With over 12 billion pounds produced annually, coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world. If you’re a coffee lover, chances are you’re discerning. You put a great amount of care into selecting beans that fit your unique preferences based on flavor profile, fragrance, and origin. But did you know that non-organic coffee is actually one of the most chemically treated crops in the world? An estimated 250-300 pounds of pesticides are applied per acre of coffee grown! All that ends up in your cup, leading to coffee that not only may have an inferior flavor, but may also be laden with chemical residues that could pose serious health risks.
If you’re contemplating upgrading your coffee selection to a healthier option, consider these three excellent reasons to choose organic for your next brew!
1. No Synthetic Fertilizers or Chemicals
Organic coffee is grown and produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals; organic fertilizers (such as compost, manure, and coffee pulp) are used instead. Organic coffee is also grown without the use of chemical pesticides.
The Pesticide Action Network, a UK-based charity dedicated to promoting safe alternatives to pesticides, has reported that exposure to pesticides is toxic.1 Long term pesticide exposure and consumption has been linked to anxiety, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, depression, fertility issues, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, and obesity. Equally troubling is the fact that before non-organic coffee even reaches the consumer, chemicals used in growth and production are putting farmers and their communities at increased risk for health complications from pesticide exposure polluting the air and groundwater.
By choosing organic coffee, you’re taking a step toward standing for the health protection of the long line of farmers and production crews involved in getting coffee from the forest into your mug.
2. Environmental Protection
Meeting the worldwide demand for coffee is no simple task. Conventional farming practices have been developed to maximize production, often at the expense of environmental health. Most conventional coffee plants are hybrids designed to grow in full sun environments. Coffee is naturally a shade-loving plant, but thick forests make cultivating and harvesting coffee more difficult, so manufacturers choose to clear forests to create full sun environments for mass producing the hybrids.
As stated by Equal Exchange, a leading purveyor of organic and fair-trade coffee, “Natural pest-deterrents, like birds and lizards, are left without habitat…And without the natural fertilizer of these ecosystems (bird droppings, leaf litter, and natural decay) the use of chemical fertilizer increases. When it rains, the lack of tree cover means there is increased water runoff. Soil washes away, and with it go natural nutrients, eventually eroding and degrading the soil so much that growth is almost impossible.”2
Farming practices used to grow organic coffee are more sustainable and committed to the preservation of forests, vegetation, and wildlife. Choose organic coffee grown naturally in the shade of forests to sustain soil quality, create a habitat for animals and wild plants, and maintain a diverse regional ecosystem.
3. Improved Taste
Many coffee drinkers note that organic coffee simply tastes better than conventional. Organic coffee is often grown at higher altitudes in the presence of lush forests where it takes longer to develop a richer, more well-rounded flavor. Many coffee connoisseurs remark that the flavor of organic coffee is cleaner and smoother than conventional.
Choosing coffee grown at high altitudes is also a good way to minimize possible mold exposure in your coffee. High altitudes generally equate to drier climates that are less hospitable to mold growth than areas with large amounts of moisture (humidity).
Organic coffee is high in antioxidants, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin as well as nutrients like manganese and magnesium.3 Moderate amounts of caffeine can also provide an energy boost. But be choosy when it comes to what coffee you put in your cup. Choose organic when possible to support the environment and sustainable farming practices while avoiding exposure to a long list of hazardous pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Get your morning started right with a cup of our Happy Day Coffee recipe featuring superfoods like cacao, maca, and cinnamon!