kg of farmed salmon. Not only does this make the farmed fish liable for greater contamination of pollutants like PCB, but recent evidence suggests that the end result is lower in the long chain omega 3’s anyway.

A Near Perfect Nutritional Source?

With oceanic omega 3 under increasing strain, scientists have begun looking at phytoplankton as a possible substitute, not just for fish farmers, but for humans themselves. Under the right conditions these single-celled organisms can grow extremely fast, as evidenced by the gigantic plankton blooms which can be seen from space. This speed of reproduction has another benefit; it means strains with particular properties can be selected and refined in a far shorter period than plants with a longer growing cycle. This makes for a plant with ideal possibilities for refining as a near perfect nutritional source for the human food chain. In addition, it is entirely vegan, meaning that even vegetarians can now find a dietary source of beneficial long chain omega 3 fatty acids.

Cultivating Plankton

Despite the famous plankton blooms, growing plankton under laboratory conditions is complex. Along with contamination from wild strains, creating the perfect climate requires consummate skill, a factor scientists are surmounting with the help of what are called bioreactors — sealed glass units perfectly designed to mimic optimum conditions for cultivating phototrophic microorganisms. These “mini-oceans” allow for continuous 24/7 production of marine phytoplankton, while guaranteeing that the result contains none of the potential toxins found in our oceans.

Big In Japan

With a diet already rich in seaweeds and raw fish, it’s no surprise the Japanese have been one of the early adopters of plankton in their diets. The University of Tokyo has pioneered with other private businesses to research a photosynthesizing plankton known as euglena. Euglena Company president Mitsuru Izumo explains that its production capacity is “more than ten times higher than tropical rain forests. From a food perspective, it is rich in nutrients, vitamins and amino acids and is a promising food source for modern people.”

Even Top Chefs Are Embracing Plankton

As if all the promising nutritional benefits of phytoplankton weren’t enough, celebrity chefs are now embracing this humble green powder as a unique flavour for their menus. Acclaimed chef Angel Leon of the Michelin-starred Aponiente in El Puerto do Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain, offers a Taste of the Sea menu, which features a plankton cocktail mixed with gin and lemon thyme, a plankton risotto, and a plankton rice with aioli tartar. “Plankton is so healthy”, raves fellow chef and algae aficionado Nuno Mendes: “It has so many antioxidant properties. It’s the soy sauce of the future. Think how we were talking about sushi 15 years ago; this is where we are now with plankton.”

Piers Moore Ede is the author of 3 books, including Honey and Dust, which won the DH Lawrence Award for travel writing. He has contributed to the London Times, the Guardian, and Earth Island Journal. Visit https://planktonforhealth.co.uk/.

See also:
Bringing Purity Back Into The Seafood Industry
Just One Daily Dose Of Walnuts Does All Of This

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

December 15, 2017

This void of course Moon Friday is an interesting proposition. Much feels as though it is in limbo. Initiative is lacking. Mercury’s retrograde carries the winged communications whiz into a morning conjunction with Venus. The pair contribute to a…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2017

Free admission, 10%-20% discounts! Quality crystals, minerals and jewelry! We have an amazing display of merchandise for your viewing pleasure and purchase. We constantly add new items to our...

Where:
Cape Cod Center for Whole Health
116 State Road
Sagamore Beach, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Down to Earth Crystals and Minerals
Telephone: 508-680-6195
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Diane Lewis, psychic medium, for this very special holiday presentation. Be a part of this exciting evening as Diane connects to spirit, bridging the gap and gently bringing forth messages...

Cost: $40 per person

Where:
Hillcrest Country Club
325 Pleasant Street
Leicester, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Hillcrest Country Club
Telephone: 617-645-6415
Contact Name: Diane Lewis
Website »

More information

The Daoist Benevolent Association offers free classes on traditional Wudang style tai chi. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Brown School
42 Milk St Newburyport
Newburyport, MA  01950
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Benevolent Association
Telephone: 978-462-4617
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
Website »

More information

Beginning, Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 Clarity. Knowledge. Personal transformation. No matter what you’re looking to find more of, Kabbalah 1 is the first step in your lifelong journey of...

Cost: 8 Weeks, $49.95

Where:
WeWork
31 St. James Ave
Boston, MA  02116
View map »


Sponsor: Kabbalah Center
Telephone: 1.800.522.2252
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you find it a challenge to quiet your mind? In Raja Yoga the mind is described as the generator of thought that resides within the soul. It is the one thing we can control in life. We simply...

Cost: Free

Where:
Inner Space Meditation Center & Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Telephone: 617-547-1110
Website »

More information

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season drain you! Come join us for a holiday healing meditation and Reiki session with Judy and Geri. This session will start off with...

Cost: $25

Where:
Holistic Wellness Center
18 North Meadows Road, Unit 12B
Medfield, MA   02052
View map »


Telephone: 508-359-7400
Website »

More information

Please join us at our monthly meetings, second Wednesday each month in Northboro, MA. Stay inspired and create collaborative professional relationships. A welcoming community working for the...

Where:
First Parish Unitarian Church Hall
40 Church Street
Northborough, MA  01532
View map »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come join Mary Budrose on October 17, November 14, December 14, from 7-8pm to learn more about the The Budrose Center For Spiritual Growth healing program and experience a chakra balancing...

Where:
Budrose Center for Spiritual Growth (Blossom Healings)
54 Main Street
Topsfield, MA  01983
View map »


Telephone: 978-561-1687
Contact Name: Mary Budrose
Website »

More information

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is integrating into treatment plans. By...

Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

Join us in the Northeast Reiki Center classroom in Framingham for a Reiki Circle in the Usui Reiki System of Natural Healing. We are a gathering of Reiki practitioners and others interested in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
View map »


Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn Reiki — revitalizing self-care and healing in the palm of your hands. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher) This one-day class covers the basic principles of...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

2 Saturday 10:30AM classes to practice IPT Yoga at Sohum in Westborough, MA Want to practice yoga to relieve pain on the bottom of the foot? Integrated Positional Technique (IPT) for...

Cost: $30 per class prereg; $55 for both; $35 each at the door

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street
Suite 108b (next to hair salon)
Westborough, MA, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: PatLebauYoga
Telephone: 508-393-5581
Contact Name: Pat Lebau
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags