Kassinger, Ruth

Say “algae” and most people think of pond scum. What they don’t know is that without algae, none of us would exist.  There are as many algae on Earth as stars in the universe, and they have been essential to life on our planet for eons. Algae created the Earth we know today, with its oxygen-rich atmosphere, abundant oceans, and coral reefs. Crude oil is made of dead algae, and algae are the ancestors of all plants.

Today, seaweed production is a multi-billion dollar industry, with algae hard at work to make your sushi, beer, paint, toothpaste, shampoo and so much more. Delving into science and history, Ruth Kassinger takes readers on a global journey from the seaweed farmers in South Korea and laverbread champions in Pembrokeshire. Everywhere, she talks to algae innovators working toward a sustainable future: to scientists using it to clean the dead zones in our waterways, to the entrepreneurs fighting to bring algae fuel and plastics to market.

Full of surprising science and history, and even a few recipes, Bloom will overturn everything you thought you knew about algae. As Ruth Kassinger concludes “They created us, sustain us, and if we’re both clever and wise, they can help save us.

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Elliott and Thompson, July 2019.  380 pages, hardcover, black and white illustrations