— 05.08.2019

Know Your Food: Coffee

We all know many people who can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. Others like to drink it first thing in the office and some love to sip it throughout the day. You must have seen half full coffee cups left behind, pots of coffee go down the drain because it went cold many times. We can say there’s an increase in coffee consumption especially after 3rd wave coffee shops have opened up. Big coffee chains have also expanded. They are at our service every hour of every day with countless options. 

We might not be able to tell how much waste we’re causing by simply buying a cup of coffee. It’s possible to see a chain of waste if you see beyond a cup of coffee and look at it with a holistic approach. There’s a long process behind purchasing a medium size frappuccino from a big coffee chain. These main lines of process are manufacturing  milk, chocolate, cream and sugar. It is safe to imagine the hundreds of people working, the food that’s given to the animals for good quality milk and even the weather conditions behind these processes. So an innocent transaction of coffee due to the demand-supply relationship can reach a size that affects the whole world.

Even when we just consider coffee beans, the process is arduous. To get to a coffee bean first the coffee fruit needs to be planted right and needs to ripen. It takes 3 years for the first coffee flower to bloom. It’s only possible to harvest the coffee tree 9-11 months after the flowers bloom. To expedite this process and supply more coffee beans many additives are used which can harm our health in the long term.

We need to be aware of all this and realize we need to consume “just enough”. While it’s an option to reuse leftover coffee in a smart way, it’s also an option to consume less. We need to be aware of what we eat and drink and learn how we can make use of them in different areas. For instance, it’s an option to water plants with leftover coffee. Acidic flowers like roses and begonias love caffeine. You can water down your black and unsweetened coffee and use to water these flowers. For those that want to reuse it for themselves, you can keep pour your old coffee into ice trays and prepare iced coffee cubes for the next day. You can add used filter coffee grounds into your skin care routine as peeling.

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