Now that you have learned how sustainable and eco-friendly algae is, we want to share a few more great things about algae with you!
One of algae’s smartest survival strategies is something land plants cannot do – it goes dormant in bad conditions. Unlike any other crop that dies when growing conditions deteriorate, algae never dies. It just goes dormant -until the growing conditions improve again. It doesn’t matter if it takes days or billions of years. Algae cells don’t’ die. They simply shut down their metabolism and enter an inactive state. How cool is that!
Algae can also tolerate any condition it finds itself in. Wouldn’t it be great if we could too! For example, algae can survive on rocks as hot as 700 C, (1600 F). In extreme heat stress, the naturally blue-green algae turn a frosty white cake and develop a sweet flavor, (e.g. manna). Intense heat transforms algae’s 70% protein structure into polysaccharide sugars.
And this has been confirmed by USA researchers at Arizona State University where the temperatures in their outdoor algae production center can hit 1200 F, which would kill almost anything. Yet the research team found that when they placed new algae cultures in the raceways in the early morning, the cells could double before peak heat in late afternoon. The most amazing finding was that some of the new cells had already adapted to the extreme heat.
This finding was also confirmed by Joan Myers, a phenomenal National Geographic photographer, who documents extreme environments such as ice floes and volcanoes. Her latest book, Fire and Ice brings environments to life. Joan tells a fascinating story. She and a scientist were pulling cores from below the ice sheet in the 17-million-year-old Beacon Valley in Antarctica. When they returned to the lab, they removed a million-year-old rock and cracked it open. What did they find? Dormant blue-green algae. When they added water, the algae came to life. Algae exhibit an ability to learn or adapt quickly to environmental changes. Algae survived billions of years of early earth when fierce electrical storms, temperature swings and drought were common. Seems that we could learn a lot from algae’s ability to tolerate the intolerable.
Some algae species, react to environmental stress by metabolizing valuable oils. The cells spontaneously produce the oil to protect itself from too much sunlight. The oil reduces free radicals and oxidative stress which in turn helps the human body maintain a healthy state when you consume it. If you aren’t taking algae every day yet, you may want to, just for its antioxidant benefits not to mention its high chlorophyll, high protein and forty other vitamins and minerals!
And algae are also great communicators who put the survival of their community ahead of their own needs. Wow! Who knew that algae were humanitarians too! James Umen at the Danforth Plant Science Center discovered that algae can signal their community and have developed an ability for “nutrient sensing” to control growth and lipid metabolism. Wish humans could do that!
Since algae must compete for sunlight to grow, they use an ingenious go-to-light strategy by manufacturing oil, which is lighter than water and makes the cell buoyant so it can float higher and get more sun! I bet you never knew algae was so clever! But we did! We refer to algae as “intelligent food” partly because algae’s nutrient-density fuels your brain and also because our processed foods and GMO crops have hacked our food supply so much it’s virtually impossible now to get the necessary nutrients we need. Algae is so nutrient dense and safe it may be your last chance to get the nutrition you and your family really need. That’s why we think its intelligent to take algae. Are you starting to see why we love algae so much?
But our algae romance doesn’t end there. Rich Michod, a University of Arizona evolutionary biologist discovered that algae even display altruism. He noted that, “You don’t need a brain or nervous system to be cooperative.” When stressed with heat, some algae species go into a programmed death spiral. Darwin’s natural selection theory suggests that everything in nature is competitive and that only the strongest survive. But, instead of competing, algae cooperate.
Some algae cells act altruistically and commit suicide so that others in their community can live. They chop up their DNA in a regular pattern called DNA laddering. This programmed cell death provides life-saving food for other algae cells in their community. Algae show that cooperation is fundamental to the diversity of life. Michod believes that programmed cell death in single cells may be a precursor to multi-cellular life. Pretty amazing to think that algae cares about its community more than it cares about itself. Wish it could tell us how to recover from 2020! It seems we have a lot we could learn from algae. Not only it is nutrient-dense, sustainable and eco-friendly it is a great communicator and altruistic, Sounds like algae is a great role model for the world. Right? Heck most of us just want to survive each busy day but algae has survived almost 4 billion years. That’s why we think it’s time to pay more attention to algae. We can learn a lot from algae. It just needs to be understood. Hope you’ll join us. For more information refer to article December 5, 2018 — Dr. Mark Edwards phD algaeindustrymagazine.com
Algae could also be the solution to feeding our planet. Learn more here: