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FOOD & DRINK

This Genius Australian Startup Grows Mushrooms from Discarded Coffee Grounds

And they're planning to open an urban mushroom farm in Melbourne.
By Libby Curran
September 02, 2016
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This Genius Australian Startup Grows Mushrooms from Discarded Coffee Grounds

And they're planning to open an urban mushroom farm in Melbourne.
By Libby Curran
September 02, 2016
  shares

In Australia, we're all about that coffee — though most of us are a whole lot more focused on what's in our cup, than what's being turfed out by our barista. But one Australian startup is hoping to change that by setting up Melbourne's first coffee waste mushroom farm, and using those soggy, leftover coffee grinds to grow fresh mushies.

The innovative project has been shaking up Perth's food scene since March this year. Dubbed Life Cykel, the initiative sees cafe's coffee waste recycled and used to grow oyster mushrooms for some of the city's high-end restaurants. Melbourne's status as a world class coffee-swilling destination has marked it as the next logical landing spot for Life Cykel's mushroom movement, with founders Ryan Creed and Julian Mitchell set to unveil another of their urban mushroom farms — this time in a couple of shipping containers in the inner north suburb of Abbotsford. They're currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the farm.

Instead of heading straight to landfill and messing with the environment long after you've finished that last sip of espresso, spent coffee grounds from some of your favourite local cafés will now get a new lease on life. They'll make their way to the Johnston Street site, where they'll be mixed with mushroom spores and used to cultivate scores of flavoursome funghi friends, which, in turn, might just end up back on your plate. The mushrooms will be sold to local restaurants, and will also be available to buy in take-home mushroom-growing boxes so you can watch those babies grow yourself.

It's all designed to get us thinking a little harder about food sustainability — where our food comes from, where all those scraps end up and what we can do to change it. Life Cykel has raised over half of a $30,000 Kickstarter goal, with little over a week of their crowd funding campaign remaining. If you want the carnage of your coffee to be converted into some yummy mushies, you can pledge a few dollars here. It must be noted that the mushrooms don't taste like coffee — they taste like mushrooms.

Published on September 02, 2016 by Libby Curran

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