A project in Congo is looking at growing spirulina as the staple diet in the Congo town of Bikoro is cassava, which supplies very little protein. Spirulina could supplement the local diet with much-needed protein as well as vitamin A and iron.
The spirulina is dried and powdered, with 10 grams sprinkled on food each day enough to satisfy most dietary requirements – adding a slightly saltier taste to a dish.
Employees from the SCK·CEN research centre are working with local entrepreneurs to help make the system a success after beginning in one village.
The Arthrospira bacteria – better known as spirulina – have been a staple part of ESA’s space research for many years because they is easy to grow and multiply rapidly. The bacteria turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and can be eaten as a delicious protein-rich supplement. They are also highly resistant to radiation found in outer space.