Truro Foody Friday, held February 24th, asked guests to consider the social, environmental, and economic impacts both locally and globally of a cup of coffee. At the coffeehouse event, guests enjoyed creative performances interspersed with guest speakers, upcycling workshops, and locally prepared refreshments. The Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture International Office took the lead in organizing the event, supported by the Living Earth Council, and drawing upon collaborations with local community members, organizations, businesses, and social enterprises.
Ms. Linxi Yang, an alumnus of Dalhousie’s Master of Science in Bioresource and Environmental Science program, provided an overview of her research on bio-crude fuels created from spent K-Cups. The presentation and question and answer period that followed engaged the audience in a consideration of the environmental impacts of K-Cups, and the potential for transforming waste products into creative solutions for energy needs. Mr. Sergio Garrido, proprietor of Aroma Maya Coffee, spoke about the Aroma Maya journey as a new coffee brand. His talked described establishing links with coffee producers, and navigating the processes of purchasing, roasting, packaging, and selling coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Between speakers, guests enjoyed creative performances, with talent drawn from the local and campus communities. Music was provided by Tracy Kittilsen (fiddle), Julie Johnstone (guitar), Ashelin Johnstone (piano, vocals), Carol Roode (vocals, guitar, piano) Emily Kittilsen (fiddle), and Shawn Pryor (guitar, vocals), while Rakesh Menapati shared some of his originally composed poetry. Refreshments, including Aroma Maya coffee, were enjoyed, supporting small-scale local enterprises such as Laura Elizabeth’s Gluten Free Bakery, and the CEP Café which is an extension of the local high school’s workplace experience program.
Guests were challenged to think critically and creatively over the evening to consider the impacts of their coffee consumer choices, and think about ways to re-use and repurpose coffee by-products. Stations to transform spent K-Cups into seed starters, coffee grounds into a coffee-sugar body scrub, and deodorizers were available to get the creative thought process percolating.
Funding support for the event was provided by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation’s Member Public Engagement fund, through funding provided by Global Affairs Canada.