Grow-Your-Own Algae Kits for Kids
Consumers have been taking a DIY approach to food and nutrition during lockdown, using their kitchens and gardens to grow produce (see The Budget Food Opportunity). Taking this one step further, London-based design and architecture practice EcoLogicStudio has created a kit that allows parents and kids to grow spirulina (a nutritious blue-green algae) at home.
The BioBombola kit includes a 1m-tall glass cylindrical container called a photobioreactor (complete with pipes and a pump to facilitate air flow); a 15l starter batch of spirulina cells; and a liquid, nutrient-packed culture medium to support and accelerate growth. The system produces up to 7g of edible algae per day, which can be harvested by syphoning liquid from the photobioreactor chamber and passing it through a filter to extract the spirulina.
The child-friendly kit offers an interactive lesson on photosynthesis, air pollution and sustainable food, according to the designers. Growing algae is also great for home air quality, with the BioBombola kit absorbing the equivalent CO2 as two young trees, and releasing the same amount of oxygen as seven house plants.
We’ve been tracking algae’s rise as a nutrient-rich, sustainable protein source for a while at Stylus. See Trans-Industry Ingredients for a comprehensive dive into its multiple uses and health properties, as well as Solar Panels Turn Pollution into Food and Smart Sustenance.
Read also Future Functional Foods & How to Market Them for a wider look at consumer health priorities coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Self-Sustaining Spaces for more on how kitchens are becoming indoor hotbeds of food cultivation.