The Secret Behind Spirulina

Two Bellevue natives believe algae cultivation—specifically spirulina—is the future, not just for physical health and wellness, but also for longevity of the planet.

When Cameron Patrick and John Steinberg, co-founders of liina, first digested the statistics about spirulina’s nutritional content they were shocked. After all, how much value can a simple blue green algae add to someone’s diet?

“One tablespoon of spirulina powder is equivalent to eating six and a half pounds of fruits and veggies from a vitamins and minerals perspective, one full glass of milk from a protein perspective, and one full serving of fish from an omega fatty acids perspective,” Steinberg says. “It’s one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.”

They were further surprised to learn there weren’t many products—
especially given its impressive numbers—on the market that gave consumers an easy and delicious way to incorporate it into their lifestyle.

“Why does this not exist, why is it not out there yet?” they questioned.

During their research, they discovered one more remarkable characteristic: Spirulina is incredibly sustainable.

“Spirulina provides the same quality and volume of protein as beef, but it requires 200 times less land and 215 times less water,” Steinberg says. “It’s also 400 times more efficient in removing caron dioxide from the atmosphere as trees.”

“We realized, it’s not just a product. It’s bigger than that,” Patrick says. “It’s a mission.”

They were all in. As longtime athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, this was an idea that checked all the boxes. So, a few years ago, Patrick and Steinberg quit their day jobs to put all their energy into creating liina.

“liina wants to be the spirulina brand on the market. Our aim is to one day have all things spirulina be synonymous with liina,” Steinberg says.

They made a trip to Mexico City, where the Aztecs cultivated algae for centuries—the home to spirulina. “Mexico City was originally under water and the Aztecs figured out how to cultivate spirulina and use it on a daily basis,” Patrick says. “It was the primary food source.”

They studied the canals to understand the ancient roots and culture surrounding spirulina cultivation and brought their notes home. Then they found a manufacturer in California who uses similar processes and began crafting a vegan spirulina-infused protein drink and powder that tastes as good as it looks.

Now, with the perfect product in hand, they want to educate more health and environmentally conscious people about the benefits.

To learn more or get involved, visit

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