Our current diet has negative climate and environmental impacts. These unsustainable impacts can be improved by switching to a plant-based diet. Seaweed is a novel food source, but currently only eaten in small quantities.
Little information on the environmental impact of seaweed for food is available and most studies focus on cultivation in other countries.
In ProSeaWeed we investigate how promising seaweed is as a healthy and sustainable food source. By collaborating with experts from Stichting Noordzeeboerderij, Blonk Consultants and Wageningen Economic Research we perform a Life Cycle Analysis on Dutch seaweed production. The assessment includes cultivation at the North Sea, processing of seaweed into salt and a burger, and evaluating how these products would fit in the future diet by taking into account the nutritional profile.
The ORL group is coordinating the LCA execution, performing part of the LCA and writing a scientific publication on the results. This research will give insight in the current sustainability of Dutch seaweed for food. We apply scenario analysis to indicate focus points for future developments. The project is commissioned by the Ministry of LNV, who will use the insights to develop policy for seaweed cultivation in the Netherlands. The Dutch seaweed sector benefits by having an outline of current status as well as promising improvement points in terms of environmental impacts.
For those interested in the environmental impact and nutrional value of food products made from seaweed, we recommend reading this assesment: ProSeaWeed - Food products from the seaweed Saccharina latissima - Assessment of environmental impacts and nutritional value