The Underutilized Potential of Seaweed: Sustainable Energy & Food

Yuko Miyamoto
Founder of Teatis Tea

The Underutilized Potential of Seaweed: Sustainable Energy & Food

Here at Teatis Tea, we want to support the well-being of both people and the planet with our healthy seaweed tea blends. We support seaweed farming not just because seaweed is good for you, but because seaweed is good for the planet too!

Seaweed is a sustainable and underused resource that has tremendous potential in many industries, from foods and drinks like our teas, to clean green energy. Seaweed’s high growth speed and wide variety of application makes it an amazing environmentally friendly resource. 

The Importance of Utilizing Underused Biomass

Seaweed is a both sustainable and renewable source of biomass. Biomass refers to organic material that comes from plants and animals. Created through sunlight, water, soil, and organic life, biomass is a valuable renewable source of energy on our planet.

Today it is believed there is about 550 to 560 billion tons (carbon equivalent) of biomass on our planet [1], with 100 billion tons (carbon equivalent) newly produced every year [2]. Of the new biomass produced annually, about two thirds is produced on land while one third is produced in rivers and oceans-- which includes seaweed.

But the biomass on our plant is dramatically underutilized. The amount of biomass produced annually is almost 10 times the world's annual energy consumption [3] but we still only use a limited amount for energy and food. While we use fossil fuels and agricultural products for food and energy, much biomass is left unused even as our societies struggle to handle population growth and global warming. Utilizing this unused biomass is one way we can respond to the global crises over energy and food shortages. 

Seaweed - A Valuable and Efficient Renewable Biomass

Seaweed is an important and exciting source of biomass for two main reasons-- it grows quickly and has a wide variety of applications.

Seaweed grows faster than many land crops, making seaweed farming an efficient way to produce biomass quickly. For example, net production of kelp seaweeds is 17.5 t/ha/year while sugarcane is 5-10 t/ha/year [4]. That’s two to three times faster growth! Seaweed farming is attracting attention for this efficient high volume of production.

Seaweed also has a wide variety of applications across many industries. Seaweed can be used as food for both humans and animals, as fertilizer to help grow land crops, and can be used in cosmetics, in water purification, and even bioethanol production. It’s particularly noteworthy that seaweed is said to have 4 to 23 times the potential of land crops (such as wheat, barley, and sugarcane) in bioethanol production, making it an efficient source of clean energy[5].

Environmentally Friendly but Still Underused

Although seaweed is highly valuable for its growth speed and wide variety of applications, it is still a highly underutilized source of biomass. Although it is used as a food source in East and Southeast Asia, and used for its health benefits by the health conscious in the United States and Europe, the underutilized potential of this sustainable biomass resource is still huge [6].

Conclusion

As modern societies struggle to find balance between advancing technology and preserving nature, seaweed offers a solution that is still underutilized. Here at Teatis Tea, we want to support the seaweed farming industry and help show the world the amazing potential of this sustainable and environmentally friendly resource. Join us!

Arame seaweed is what makes our tea blends unique.Enjoy the health benefits it provides!

Teatis Tea contains 500mg Extracted Arame seaweed in every cup. Seaweed polyphenols are reported to effectively block fat and sugar absorption and lower blood sugar levels in clinical studies. Enjoy perfect golden milk or macha latte with Teatis Tea CALM&AWAKE blend. Vibrant you!