News Stories

Is Blue-Green Algae Edible? Local Juice Bar Selling Cyanobacteria Drink

Yes, it’s safe to drink this blue-green algae.

“It sort of tastes like lake water,” Aaron Cagle, general manager at Delicious Raw Juice Bar, said. So, they mix the blue-green algae with orange juice and a strawberry to make the “brainON and OJ” shot.

“It is definitely a concentrated powerhouse of nutrients,” Cagle said.

It’s actually not algae, but cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria is a type of fresh water bacteria. In this drink, the specific bacteria is “afa”.

There are thousands of species of cyanobacteria and only some produce toxins. You may be familiar with one type of blue-green algae — the type currently plaguing Southwest Florida’s waterways.

Company E3live, which is located in Naples, collects it from lakes in northern climates and tests it for toxin levels before it’s consumed.

The benefits of taking branon are increased mood, energy and red blood cell production. It contains 65 essential amino acids and vitamins.

“I absolutely drink it, in fact, sometimes I take a double shot,” Cagle said. “It is really good, and it doesn’t taste bad — and that’s really rare for healthy food.”

There’s also powder that can be sprinkled on food, but Cagle said it’s best to take as a shot. “If you take it with orange juice, it tastes phenomenal.”

RELATED: People in Cape Coral Concerned About Safety, Health With Algae Blooms

Additional reporting by Anna Kohls