Mr green
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Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

I think i got this originally from a couple of youtube garden bloggers, stating that in the spent coffe grounds there aint much to none at all of pesticides left, from both the roasting and then the brewing process. Allthough the roasting method for cheap coffe aint so neat imo.

Any one else heard about this? Does it make any sense? Im quite picky what goes into my compost, guaranteed pesticide free produce is the only thing i let into my compost, sometimes im probably to picky, but i rather be slightly on that side just to be sure, and i do get a better compost.
For example non organic citrus fruits here often have 3 different chemicals just to make them store longer, kill bacteria etc. And most people atleast here in Sweden says you cant use to much citrus in ordinary compost, well if you have organic poison free citrus peels and put them in there it will work very well, while the heavily poisoned ones take alot more time to brake down, i suspect that this is because the poisons kills bacteria in the compost as well and there for slows down the composting process remarkably by that alone. At most times (except for spring cleaning and so on) My compost is probably around 1/3 of the greens are citrus peels (orange, lime, lemon, clementines). And i have no problem with that.

Edit: And i managed to get quite offtopic in the first post :roll: :roll:
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AnnaIkona
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

If you are really serious about not letting any pesticides into your compost, I wouldn't add your coffee grounds into it.
Because although I am not sure, I believe that roasting and brewing doesn't get rid of any pesticides in it. Again, I can't be sure, but that is my opinion :)
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Well some must leave, the question is how much, or it must be considered poison free to the consumers?

The reason im asking and want to know is because im always looking for ways to bring home green materials for the compost, as i can easily stock up with alot of browns, leafes, papers woodchips etc but don't have greens enough to make good compost of it all. And i do like to make more compost! :) Also coffegounds are so available so it has potenial for being a good source of organic matter.
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AnnaIkona
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Yes I understand. But I have no clue as to how much pesticides are left.
I myself don't really care about how much pesticides are in my garden as long as there isn't too much. So I do use coffee grounds.

It's a very interesting question...I mean, suppose some of the pesticides are gone from the grounds, so does that mean that they are now in your morning coffee? :| or are they somehow evaporated and now in the air you breath?
Sorry just wondering :roll:
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Well im anything but a chemist so i can just shoot blind, i have hard to believe that they would become free of all pesticides.
Theres alot of disinformation to be found on the web. But maybe we have a decent chemist on the forum that could shed som light on this subject.

In the end i might just not deal with them at all, just to be sure. I don't drink coffee my self anyway.
The search for pest free greens go on.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Personally I would think there would be very little pesticides left after roasting, which is done at over 500 degrees.

But beyond that any pesticide that is just sprayed on the plant goes on the coffee berry. The coffee bean is well protected inside the outer shell of the berry. So I don't see why the coffee bean would have ever had any pesticide on it.

Image
https://www.espressoguy.com/coffee_beans ... fee_plants

The coffee bean has four outer layers over it.

There is such a thing as worrying too much. The rest of the world that you live in is not nearly as pure as this. You drink water, you breathe air, you presumably eat some foods you don't grow yourself, maybe some that are not completely organically grown, especially not in the sense of being too picky about what goes in their compost pile. AND you are talking about stuff that is going in the compost pile. The composting process breaks down a lot of toxins anyway.

Relax! :)
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

I guess you could run a sample of the coffee grounds through a testing lab. That would give you some idea that is better than a guess-timate. That is, if you can justify the cost. I guess it depends upon how badly you want to use those coffee grounds. Test results would vary from one sample to another so you would still be left with some uncertainity. I think that pesticides are not necessarily applied consistently or correctly so this adds to the uncertainity. I myself don't put anything on my compost pile that is not 100% organic. I don't want to risk contaminating my compost pile.
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AnnaIkona
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

What my sister in law does is when she buys organic, pesticide free, natural, or go free item at the store, she puts a neon label on it. So that when she has any left over from that item, she knows that it is okay to add go the compost pile and adds it :) just a suggestion, in case you wanna do it too instead of coffe
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

rainbowgardener wrote:Personally I would think there would be very little pesticides left after roasting, which is done at over 500 degrees.

But beyond that any pesticide that is just sprayed on the plant goes on the coffee berry. The coffee bean is well protected inside the outer shell of the berry. So I don't see why the coffee bean would have ever had any pesticide on it.
Well my take is kinda like this: Most pesticides are water soluable, wich basically means they get in everywhere, threw your skin, from the soil into the plants specially if it attaches to anything the plant needs and probably threw plant matter in similar ways it gets threw our skin, you can feed the plant water and nutrients threw the leaves for example, so i don't think another three layers of coating even wouldnt matter the beens will still have it. This has been proven with many fruits, that when peels come of there still alot of the pesticides present.
There is such a thing as worrying too much but rather be doing that then not being worried at all. And besides in this crappy nation without any job i gotta have something to do.

BirdLover: Without having a job that route is pretty much a no no. And yes you would wanna try many different kinds, and a few controll samples from organic produce as well. So will be a costy experiment i think.

Annalkona: Yeah i pretty much do the same, but i mostly use fresh food (raw) so i can get away with remembering what a bought organic and what not.


Simply i don't want any amount of pesticides knowing that my garden is as pure as i can manage makes me feel good, and mighty relaxed! ;)
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

As rainbow said the coffee bean itself would not come directly into contact with the outside world. Also remember that the beans are fermented to remove the outer skin, or they can be washed beans, then they are dried in the sun before they are even roasted. Most pesticide residues do have a half life and most pesticides on food crops are not going to last more than 30 days and usually they are good for even less like 7-14 days. Exposure to light usually inactivates most chemicals, and everything that is put on food crops are regulated. I only found specific coffee data from 2011 from Canada. Documents from the EU and US covered a broad range of products and I did not want to sift through it all
https://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/chemic ... 1913943956
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Your internal organs wont be in direct contact with the outside world, but they may be so affected by it.

What you mean with making them inactive? They just sit there dormant wating to become activated? Many things are toxic active or not.

And food agencies aint my number one to trust, they even tell us coffe is good to drink, allthough it has 50 different strong acids that aint good for human consumption specially not for your kidneys. Also they are talking about 0.1 parts per million, how accurate can they measure this? They state "coffee samples were found to contain detectable pesticide residues" Sounds good but it doesnt account for how much is needed in your every day use of products to make a health liability, not only for you but also for your kids, and grand kids, our genes are getting weakened by each generation. Or the truth may be that they don't have the right equipment/knowledge to make efficient tests but they think they do. Also analysis methods are really doubtable at times.

Can mention for example the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum is used to cleanse you body from heavymetals (i know from own experiences with tests that this works) EU officals made a test on them, saying that they are dangerous to eat because is full of heavy metals. And is true it already contains this from the ocean, BUT it is bound with the celloluse like fibers in the plant, and you cant digest any of it, and this will continue to bind heavy metals in your guts and you will simply crap them out. What they did in their analysis was to burn the plant material, and then analyse it telling us how toxic it is.

And most research is prepayed to get a certain result. For example Monsanto hires a lab to prove their corn aint toxic, they had good results after 3 months and stopped the study and released the results, the lab continued out of own interenst. after 9months 90% of the rats had tumors.

So my conclusion is that i probably wont get a good enough answer (to satisfy me that is).
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Yes, it is like chemical soup out there. It really is.
I just read an article about the 81 pharmaceuticals that are showing up in the Puget Sound marine life. Stuff like Prozac and spammer. It's in the fish that we eat. The pharmaceuticals come from the effluent that comes from the sewage treatment plants that comes from the housing developments. The effluent is dumped directly into the sea water. I wonder what it feels like to be a fish on Prozac?
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

BirdLover wrote:Yes, it is like chemical soup out there. It really is.
I just read an article about the 81 pharmaceuticals that are showing up in the Puget Sound marine life. Stuff like Prozac and spammer. It's in the fish that we eat. The pharmaceuticals come from the effluent that comes from the sewage treatment plants that comes from the housing developments. The effluent is dumped directly into the sea water. I wonder what it feels like to be a fish on Prozac?
Yeah, thats the problem of people living the the illusion of that a quick fix remedy is out there, just take a pill and all problems will go away, in fact NO they wont, the will be covered, until you get an even more ruined body by the meds, so you go to the DR with your new problems, don't worry he says i have the right medication to cover up the bad symptoms of the other one. When the real remedies is that they have to change who they are and how they live, thats not comfortable enough for most peoplep so they keep on. Medecines doesnt cure, they block symptoms (mostly) and this is pretty useless. Also we men are facing the treat of becoming sterile because of the p-pill residues in our water.
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

I don't think that was rude, it simply makes the point that you're going to have a hard time reducing all risk to zero.

Had a whole thing typed up and hit a wrong key so I'll summarize:

As a 'decent chemist' (environmental, that is - devoted my career to protecting the public from toxins), I think you DO need to take into account various factors:
1) 'The dose makes the poison', to quote the Greek Paracelsus, and it's still true today. Minimizing exposure is good, but it will not be zero, so the question is, what is a safe level, and which areas do I get the best return for the extra effort?
2) Most pesticides ARE required to decompose rapidly, which is why we don't use DDT and other persistent ones anymore. (the term "inactivated" above referred to degradation, either by light exposure, hydrolysis, biodegradation, etc.).
3) I'm not saying there is 'zero' in food or peelings, but in order to use a pesticide (in the US anyway), one has to demonstrate it does not contaminate the food to a level deemed unsafe. Period.
4) I don't blame you for not trusting industry, but if you don't trust the regulators AT ALL, you're really in a fix. The system may not be perfect but it IS set up to protect you and the environment and it's the best we have. If it didn't exist we'd have to invent it pretty quick.
5) Yes there is further breakdown of residues in the compost, it is a VERY biologically active system.
6) There are multiple dilution steps: if you add garden waste, leaves etc. it dilutes the food scraps and any pesticide residues (which I have stipulated are not 'zero'). Then you dilute the compost into your garden soil. Then there would have to be an uptake by plants - the part of the plant you eat. The idea that they could do this in significant amounts is a stretch, in my professional opinion.
6.1) Following up on plant uptake, someone posted that pesticides are water soluble and would penetrate plant tissues, human skin, etc. Both plants and humans are very selective in their uptake so this cannot be assumed. Also, many pesticides are NOT water soluble; they are made soluble in the concoctions you buy, by adding surfactants and solvents.
7) Testing used coffee grounds for pesticides would be a very expensive task. You would first have to research what pesticides are USED, then find a lab able to analyze for each of them. It would costs thousands of $. Just FYI. To me, it is not worth it, based on everything else I am saying here.
8) "Coffee has 'strong acids' " - Strong acids (in chemistry) are also known as mineral acids such as hydrochloric, nitric, sulfuric etc. Plant matter has organic acids, aka weak acids, such as vinegar, vitamin C, etc. Also, if coffee consumed in reasonable amounts damaged the kidneys, we would probably know that. Coffee has been highly studied.
9) Yes, it is possible to measure parts per million, and parts per billion, and in some cases, parts per trillion, accurately. We chemists have been working on this for a long time. You're welcome! :-D

This is getting long so I'll give it a rest. Even though I am keenly aware of the toxicity of chemicals in the environment, at my house all kitchen waste goes into the compost. The landfill is a sin and I avoid it as much as possible!

Happy composting.
Tox

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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

That is a reasonable perspective from a smart chemist. I didn't know that there was such a difference between coffee (strong acids) and plant matter (organic acids). I admit it, I'm a coffee addict. I read somewhere once that coffee is bad, but then I read that coffee is good, so I believe it is good. After all, how could something that tastes so good be bad?
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

toxcrusadr wrote:I don't think that was rude, it simply makes the point that you're going to have a hard time reducing all risk to zero.
Well since your defending obviously bullying like this and don't find it rude: "If you take a pharisee stance of no chemicals ever. Plan on living in a cave, in a hair shirt." If this is not rude i don't know what is. Just because i wanna reduce all i can to a minimum and you two doesnt share my view... Also it didnt add EDITED - PLEASE REPORT THIS POST to the conversation.

After such an awful statement im not even gonna care to read your post.
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

I certainly mean no offense, and simply agreeing that you will have a hard time reducing risk to zero is hardly an awful statement. One thing I have learned about the Internet is that it helps to have a thick skin and to not take things personally. I am disappointed that you are unwilling to read my post, which I spent considerable time on and also tried to make objective and scientific as much as possible. I will choose not to take it personally. Life is too short for that.

PS Lao Tzu was a very wise man.
Tox

Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Well don't you feel its a bit different to tell someone to go live in a cave with a hairshirt VS I think it will be hard for you to reduce the risk to zero.

Huge difference in my book. Also i wanna reduce everything bad as much as i can and i don't think i deserve being called anything for that if people simply don't like it go to the next thread, im not affecting their lifes in anyway specially not with my as toxic free approach i can manage.
And i will take time to read your post soon im just kinda fed up having to deal with people calling me this and that just because im not like the mainstream, and i don't think thats something that should be promoted. Add something good to a conversation and its all good, just threw out something hatefull because you don't share someones view is something else!

Have a kid to tend to, and put to bed, will come back later and promise to read your post! ;)
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Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

toxcrusadr wrote:I don't think that was rude, it simply makes the point that you're going to have a hard time reducing all risk to zero.

Had a whole thing typed up and hit a wrong key so I'll summarize:

As a 'decent chemist' (environmental, that is - devoted my career to protecting the public from toxins), I think you DO need to take into account various factors:
1) 'The dose makes the poison', to quote the Greek Paracelsus, and it's still true today. Minimizing exposure is good, but it will not be zero, so the question is, what is a safe level, and which areas do I get the best return for the extra effort?
2) Most pesticides ARE required to decompose rapidly, which is why we don't use DDT and other persistent ones anymore. (the term "inactivated" above referred to degradation, either by light exposure, hydrolysis, biodegradation, etc.).
3) I'm not saying there is 'zero' in food or peelings, but in order to use a pesticide (in the US anyway), one has to demonstrate it does not contaminate the food to a level deemed unsafe. Period.
4) I don't blame you for not trusting industry, but if you don't trust the regulators AT ALL, you're really in a fix. The system may not be perfect but it IS set up to protect you and the environment and it's the best we have. If it didn't exist we'd have to invent it pretty quick.
5) Yes there is further breakdown of residues in the compost, it is a VERY biologically active system.
6) There are multiple dilution steps: if you add garden waste, leaves etc. it dilutes the food scraps and any pesticide residues (which I have stipulated are not 'zero'). Then you dilute the compost into your garden soil. Then there would have to be an uptake by plants - the part of the plant you eat. The idea that they could do this in significant amounts is a stretch, in my professional opinion.
6.1) Following up on plant uptake, someone posted that pesticides are water soluble and would penetrate plant tissues, human skin, etc. Both plants and humans are very selective in their uptake so this cannot be assumed. Also, many pesticides are NOT water soluble; they are made soluble in the concoctions you buy, by adding surfactants and solvents.
7) Testing used coffee grounds for pesticides would be a very expensive task. You would first have to research what pesticides are USED, then find a lab able to analyze for each of them. It would costs thousands of $. Just FYI. To me, it is not worth it, based on everything else I am saying here.
8) "Coffee has 'strong acids' " - Strong acids (in chemistry) are also known as mineral acids such as hydrochloric, nitric, sulfuric etc. Plant matter has organic acids, aka weak acids, such as vinegar, vitamin C, etc. Also, if coffee consumed in reasonable amounts damaged the kidneys, we would probably know that. Coffee has been highly studied.
9) Yes, it is possible to measure parts per million, and parts per billion, and in some cases, parts per trillion, accurately. We chemists have been working on this for a long time. You're welcome! :-D

This is getting long so I'll give it a rest. Even though I am keenly aware of the toxicity of chemicals in the environment, at my house all kitchen waste goes into the compost. The landfill is a sin and I avoid it as much as possible!

Happy composting.
1: Well since im not using coffe my self just researching if its worth for me to bring it in from other sources.
2: What do they brake down into then? Other harmfull substances or not?
3: Safest practise would be ban all pesticides, and go back to real non monoculture farming IMO. Ofc this cant be done over night. But farming can be done withouth it no doubt even commercially. So why are we even taking the slightest risk, also we must care for the poor workers in the fields, that has alot higher risk than the consumers alone. Specially in many so called third world countries.
4: I agree the corrupt system we have is better than none at all, but in no way that means (to me atleast) that we shouldnt strive to get it better.
5: True
6: Round up is one of the most commonly used pesticide, and is indeed water soluble. Human skin is a breathing mecanism (yes you breathe in air threw the skin) Anything small enough may enter thrue the skin into the bloodstream. If its water soluble it is small enough. Even if they are made soluble with solvents, that just means you get the pesticides + the solvents. And you made the pesticide: Watersoluble.
7: Yes i know that and thats what i wrote as well, im not looking to do it. Maybe if i owned a lab and was a millionaire...
8: Well if you gonna stretch as far as as long as its an acid from a plant its non dangerous your painting your self into a corner. Vitamin C is ofc not a dangerous substance (in normal quantities you can ofc overdose on pretty much anything to prove a statement.) And has been numerous studies of the negative effects of coffe, only until recently they started to say its good to drink becouse they found antioxidants in it! WOW Eat dog EDITED - PLEASE REPORT THIS POST too, has lots of nutrients. Toxic plants also has lots of nutrients. Like the Coca plant im sure it has a good amount RDI% Of minerals etc.
9: Really? And still the Bio chemist havnt come up with a better explenation of what plants need other than N-P-K and a few minerals? That puzzles me.

And sorry for not speaching technically correct or in laymens terms, but im not a chemist. Just a gardener.

Also worth noting: In Sweden we don't have landfills anymore they are so 1940:s! We have 2 trash cans mostly, one is for burnable trash, and the other for compost (goes to make biofuel) And thats were i put all my pesticide infested EDITED - PLEASE REPORT THIS POST hehe.
Paper, cardboard, glas, metal and plastics all gotta be recycled, as well as batteries, lamps etc etc. Left is old concrete for tairing down buildings and old porcelin and stuff like that, well thats landfill masses! Mostly used to fill up land were will build an stuff like that.

But you really need to get away from the landfills! Its super unsustainable... We have lead the way and showed you it can be done! ;)
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

toxcrusadr
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

I can't fault you for wanting to reduce your risk as much as possible, and frankly I think in some ways this is all a grand experiment, especially related to long term effects. Look at the honey bees: we have no idea what is going on and some scientists suspect pesticides causing subtle effects possibly not observed in the short term studies done for registration. Because of this and many other reasons, I do promote reducing our dependence on chemicals.

A few thoughts on some topics (keeping the numbering system):

2. What do they (pesticides) break down into? It is specific to each chemical. One part of the studies done for registration is to determine what those products are, how long they last, where they go and whether they are toxic. I did some of those studies when I worked for a research lab.
6. Skin absorption is more complicated than whether something is water soluble or is a small molecule. Also you have to take into account how 'bioavailable' a molecule is. For example some are trapped within the humus matrix (in compost) or fine pores (in soil) and not easily extracted. And if it is available to actually enter through the skin (or lungs, stomach etc.) it does not always do so efficiently. Passive soil ingestion is one pathway routinely considered in contaminated site cleanup, and even though you can measure a concentration of a chemical in soil in the lab, if you feed the soil to a mouse, 100% of the chemical is not extracted and absorbed by its digestive system. It is specific to each chemical. I'm just saying this is one thing you have to consider when quantitating the risk from traces of toxic chemicals in compost.
7. I was not suggesting that any acids from plants are safe, only clarifying the terms 'strong' and 'weak' and 'mineral' and 'organic'. Obviously some plants are toxic, and not only that, strong acids are used in food products, greatly diluted. Your stomach has hydrochloric acid at a pH of 1 which would be very dangerous in your eyeballs. The original point was that coffee is not dangerous just because it is acidic. Hopefully we agree on that. You might find it interesting to search the web for 'pH of foods'. The results may surprise you.

I completely agree with you about landfills. I have spent considerable time and effort trying to divert resources from them. They are a necessary evil, you have to have one for some things. But far too cheap to use here in the US where land is plentiful, and people do not care enough, so much is wasted. This cannot go on forever.
Tox

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cass2828
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

If the beans had any of the pesticides left doesn't that mean we are drinking pesticides mixed with our coffee???

Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Thanks for the answers toxcrusadr and for clearing out some facts.

And about foods PH its an interesting thing, and i eat mostly raw food and strictly veganic so my PH balance became very good, (done some testing) many acidic fruits just like in compost levels out to a neautral ph when you eat it, or atleast doesnt acidify your body. So i guess you have that aspect too.
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Gary350
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

Coffee grounds contains nitrogen. Wish I could get a pick up truck load from all the local coffee shops.

toxcrusadr
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

cass2828: Yes, I would assume that if there were chemicals on the beans themselves, that some portion may be extracted into the brew. In my estimation that is minimal, but this issue is the basis for eating only Organic foods. The OP eats Organic and is concerned about adding chemicals to the garden by composting used non-Organic coffee grounds from an outside source.

Mr green: I'm not a medical expert but pH balance in your body does not seem to have much to do with the pH of foods you eat, within reason. The body has all sorts of mechanisms for adjusting the pH of the digestive tract, blood, tissues etc. I suspect it's quite complicated. Funny story: Years ago I got into an argument with a college student who insisted that citrus and milk should never be eaten within hours of each other because the acid in the citrus would 'curdle' the milk and make it undigestible. Apparently he had learned this from parents, etc. I tried to explain that stomach acid is 100-1000 times stronger than the acid in orange juice, so milk will curdle when it hits your stomach regardless of anything else you ate or didn't eat, and it has no effect on digestion. In fact, the acid is necessary for digestion! I was unable to convince this person even though I had a chemistry degree. LOL So they are probably still refusing to eat milk and oranges together to this day.
Tox

Mr green
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Re: Spent coffegrounds from non eco/organic growing.

toxcrusadr wrote:I'm not a medical expert but pH balance in your body does not seem to have much to do with the pH of foods you eat, within reason.
Its something along with what i tried to say. :) My PH became better with my new diet and if you would look of the PH of the foods one could easily assume the opposite.

One thing i do know is that different foods digest with help of different enzymes, some things are not the best to blend for an easy digestion.
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