While much of our focus on this blog had been about sustainable protein for human consumption, I came across an article relating to the topic of sustainable protein in animal feeds and I would like to share some of what I found.
Xingen Lei, a professor at Cornell University has been researching the use of algae as a sustainable protein rich feed to replace corn and soybean meal which is currently given to the majority of food producing animals. Professor Lei says that "Current animal feed directly competes against human food sources and, thus, is unsustainable; we must develop alternatives to soybean and corn for animal feeds." Algae produces more oil than corn and also leaves a much smaller carbon footprint that corn.
Lei says that replacing just 10% of all traditional corn and soybean feed with this algae feed would make drastic differences in the use of our less sustainable crops. Lei and his researchers are now working to determine what kind of algae to use for feed and also if the differences in the feed will have large consequences in the quality of these animals when things such as human consumption are concerned. This could be a huge break-through for the farming industry and could potentially make a big difference in the sustainability of certain crops that we have come to rely on.
There are also many other sustainable uses that can come from algae, some of which are highlighted in the image below.
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