The Seaweed Solution with Dr. Ricardo Radulovich

Dr. Ricardo Radulovich is a professor at the University of Costa Rica and founder of Aquafarms+. He is working to ensure food security for future generations. Agriculture on land may not be able to keep up with the demand for food. We need alternative choices of food and animal feed. The solution can be found in cultivating seaweed.

Starting a seaweed farm can help clean the water of excess nutrients that usually comes from runoff from land-based agriculture. Seaweeds are used in numerous products including bread, ice cream, toothpaste, tortilla chips and beer. Fishermen in traditional fishing communities can incorporate seaweed cultivation to help diversify their income. Some seaweeds are rich in iron, fiber, magnesium and vitamins.

Preparing bread with 5% seaweed meal.
Bread baked with 5% seaweed meal.

“There is no seaweed market because there is no production and there is no production because there is no market,” Dr. Radulovich says in this episode. The challenge is to work on both sides, increase supply and demand.

A good summary of Dr. Radulovich’s work is available in this article by Radical Social Entrepreneurs.

Dr. Radulovich’s presentation at the 2012 Seasteading Conference is available here.

We also discuss how seaweed is one component of a closed-loop system that also includes bi-valves like mussels to improve biodiversity in the ecosystem. Read the study, “Tropical seaweeds for human food, their cultivation and its effect on biodiversity enrichment.”

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