Saturday, 19 October 2019

lion’s tooth

To discourage the agricultural practises that hold our environment in disdain the most—production of those staples for consumption in the West whose distribution network is so well established and seemingly seamless, that we as consumers can easily be blind to the human and ecological toll it exacts, a UK designer is developing a coffee substitute brewed from the roots of dandelions (previously here and here).
I’m a little skeptical and prepared for disappointment, inulin, the researcher’s target compound for extraction, we’re already familiar with in the form of chicory and camp coffee but the chemistry bears out and the roots do contain what’s metabolised as caffeine (my target compound) as well and would be willing to give it a try. It makes me wonder too how estranged in the first place might my beverage and its taste and aroma be already, encapsulated and shuttled through an inscrutable supply-chain estranged from the bean I associate with. The designer has additional, circular aspirations for composting the spent grains into a medium for home mushroom cultivation.