When Jules Siedenburg spoke at the March Meet 19 he revealed the remarkable idea of adding edible algae or 'green oomph' to our shopping lists and into our daily meals. But how to market this? How to monetise it? How to make it a workable substance to benefit all mankind? Click below to find out how you can join in and help by adding your suggestions to Jules' potentially groundbreaking project
Algae? Yes, algae.
When we think 'algae' rarely does the idea of eating it come to mind straight away. Usually it's all about 'yucky stuff growing everywhere' or 'can you even eat that?" The answer is 'yes' and 'yes'. The tricky thing is that there is algae (the yucky kind), but then there is also also edible algae (the edible, useful kind), and it's proven very difficult to make people understand the difference.
Jules made that distinction abundantly clear in his explanations, and once he had the attention of the group, he talked about the huge advantages (it grows easily in controlled environments, is self-sustaining, is able to supplement poor diets, is healthy, can create local work, etc.) and the support of a number of international organisations, including the United Nations.
Obstacles to market and social enterprise
However, he also spoke of the constraints that would need to be overcome: local preferences, poor reception due to preconceptions (the 'yuck' factor, especially), financial and logistical limitations, the varied approaches necessary to address different audiences (particularly with regard to the global North and the global South).
When he had finished his talk we launched into a surprisingly long Q&A session, as the audience was so thrilled by the subject that nearly everyone had something to contribute to the discussion. So much so that - at some point - we had to end the Q&A to move forward with our programme. So, to colour in a few more details, we have asked Jules to write a short follow-up document highlight the project.
Since there was such a lot of interest in the subject matter, and many ideas were floating around the room, Jules has added a couple of questions into the document to ask you, our community, for help to move the project along.
It would be really helpful to our friend Jules if you were to take him up on his request and read the note. And if you have any ideas or comments, why not give him a leg up with your feedback?