fbpx
Connect with us

Business

Symbrosia Is Using Seaweed To Fight Climate Change

Published

on

Seaweed is going to save the world? What is Symbrosia going on about? 

Cows and methane are major problems in terms of their effect on climate. Methane is highly effective in keeping greenhouse gases within our atmosphere. Cows fart methane. The more cows, the more methane. The more methane, the direr our situation. 

Many have suggested cutting beef out of our diets in order to combat this problem. I don’t know if you’ve gotten to know America, but we will cling to our cheeseburgers until the world burns to the ground. 

Mmm, taste the char on that burger, patriot. 

Thankfully, Symbrosia is here to say, “Don’t worry, Mr. Stubborn America, you can keep eating your beef. Instead, how about we change what the cows eat?” 

Change what the cows eat, change the world, no burgers missed. What Symbrosia has found is a win-win scenario for action on climate. 

Meet Alexia Akbay, Founder and CEO

Alexia Akbay founded Symbrosia in 2018 and is the current CEO. Always passionate about the environment, Akbay saw an opportunity and ran with it. 

[We were] founded … on the back of some really cutting edge research out of Australia that showed that supplementing the diet of cattle and dairy cows with a specific red seaweed asparagopsis taxiformis that reduces their methane emissions by over 90 percent.

“The issue at the time was that this seaweed was not commercially grown prior and there were no methods to do so.

“So, Symbrosia was founded on this problem that we were going to develop production technologies and conventional supporting technology to scale this industry and create carbon-neutral beef and dairy.”

The species of seaweed Symbrosia is farming for cattle feed is called Asparagopsis taxiformis

All About Aspargopsis Taxiformis

Asparagopsis taxiformis, also known as “red algae,” is a seaweed species found in tropical to warm temperate waters. It’s an edible seaweed and one of the more popular types of limu (general Polynesian term for edible underwater plants). 

In the Hawaiian language it’s known as Limu kohu, or “pleasing seaweed.” It has a bitter taste, and is a common ingredient in poke. Who doesn’t like poke? 

In short, you can eat it. So, why not let cows eat it too? 

How Does Seaweed Reduce Methane Emissions?

Symbrosia has done their homework. They’re the kid in class always raising their hand and getting “As” but they’re also really likeable and are also somehow really good at sports and the lead in the play and make it all look so easy. 

Screw them, right? jk lol. 

There have been no shortage of studies proving A. taxiformis’ effectiveness in reducing methane emissions. One study, Kinley 2020, found that red algae induced enteric (relating to or occurring in the intestines… read a biology book, why don’t you?) methane mitigation. In lamens terms, it made cows fart less. It also found that the productivity in cattle had improved significantly. 

We’re seeing higher milk yield in dairy cattle [by as much as] 15 percent. And then beef cattle we’re seeing faster growth because that energy isn’t being released from the animal.

I, too, notice that I am more productive and energetic when I’m less gassy. Who wants to work when they’re embarrassingly gassy, right? Diet plays a critical role there. Turns out that seaweed, like A. taxiformis, is far healthier than typical cattle feed. 

How Do You Farm Seaweed?

There is a specific way to farm seaweed, and it ain’t difficult. 

We only need saltwater, nutrients from the sun, and the nutrients that we can utilize from waste resources. So, in terms of its impact on the environment in general, it’s one of the most sustainable crops you could grow.”

On top of that, productivity per acre is extremely high. It’s over 10x that of any traditional [crop] – like soy, corn, or other feeds – that we commonly use.

When it comes to farming seaweed, it’s mostly been for humans. If you’ve ever eaten miso soup at a Japanese restaurant – that leafy green thing floating around ain’t lettuce. 

As we search for creative, sustainable means to combat climate change, seaweed has increasingly become a part of the solution. 

We believe that we’re kind of at this really interesting inflection point for algae producers because historically algae is mostly produced for human nutraceuticals, so health benefits or other markets where algae or seaweed is more culturally relevant in food. 

“We’re really seeing this inflex in lots of startups in our space that recognize the sustainable properties of seaweed as a crop and using those for industrial applications, which is cool.

How Symbrosia Is Using All of This To Save Our World

We need action on climate change. One major challenge is combatting all of the methane released from cattle. Since America looooooves its beef, it’s hard to imagine the country taking on a vegan diet. Symbrosia is the first of its kind to offer a solution so perfectly suited to this situation. 

We are the first commercial entity that is out there to start this seaweed [production]. And we’ve proven that in a number of the initial proof points so far – first commercial trials, first scaled production. 

“It’s been a really great journey and we’re continuing to grow.”

Symbrosia is in exactly the right climate for this kind of success. As our situation becomes increasingly dire, as does the popularity for taking part in efforts to effectively combat it. 

“I think that the climate catastrophe is becoming super in everyone’s face – whether it’s on television, social media, or talking to your friends – I think more and more Americans and the global population is recognizing that climate change is real

“We have to make significant efforts, mass significant efforts to save our species on the planet.

Outside of providing sustainable, healthy, environment-friendly feed, Symbrosia also has a carbon offset program where you can offset your personal emissions. Or gift it to your favorite environmental activist (hint hint holidays are coming up hint hint).

What’s Next For Symbrosia

Next year, Symbrosia will be scaling up bigger and better. 

We’re scaling up production, scaling up the duration, size, and number of commercial trials, and bringing Asparagopsis taxiformis to market. The next year is going to be a huge one for Symbrosia and the nascent asparagopsis industry.”

Expect to hear more from Symbrosia. They are taking on the battle for our climate and doing it with a chill, confident, and infectious smile. These are the folks you want working to make our world a better place.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Adobe Drops Pantone Colors From Creative Cloud

Published

on

Print and pre-press professionals were worried about the information gap regarding Adobe’s decision to remove the Pantone color system from the upcoming versions of its Creative Cloud products. 

In November, Adobe released a technical bulletin about the changes to the Pantone Color Libraries. The company stated that: In March 2022, the Pantone Color Libraries pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign Color, and Adobe Captured will be deleted from future software updates. While Adobe drops Pantone, they said they are working on an alternative solution for the affected products. With that said, Adobe encourages its users to stay tuned for updates. 

Still, the news has caused dismay among influential users of Adobe in print and graphic arts.

Color management whiz Paul Sherfield, the founder, and owner of The Missing Horse consultancy, told Printweek that they have been talking to their customers about Adobe’s decision. For him, it is a disappointing example of big firms in the graphic arts supply chain not supporting the industry itself. He noted that there’s a need to pay for a subscription to download the latest library. Printers can afford that, but the thing is, how many graphic designers and publishers will. 

Adobe and Pantone’s Comments

Pantone official Marcie Foster responded and said Adobe and Pantone have been and will continue to be long-standing business partners. 

But, the current implementation of the Pantone color system with Adobe’s Creative Cloud products is outdated, with many missing colors and inaccurate information. The two companies have decided to remove the obsolete libraries and continue to work together on better in-app features. 

Similarly, Pantone will continue to explore new collaborations with other companies. It’s to ensure that Pantone users can easily access the latest color libraries depending on the design application they are using. 

Danaher owns Pantone, which also runs Esko, X-rite, Videojet, and Linx.

On the other hand, Adobe had not commented at the time of writing. 

Industry Reactions

From Simon Eccles, Printweek

As a long-time user of Adobe products, Simon Eccles said Pantone libraries were always an essential element of their usability for print across the whole industry, especially labels and packaging. 

Mr. Eccles expressed that the “Adobe drops Pantone” announcement is quite disrespectful to many designers and printers who dutifully pay Adobe’s subscription fees regularly.

Mr. Eccles wonders if Adobe consults any users before arriving at such a decision. 

From Bill Greenwood, high-end image manipulation and retouching specialist

Bill Greenwood told Printweek that Pantone creates an Adobe Extension known as Pantone Connect, allowing users to access the Pantone libraries. I hope that Adobe integrates the Pantone Connect extension automatically. Otherwise, users can download it from another site (exchange.adobe.com).

The software mainly operates on a rental basis, and Adobe minus the Pantone libraries in its suite is an exciting development. Sadly, the changes will force them to register for the Pantone monthly subscription plan.

If Pantone wants to retain its customers, it must offer more standard vital features accessible to designers and other users. Smaller companies and designers will choose not to pay a monthly subscription. After all, Pantone is just a guide – there are many different ways to specify color. Users may decide to select RGB values or HTML Hex color codes or just CMYK print color values in exchange for Pantone colors. 

Mr. Greenwood concluded that people might start to move away from Pantone if the cost is not worth it.

Simon Gambling, Zebra managing director

It would be somewhat scary and hard to imagine when Adobe drops Pantone. Also, it would be challenging for them to prove that an alternative solution to Pantone removal will be a hassle-free transition. Users could only await further updates from Adobe to be sure.

Continue Reading

Business

Sony Stocks Plummet After Microsoft-Activision Deal

Published

on

Sony shares fell by more than after a Microsoft-Activision deal was announced. 

There is no doubt that this deal weakens Sony’s position in the market.

“Whether or not Activison Blizzard’s content is progressively made exclusive to Xbox platforms and services, inclusion of new releases into Xbox Game Pass for several major games franchises, including Call of Duty, will undermine Sony’s third-party business.” 

Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis, explains the situation. 

Sony has benefitted from the ability to negotiate timed exclusive content for Call of Duty but this is now under threat.” 

Shots fired in the never-ending console war. 

Did The Market Overreact?

Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games, thinks so:

I think the market has totally overreacted in Japan today.

See?

Sony will continue to push out blockbusters, there can be no doubt about that.

Those PlayStation exclusives are pretty sweet. Spider-Man, The Last Of Us, Ghost of Tsushima? Come on now. 

Sony can, of course, fight back: they still have their own top in-house studios spread around the world, PlayStation remains a powerful brand in gaming, and acquisitions are in the cards for Sony as well.” 

PlayStation isn’t going down without a fight. 

The Console Wars Continue

For some time, Sony has been ahead of Microsoft. But the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision deal raises the stakes the highest they’ve been since the Black Friday Battle of 2013. Franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft could become exclusive. 

How will Sony respond? We shall see what happens next in the seemingly never-ending console wars.

Continue Reading

Business

Silicon Valley Blue-Collar Workers Hope To Return To Their Posts

Published

on

While big tech companies are delaying return to offices, Silicon Valley Blue-Collar workers anticipate full return in the coming months. 

Despite the economic disruption experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses tried their best to ensure business continuity. Big tech companies were the first to allow their white-collar employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. However, not everyone can work remotely, like in the case of service workers.

Madeleine Rivera, 33, is a contractual food service worker at Google’s campus. Rivera is holding on to the slightest signs that workers will return to the company in the future. Recently, she handed out free peach ice pops to Google employees who have returned to work already. She’s trying not to overthink about the rising COVID cases in the country. According to her, being optimistic and happy matters. 

As the Delta variant enters a new troubling phase, more tech companies like Lyft and Facebook delay re-opening their workplaces early next year. Because of this, the companies’ contracted cafeteria workers, cleaners, and shuttle drivers are becoming more anxious. 

Most Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are not sure whether the Delta variant will delay their returns even longer or, worse, risk their jobs entirely if in-office work becomes less significant than it was before. As many white-collar employees have settled into work from home, blue-collar workers are struggling even more because of the unpredictable situation. 

“My kids don’t want me to go back to work, but I said I have to do it,” said Liliana Morales, 37, a food service staff at Facebook. Morales recently returned to work after having been on paid vacation since the pandemic started. Everyone needs to go back to their everyday routines, and it has been months that she has been out of work, Morales said.

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Country-wide Concerns

While some Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are in better condition, they still have the same concerns as many fellow workers across the country. UCLA Labor Center director, Kent Wong, co-authored a book about the late Mike Garcia, a janitorial labor organizer who led strikes at Oracle and Apple. Wong said that because Morales and Rivera are members of a labor union, they are likely to be doing better than their non-union member counterparts. 

Previously, on a website Amazon created this year to convince workers in Alabama to vote against unionization, the company announced that they provided them with excellent hourly rates, attractive healthcare benefits, and career advancement. There is so much more than the workers can do with their career and family without paying premiums, Amazon said. 

But Wong said all blue-collar workers face problems, whether or not they have union membership. The bottom line is, they are still very vulnerable. 

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Looking Ahead

In interviews, Silicon Valley blue-collar workers said that big tech companies primarily supported them throughout the pandemic. Others said the companies tried to find them other jobs when their original work was gone. Take, for example, the experience of Rivera, a former kitchen staff across Google’s campus in Mountain View, California. She was temporarily assigned to work as a receptionist in almost empty office buildings.

Some companies like Google are already starting to upgrade their headquarters. It’s to return to a sense of normalcy in Santa Clara County, the geographic heart of Silicon Valley.

Facebook is starting to recall their contractors. On the other hand, drivers are being asked to do training and practice driving empty buses, said Stacy Murphy, the representative for Teamsters Local 853 – the union of some Silicon Valley bus and shuttle drivers. 

Morales said that whatever her company orders, they will abide by it. If they say return to work, they will return to work.

Murphy believed that it had been a mixed bag for Silicon Valley firms needing shuttle drivers. Facebook continues to let its drivers make practice trips. While, Netflix and Amazon have been back to 100% capacity since June 2021. Tesla even expanded their service during the pandemic. On the contrary, Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Salesforce never returned. 

Continue Reading

Trending