Wednesday 17 July 2019

Review ~ Bloom by Ruth Kassinger

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Elliot & Thompson
4 July 2019

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

...From Food to Fuel, The Epic Story of How Algae Can Save Our World...

There are as many algae on earth as stars in the universe, and they have been essential to life on our planet for aeons. Algae created our 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, in this revelatory book Ruth Kassinger takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes, and into-the-kitchen tour. We'll meet the algae innovators working towards a sustainable future: from seaweed farmers in South Korea, to scientists using it to clean the dead zones in our waterways, to the entrepreneurs fighting to bring algae fuel and plastics to market.

What did I think..

I must admit that reading a book about algae was never on my list of 'must reads' and yet once I started to delve into this fascinating book I was constantly surprised at how how important algae is, not just to our environment, but also just how much is in our food , fuel and household products.

The author is a scientist and absolutely knows her subject and there is a definite scientific approach to how the book is divided but it is no less readable for that, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy to understand it was and I never felt bamboozled by too much intricate and unfathomable detail but rather became absolutely fascinated to learn how algae visionaries are working towards a sustainable future using  algae and its many components.

The book is divides in four sections which cover:

I) In the Beginning
II) Glorious Food
III) Practical Matters
IV) Algae and the Changing Climate

Each are equally interesting but I think that Glorious Food and its subsections fascinated me the most with perhaps the chapter entitled Welshman's Delight which is about the use of seaweed in cooking.  Who knew that 25 million tons of Seaweed are harvested every year world wide - there are recipes at the end of the book if you want to try !!

Bloom is not a book to rush through, rather than flip through at top speed I chose to read slowly and became increasingly fascinated by just how much algae has been influencing my world. Algae's reach is huge and it will be interesting to see just how much in this book comes to pass, indeed much of it is already happening. One thing is guaranteed though, I will never look at a piece of seaweed again without contemplating its importance.

Imagine that there are as many different algae on earth as there are stars in the night sky - now I know that algae isn't anywhere near as pretty as a twinkling star but after finishing this book I have a whole heap of respect for just how poor a place our world would be without algae!

Twitter @RKissinger #Bloom




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