EnerGaia Co., Ltd. epitomizes admirable green business practices. It is an ecologically aware company developing a healthy and sustainable product utilizing wasted urban space while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The Bangkok-based company specializes in producing fresh algae products, particularly Spirulina, on the previously unusable rooftops of Bangkok’s city centre.
EnerGaia’s original focus when it was created in 2009 was to create a process of algae production that would allow the plants to take in CO2 gasses. The company created a unique urban farming model, partnering with land, building and factory owners to capitalize on the abundance of vacant rooftops space in urban centers to cultivate the algae. Later, the company realized that this environmentally-positive process might also generate Spirulina as a clean, healthy and sustainable food source. They further developed and later patented their harvesting technologies, and went on to forge partnerships with logistics operators who could move the Spirulina within hours or days of harvest.
EnerGaia produces other microalgaes but Spirulina is the flagship product – an algae-derived product that is an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. First documented as part of the regular diet of Mayans, Spirulina’s name is derived from the spiral-shaped cells of the blue-green algae. Not only is this particular type of algae low in calories and cholesterol, it also has very thin cell walls which help the nutrients to dissipate easily into the human digestive system.
Dried Spirulina is a powerful protein source – its total makeup is 59 – 65% protein placing it at a higher percentage than lentils, peanuts, soybeans or even beef. Furthermore, Spirulina is a complete source of all eight essential amino acids, and omega-3. These amino acids help in key bodily functions. The company claims that the benefits include: stimulating brain function; producing antibodies, enzymes and hormones; aiding in thyroid function; improving digestive health; regulating serotonin and they also contain antioxidants. In reality, most individuals acquire the necessary amino acids as part of a healthy diet without Spirulina, but there is no denying that Spirulina is a cornucopia of nutrients. It also has a high concentration of many essential minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as a vast amount of vitamins including B1 through 9.
Though dried Spirulina has exploded onto many whole and organic food markets, EnerGaia has put its energies into providing a uniquely fresh form of Spirulina – a product that is both odorless and tasteless and thus more accessible for daily cooking applications. EnerGaia has also been conscious of the harmful chemicals that can leach into foods during processing. It accordingly utilizes only food-safe plastics, filtered water, filtered air and a closed-circuit system to keep out pollution.
The bottom line is EnerGaia is a fascinating exemplar of the new green movement in Bangkok. Whether you are tempted to try Spirulina or not, this rapidly-developing enterprise deserves kudos for its rigorous commitment to doing right by the environment, Bangkok as a city, and our health.