Chances are you’ve heard of spirulina, currently enjoying the spotlight as a popular superfood and nutritional cure-all. But even food-trend skeptics (sorry, coconut oil) will have trouble questioning this blue-green algae’s ancient credentials.
“It’s 3.5 billion years old,” says Apogee Spirulina founder Nicholas Petrović. “It’s been around for a while.”
Petrović was introduced to spirulina more recently, when he moved to Santa Fe from San Francisco in 2009, specifically to attend Santa Fe Community College. It had the only program in the country offering what Petrović was looking for at the time in terms of photovoltaic training.
But once enrolled in the dynamic School of Trades, Advanced Technologies and Sustainability, Petrović’s interest shifted during a course in which students learned how to produce algae as a step toward working in the algal biofuels sector. “I had never heard of this stuff before,” Petrović says, “And I thought, ‘This is really cool. This is low-hanging fruit.'”