Sea Lettuce for Proteins - 28/03/2011

sea lettuce

Rudy Rabbinge, university professor of Sustainable Development and Food Security, reports that a doubling of vegetable-based production is needed worldwide until 2040. This is due to the growing prosperity in countries such as India and China, amongst other factors, which causes a growing demand for animal-based proteins (which require a lot of green produce).

Fortunately, Ronald Osinga is doing research at Wageningen University into the possibilities of producing lettuce (sea lettuce) at a large scale in the oceans. Together with his colleague Willem Brandenburg of Plant Research International he calculated that a ‘sea garden’ of 180,000 square kilometres (0.05% of the total surface area of the oceans) full of sea lettuce is enough to provide the entire world population with sufficient proteins. An additional advantage of sea lettuce is the fact that it increases pH levels, so that coral reefs can be protected against sea water that is getting more and more acid. And yet another advantage: a future sea garden in a place where no sea lettuce is growing at the moment will also capture a certain amount of CO2.

Great challenges to get the Circular Economy built up can also be tackled by starting on a small scale. We are, for example, making preparations for a client with a production facility to create a near-closed carbon cycle on their own sites. Elements of the approach are the possibilities for generating energy (and thus emitting less CO2), capturing CO2 in a short closed cycle in nature and agricultural land, and the possibilities for their own water filtering in infiltration. All this can be combined with an improvement in the climate (warmth) on the sites and education about the functions of nature for visitors.

Of course we will publish more information on our website as soon as it becomes available. Do you yourself have wishes and ambitions in the field of Circular Economically Responsible Entrepreneurship, please contact Joris Voeten.