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Proposal To Export Coffee Beans Whole Raises Serious Sustainability Questions

July 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A report of a suggestion by a former Starbucks engineer that billions of pounds of waste coffee pulp be processed from whole coffee cherries into flour in the U.S. has raised some serious eco-issues. Dan Beliveau had recommended that coffee cherries be exported whole, without initial processing on the farms. The waste pulp could then be turned into a gluten-free, fiber- and protein-rich flour. Environmental experts and coffee farmers at the source – one in El Salvador – noted in response to the report that almost none of the nitrogen-rich cherry pulp goes to waste. It is treated and hauled back to the coffee groves, then spread around the trees as fertilizer, furthering sustainability goals. “If well managed, there is no waste in the coffee fields,” said a representative of Cooperative Coffees.
Megan Lavey-Heaton, "Coffee Flour: your questions on edible coffee answered", The Guardian (theguardian.com), July 31, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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