Uganda Trip Forges Bonds With Spirulina

More stories from Eliana Harel

Lynching Memorial
March 15, 2023

In June 2022, I was invited on an exclusive trip for people who are good with travel and interested in science. Seven students and two adults learned about spirulina (the green superfood) in LA to then go to Uganda and help cultivate it there. 

The moment I stepped out of the plane in Uganda, I could tell it was different from any country I had been in before.

It wasn’t only very humid, but it was dramatically underdeveloped compared to the American airports I was used to. 

During the trip, I went to restaurants where it took 90 minutes for food to come since they make it on the spot, when in LA, people get mad after 20 minutes of waiting for their food. This shows how different cultures with different access to resources have different values. In America, we want quick, cheap food without a care about quality, while in Uganda, they value the quality of food and how fresh it is over how long it takes to make. 

In Uganda, we got to visit animals in the zoo and shop in the markets and malls there. It was pre-industrial, and everything was cheap. Most people living in Uganda couldn’t afford some of the things I thought were cheap, like little carved wooden figures and necklace boxes made out of clay. 

Not only did we meet the kids at the Jewish school in Abudaya, but we got to join them in some lecture classes to learn about spirulina. We would go into the greenhouse (which was 37 degrees C) and stir the spirulina. Then we would work together to filter the spirulina and squeeze the water out of it. Then we spread it on a table (it was a paste-like form and felt like play dough) to leave it out in the sun to dry and turn into a powder form so it can be eaten in various ways. High in protein and vitamins, spirulina can be put in drinks, food, water or even eaten plain. 

Because we helped this community grow this superfood, they can now use it for little kids, so they can live healthier lives.