This is one conversation we are buzzzzing about! Recently we sat down with Vanessa Murillo, co-founder of I Am Grounded, who, like us, is deeply passionate about sustainability and wellness. As a Colombian born Aussie, Vanessa grew up in an entrepreneurial coffee household, taking her barista masters course at the age of 13. Then, 10 years ago she fell in love with yoga and grounding techniques. Now, she's pouring all of her passions right into I Am Grounded.
Below, Vanessa shares with us the history, environmental impact and health benefits of the I Am Grounded bars key ingredient; the coffee fruit.
The Environmental Problem
Each year, millions of coffee drinkers sip on their coffees without knowing the truth behind their cup. On a global scale, the coffee industry produces approximately 10 billion kilos of coffee fruit waste annually to make those cups of coffee. Talking about carbon dioxide emissions, that’s about 16.6 million tonnes of CO2 or 0.2% of the world's CO2 emissions. To understand the huge impact, we must understand first that coffee is actually a cherry that grows on a shrub, and at least 80% of the coffee fruit is wasted during processing. In fact, it is one of the only fruits where the seeds are consumed and not the fruit itself.
So where did it all begin?
About 1000 years ago, the Oromo people of Ethiopia made what was arguably the world's first energy snack, mashing together goat fat and coffee cherries for a natural buzz. Since then, the coffee fruit has been predominately overlooked for the delicious seeds inside, which make our morning cups. But about 30 years ago, researchers across the world have started to indicate that this overlooked part of the coffee is actually the most nutritious and good for you part.
Packed Full of Antioxidants:
Coffee fruit is rich in antioxidants, which are powerful compounds present in a variety of fruits, vegetables and superfoods that help fight free radicals to protect against oxidative stress and damage to cells. One type of these antioxidants is called flavonoids, which are a diverse group of those phytochemicals found in several fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are often responsible for the amazing array of colours in most fruits and veggies. Not only that, flavonoids are also potent antioxidants that have even been known to help support your immune system as it functions properly. Furthermore, one specific polyphenol compound found in coffee fruit is chlorogenic acid, which helps to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. The antioxidants in the whole coffee fruit can be compared to 3 times more than Acai, with an ORAC value of roughly 343,900 μ mol TE/100g.
Promotes brain health:
Early studies further show that the coffee fruit actually helps contribute to your body's BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), a protein essential for maintaining health cognition and other brain-related processes such as mood and sleep (British Journal of Nutrition). Although early days, this research is very exciting when considering that the brain's supply of BDNF protects it against mental illness, including depression and dementia.
Coffee fruit is significantly lower in caffeine than the coffee bean and provides a gentle natural hit. Our two Lemon and Cocoa bars each contain 35.5mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of having a green tea or a weak coffee.
Finally, you may be thinking, but what does it taste like! Despite popular belief, coffee fruit does not taste like a cup of coffee. Instead, being classified a stone fruit and essentially a berry, the fruit itself has a tart, sweet plum-like taste that blends very nicely with other flavours almost like honey does. When upcycled and used, the fruit can provide environmental and health benefits.
Whether you're a busy on the goer, adventure enthusiast, yogi or living plant-based, you deserve to snack better, our products prioritise the three P's, People, Planet, Purpose.
Find the full range of I Am Grounded at iamgrounded.co and use code RYMYSTERY for 15% off your first order! Follow them on Instagram or Facebook at @iamgrounded for more information about their products.
Contributor - Vanessa Murillo, I Am Grounded Co-Founder