Sunday, September 02, 2007

coffee and soil

It's easy to forget that the reason why coffee grounds are a good soil amendment is because they provide acidity to soils that are otherwise too alkaline. I can vouch for the efficacy of this method. In the Spring of 2004, Lisa & I put some Starbucks coffee grounds (the ones they give out for free in bags) at the base of a sickly Bougainvillea and over time it became robust (but not robusta). Black coffee has a pH of 5, beer 4 to 5, wine 3 to 4, cola 2 to 3, lemon juice 2 and stomach acid 1. Blood curiously has a pH of 8. Since I drink a lot of coffee and wine, is it possible that my blood is more acidic?

According to a recent blood test, the pH of my blood is 6.5, and the normal range is 5 to 8. It could be that the default is 8, and a lifetime of various acidic fluids has chipped away 1.5 units of alkalinity. It may also be that, like the Bougainvillea, my "soil" was too alkaline and in need of a good coffee amendment to balance things out.

So what fluids are alkaline or "base"? Seawater, bleach, and ammonia. Things that are best left outside our bodies.


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