GroCycle's urban mushroom farm has been hailed as a model solution for providing fresh food in cities and will tonight (24th June) feature on BBC 1's The One Show.
By growing mushrooms on coffee grounds from cafes in Exeter, the GroCycle team turn a waste product into healthy, fresh, protein-rich Oyster mushrooms which are then sold in the local area.
"Traditional mushroom cultivation requires energy-intensive processes to sterilise the growing material. Coffee grounds are already sterilised when the coffee is brewed. That is what makes this way of growing mushrooms so sustainable" said Adam Sayner, company director.
The award-winning certified social enterprise has turned unused office space in Princesshay, right the heart of Exeter city centre into a productive space, where an otherwise wasted resource is then turned into food for the local population. Coffee waste is a huge problem; 80,000,000 cups of coffee are drunk each day in the UK, yet most of the waste coffee grounds are currently just being sent to landfill.
The project also provides testing and training opportunities. Through the company's courses over 350 people have been trained and course members from over 15 countries around the world including Columbia, Australia and Iceland are learning how to grow mushrooms on used coffee grounds.
"We have built what we think is the most advanced urban mushroom farm on the planet!," says Eric Jong, company director " And like so many people we speak to, The One Show's team was very intrigued and wanted to know more about how you can grow mushrooms using waste coffee grounds."
With the UN predicting that 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050, a more sustainable approach to urban waste and food production will be required.
"We picture a world where in just 5 years from now, there'll be lots of cities around the word with an Urban Mushroom Farm," adds Adam Sayner "It just makes so much sense to turn this waste into healthy food and add to a city's food supply."
Adam and Eric will appear on BBC1's 'The One Show' (Wednesday June 24th , 7pm)
For more information email [email protected] or visit www.grocycle.com
5 reasons GroCycle is the future of sustainable protein and food in cities.
1. Re-using Waste.
80 million cups of coffee are drunk in the UK each day, 1.6 billion worldwide. Less than 1% of the coffee plant is used in this process - the rest usually ends up in landfill. GroCycle diverts tonnes from landfill, where it would otherwise decompose, releasing the greenhouse gas Methane into the atmosphere.
2. Providing Sustainable Protein.
Meat is the world's main source of protein, however it's production requires huge amounts of scarce resources such as land, energy and water. Oyster mushrooms are high in protein and require little of these resources providing a low-impact protein solution.
3. Boosting Urban Agriculture.
Although most of the UK's food is consumed in cities, virtually none is grown there. Mushrooms are a crop ideally suited to urban agriculture where both waste and demand are highest, and unused space can be utilised.
4. Providing Local Food.
Much food in the UK travels hundreds of miles before it is consumed. Mushrooms grown in cities are consumed within a few miles of where they are grown.
5. Re-Using Energy
Traditional mushroom cultivation requires energy intensive processes to sterilise the growing material. Coffee grounds are already sterilised when the coffee is brewed.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of GroCycle, on Wednesday 24 June, 2015. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/