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A cuppa what now?

Environment > A cuppa what now?

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Genetically engineered coffee means you can now have a lab-grown latte!

26 October 2021, 1:47 PM

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Scientists have created the first-ever genetically engineered coffee, and word on the street is, it smells and tastes just like the real thing!  

But why do we need lab-grown coffee in our lives, we hear you ask? Well, researchers claim they can tackle sustainability issues (wahey!) facing the global coffee industry. Most of us love a cup of coffee to start our day, but to keep up with the increasing demand for the drink worldwide, a lot of space needs to be cleared to grow coffee plants, which is a big cause of deforestation.  

This new lab grown method results in 93% lower carbon emissions and 94% less water use than conventional coffee production, as well as no deforestation, which is just brew-tiful!

So how do they do it?

The scientists use real coffee plant cells which are dried and roasted so coffee can be brewed. Using a process called cellular agriculture, cell samples are taken from the popular coffee plant, Arabica, which are then bred and multiplied. These cells are then transferred to a bioreactor - a giant container designed to provide an effective environment for cells to transform into products - to begin producing biomass. The fully formed biomass is then harvested, dried and roasted, ready for brewing.  

So where is this all hip happening? Well, the scientists creating this coffee are in Finland, which by the way, is the country that drinks the most coffee!

But just how much can this lab-grown coffee kick unsustainability’s butt? 😉

About one third of the world’s land (more than four billion hectares) is forests and every year, this area decreases by an average of 13 million hectares (around 35 football fields per minute) due to deforestation, and unfortunately, coffee production plays a big role in this.  

Coffee consumption is leading to deforestation and tree loss across the globe, from the Ivory Coast and Ghana to Brazil and Vietnam which is damaging biodiversity and releasing harmful carbon emissions. Oh, hell no!

So, as you can see these beanless brews can solve a whole ‘latte’ problems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically. Where has it ‘bean’ all our lives?!

Would you give this new cup of coffee a go if it meant helping our planet? Let us know over on our social channels…

Next article: Plug your car into a lamppost and away you go!

Warning: may blow your mind!

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