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Author Topic: Sustainable Food Production  (Read 5091 times)

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I live in a part of Thailand where duckweed has long been consumed by humans. Duckweed is the common name for any of 11 species of aquatic plant, known scientifically as Wolffia. In Thailand, the species used for human consumption is called Wolffia globosa. The Thais refer to the plant as Kai naam (water eggs). ... ...

In Thailand and come other countries in South East Asia, the plant is skimmed from the top of the water before being cleaned and cooked then eaten as a vegetable.


Protein makes up over 45% of the pant’s dry weight and Its incredibly high protein content gave rise to another common name – ‘vegetable meatball’.

Duckweed contains all nine of the essential amino acids giving it a protein profile similar to eggs. This makes the plant a potential source of high quality protein for vegans and in areas of the world where nutritional support  is needed.

Duckweed is also a great source of nutrients including many minerals and vitamins. minerals. Duckweed is a good source of vitamin A and the B-complex vitamins and is a unique plant source of vitamin B12. The plant is a good source of dietary fiber and contains minerals like zinc and iron. In addition, duckweed contains abundant antioxidants including polyphenols, and flavonoids like catechins. ... ...

Previous studies had found that duckweed was a valuable source of protein while the iron content of the plant could help protect against anemia. (2) (3) ... ...

The researchers found that duckweed contained all 9 of the essential amino acids as well as being rich in minerals like zinc and iron and vitamin B12.

The study, which involved 36 male subjects, found that the protein found in duckweed was highly bioavailable. The absorption rate of its amino acids was similar to that of soft cheese.

The researchers concluded that mankai duckweed offered high-quality protein and was a potential substitute source for animal proteins. (3) ...


A very recent study revealed that duckweed helped keep blood sugar levels under control making it a good choice for people with diabetes in particular. (

The blood-sugar response of those given a duckweed shake was compared with subjects given a yogurt shake. Drinking a shake made with duckweed resulted in a number of positive health benefits when measured over a two week period. These included improvements in fasting glucose levels, reductions in peak glucose levels and more rapid evacuation of glucose from the system. (1)


Duckweed is a good source of many minerals and vitamins and studies have found that duckweed is a unique plant source of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a vitamin that your body very much needs but is unable to produce. It is mostly found in animal sources but is also added to certain food products.

Vitamin B12 benefits the body in a wide variety of ways including the following:

֍ It can boost your levels of energy.
֍ It helps the production of red blood cells.
֍ It can prevent birth defects making it important for pregnant women.
֍ Might have brain health benefits.
֍ May help protect against depression.
֍ Supports healthy skin and hair.


Duckweed contains minerals like calcium, which is known for making the bones stronger and healthier while the vitamin B12 it contains has also been linked to bone health and strength.

One study involving over 2500 adults found that people with a deficiency in vitamin B12 had lower than average bone mineral density. (4)

Other studies have revealed a link between low B12 levels and poor bones, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis particularly in women. (5) ... ...


Companies in Israel have started to grow the Mankai species of duckweed in closed environments. It is good for the environment and is highly sustainable. When compared to other nutritious foods like spinach, kale and soy, duckweed requires just a fraction of the water to produce a gram of protein.

Not only does it help save water, but can be grown all the year round with hydroponic cultivation methods. ... ...


Duckweed confers plenty of nutrients but not a great deal of flavor. The plant has a mild, neutral flavor and is completely odorless. I add it to omelets and soups and it adds a small amount of flavor reminiscent of spinach.


As long as your duckweed comes from a clean source, it is safe for human consumption. There is however concern about the high levels of calcium oxalate found in the plan (2-4% by weight). Calcium oxalate is also present in other leafy green vegetables like swiss chard and spinach but at a considerably lower level. Calcium oxalate may be toxic in very large doses. Cooking your duckweed can reduce the levels of calcium oxalate found in the plant. ... ...

Duckweed has been eaten in parts of Asia for a very long time and it is only now that the West has started to evaluate its potential benefits for human consumption. ... ...

While research is at a very early stage, the evidence so far suggests that this plant is highly sustainable and could provide an excellent source of nutrients for an affordable price.

At the time of writing, duckweed is not being commercially grown for human consumption but that may well change soon.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31076421
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30915471
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30591380
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15619681
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12612156

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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