A Brisbane-based editor and creative communicator who loves free weekends, when they happen! Visit me at https://ellwords.com.au or bookswordspages.wordpress.com.
Extend your coffee habit to funding its fruit bars
Ah, that morning coffee! Warm and wonderful, helping you greet the day. But did you know that your 11kg of coffee per year (yep, that's the average consumed per person worldwide) produces a staggering 57kg of waste just from the fruit that yields the coffee beans?
Brisbane-based social enterprise I Am Grounded knew - and they have a solution: coffee fruit bars! And until Tuesday 31 March, you have a unique opportunity to support this sustainable upcycling venture via Kickstarter.
What are coffee fruit bars? A super snack made from extracts of the discarded pulp of the coffee cherry. In coffee production, the red cherries are picked, sorted, washed and de-pulped to obtain the seeds inside. Those seeds head off to a new life as your coffee beans, while the fruit pulp has, traditionally, been discarded.
But now I Am Grounded's Vanessa Murillo and Lachlan Powell are upcycling the cherry pulp into a fruit extract high in antioxidants and low in caffeine and turning it into a healthy snack that's vegan, gluten-free, natural and sustainable. Convenience meets impact, in one sustainable snack!
Innocent-looking coffee cherries (Photo: I Am Grounded)
Food waste reduction has come into the spotlight in recent months, but with more focus on the consumer's actions than the farmer's or manufacturer's actions. Coming from Columbia and a coffee-industry family, Vanessa is very aware of the environmental impact at the production end of the process.
Vanessa explained, 'Coffee fruit is a byproduct of coffee farming and represents about 0.2% of the world's CO2 emissions. The waste is often left to build up and rot in large masses, leaching acidic toxins into the surrounding environment and harming aquatic life. The coffee beans make up less than 20% of the overall coffee fruit, meaning that more than 80% of the coffee fruit is wasted!'
I Am Grounded has been making their superfood bars for 12 months, refining the flavour combinations and finessing their business model with customers at cafes, health food stores and online.
Lachlan said, 'We have landed on three key flavours - Espresso, Lemon and Cocoa. Each is individually made to fuel a different moment in your day.'
Three flavours of Coffee Fruit Bars are ready to go (Photo: I Am Grounded)
The Coffee Fruit Bars are the first product on I Am Grounded's sustainability agenda, with plans to develop more items that eliminate waste. But it all takes support and funding, so this month the bars were launched on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
Don't miss the chance to help this initiative go full steam ahead into reducing unnecessary food waste! Head over to Kickstarter before 31 March to pledge your financial support for this upcycling initiative. You could receive a reward for your investment - see the Kickstarter page for details.