One of the old science fiction questions out there is what we're going to sustain ourselves with once we run our planet's resources into the ground. After all, factory farming has proven to be catastrophic to our environment and, as much as I love a good burger, I can also recognize the harm it does to both my body and the world.
So what's the solution? Insects? In-home hydroponic gardens? Well, what about algae.
Over at CNN Tech, writer Rachel Crane discusses her visit to iWi, a wellness company that is growing algae on a large scale.
"There are hundreds of thousands of strains of algae in the world and there is a subgroup of those that are stinky and slimy and gross, but there are lots that are not," said Rebecca White, iWi's VP of Operations.
IWi is betting their strain, nannochloropsis, will be next big food trend. The company already sells algae as omega-3 and EPA supplements at the The Vitamin Shoppe and on Amazon. It's now developing algae-based snacks and protein powders.
"The protein we're producing is not going to be green," said CEO Miguel Calatayud, adding its protein powders will be virtually imperceptible when added to other foods. It is "not going to change the flavor."
"[It will be] in every single food that you take on an everyday basis," he added. "Algae is going to be part of a regular food chain for us. It's going to be great thing for all of us and for our planet."
Calatayud said if the world's population grows from 7.5 billion to 10 billion as expected, we'll need to think more seriously about protein alternatives like algae.
"There will not be enough animal protein or other vegetable protein," he said. "There won't be enough arable land, and what's even more important, there won't be enough fresh water."
Yummy, right? And if it tastes gross, well, we did it to ourselves and hot sauce can save any meal.