He along with many other researchers hoped this simple alga, with its concentrated nutrition, could easily solve the problem of world hunger. One scientist projected that a thousand-acre chlorella plot could produce an unbelievable 10,000 tons of protein in a year. Dr. DeSeblo often ate a strict chlorella diet for 5 or 6 weeks at a time in order to test the feasibility of depending solely on this tiny green superfood for nourishment.
Despite its promise, chlorella didn’t work out as the answer to world hunger. As chlorella cultivators well know, it’s not as simple as originally thought to grow and process high quality, contaminant-free chlorella. Growing low cost, clean, optimally nutritious chlorella on a small scale is still a challenge.
Nonetheless, Dr. DeSeblo’s vision lives on – albeit in new forms. One California-based chlorella company is working with the homeless shelter, Midnight Mission, in Los Angeles to introduce chlorella as a simple answer to the problem of poor nutrition and hunger in this country.
And most importantly, Dr. DeSeblo’s work emphasized the wisdom of solving the most difficult problems with simple solutions – a lesson we can all put into practice.
Because whether it’s through cultivating chlorella or some other green food, we can all contribute towards building the world’s food security. How? By planting a garden.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just a window box of herbs, a tiny plot behind your house, a bed in a community garden or a ten acre farm. Each of us can grow a little something to eat. And by doing so, we can each help to build a more diverse and sustainable food supply chain.
I have to admit, I’m a little spoiled. Living in northern California – just a couple hours from some of the best farming country in the world – it’s easy for me to get fresh fruits and vegetables year round.
But even food picked just this morning and trucked to my local farmer’s market is nothing like the nutrition you can get from eating food right out of your garden. With few exceptions, the sooner you eat food after it’s picked, the higher it is in nutrition.
One study out of the University of California found that after just a week, vegetables can lose as much as 15-77% of their vitamin C.
Not to mention fresher food simply tastes better!
Better yet, when you plant a garden, you can control how the food is grown. You can make sure it’s non-GMO and organic. And you can choose seeds for varieties that are bred to have a higher concentration of certain vitamins and antioxidants – like beta-carotene-rich carrots.
Finally, growing your own food isn’t just about the food that ends up on your plate. It contributes to your quality of life in much larger ways…
- When you garden, you get outside where you can breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine on your back.
- With more of us locked onto our smartphones and losing track of reality, gardening helps ground us again, literally. You can’t help but build your powers of observation when you work with plants and are busy digging in the dirt.
- It’s a great family activity. Or a project to launch into with friends and neighbors.
- Best of all, gardening is a good way to stay active. Depending on what you’re doing, gardening burns an average of 280 calories an hour. Digging, crouching, bending and pushing a wheelbarrow keeps you strong and limber.