Growing mushrooms from coffee? Yes you can

Have you ever wondered what happens to the grounds of coffee in the filter after you have emptied you cup? I think I speak for the majority of us that I would probably throw them away. First empty the cup and then the filter and into the bin with it.  Some people, however, did put more thought into it and came up with an initiative that has the potential to change the way we treat waste. Chido Govera grew up in Zimbabwe. There she learnt how to use organic waste in order to grow nutrient-rich mushrooms. In a country where droughts come often and land to grow crops is scarce, mastering techniques like this can determine survival or death.

These childhood memories inspired now Berlin-based Chido Govera to found the startup Chido’s mushrooms. On their website it is stated that only 0.2% of coffee ends up in the cup, the rest is thrown away. So the idea to do something with that waste is genius and simple at the same time – you use the coffee grounds that most of us would throw away and cultivate mushrooms on them. This requires almost no money, you can of course eat the mushrooms and reduce waste at the same time. Chido’s mushrooms picks up coffee grounds from cafes all over Berlin, cultivates mushrooms and then sells them on street markets or online to the end user. Moreover, you can also buy home growing kits if you want to try growing some mushrooms at home. I heard they are extremely tasty, so I hope to try them this week when I am in Berlin. So far Chido’s is only active in Germany, but the idea has potential to spread like a mushroom in order to overcome hunger in some of the most deprived areas of the planet and help reduce waste at home and wherever we enjoy our beloved cup of coffee.

Check them out on their website for more info: http://chidos.org/mushrooms.html

  • Prof. Gunter Pauli

    It is such a sorry state that you report on this company that misuses the work of Chido Govera. This orphans has stated clearly that she does not want the principals of this company to use her name – nor her fame. Chido has written and requested that she disagrees since this company does not contribute to her work at all, never did and worse, pretends on the website it does. This company does not follow the principles of OPEN SOURCE, even though it received the know-how for free, and all the business ideas for free like some 300 other mushroom projects around the world – but insists on commercializing the business that has been offered open source. From open source to hard core business! Sorry this is not the type of business one should report on.

    • fabian

      Hello. I was at first very amazed by the idea of turning waste into somehting that can be used. It was surprising to me since I never thought about the possibility of recycling residues from coffee. I was also not aware of how the company is structured and works, but I wanted to thank you for bringing this to our attention. Do you know examples of other projects that have remained completely open source?

      We appreciate your comment!

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