Coffee : Export Crop Provides Food Security
convert methane to CO2, secure food and generate 50 million jobs
In 2009 the world consumed 126 million bags of coffee, good for 7.5 million tons of green beans ready to be roasted. Few people realize that in the harvesting, processing, roasting and brewing of coffee an estimated 99.7 percent of the biomass is discarded. While only 0.2% acquires value on the market, the remainder – rich in caffeine – is wasted. An estimated 12 million tons of agricultural waste is left to rot, generating millions of tons of methane gas and contributing to climate change. This makes coffee one of the most wasteful consumer products.
The world market for mushrooms – according to Professor Shuting Chang, the leading fungi scientist from Hong Kong – surpassed $17 billion dollars in 2008. Demand for mushrooms, especially tropical varieties such as shiitake, maietake, and ganoderma has enjoyed double digit growth for decades. Driven by consumer preference for cholesterol- and saturated fatty acid free food, it is expected that the average per person consumption of 175 grams of tropical fungi in the US and Europe will increase to 500 grams within a decade. This will create an additional $2.3 billion in sales. If the West would eat as much fungi as Hong Kong (17 kg per year per person), then we are looking at a staggering $120 billion in trade. Tropical fungi would outpace coffee and metals as a world commodity within a generation. The Americans would dramatically improve their diet.