I am one of those individuals who likes a coffee in the morning.  Every morning.  Even on the weekends and vacations.  I go to the hotel and have to do two things: look for the coffee maker and jump on the bed. (I don’t know where the jump on the bed thing started, but maybe because I don’t do it at home.)  During Kairos, I was having this discussion (without the bed jumping, of course) and the inmate made the observation that caffeine was one chemical that was uniform across many plant species.  I thought that was rather interesting.  After all, I had read the biochemistry of caffeine in the body and understood its inhibition of the cAMP degenerative pathway, but had never heard what its purpose was in a plant.  Do they have to wake up in the morning too?  So I started to look for the purpose of caffeine in a plant and found an interesting purpose – insecticide.  The chemical is toxic to some bugs and keeps them from eating the plant.  Look at the abstract here, or here.  “For the plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide. It paralyzes and kills insects that attempt to feed on the plants.” Spouseinbox had an interesting idea as I was describing this: place my coffee grounds around the trees out back to protect them from bugs.  I might even consider churning some into the dirt where the garden is to go next year.  Let’s make life interesting for those insects, and protect our food.  Think of this the next time you have your cup of Joe.  Pesticide and a doughnut in the morning – the perfect combination.   🙂

 

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