Why organic coffee? One of my very first posts was on why organic is important when it comes to produce. You can visit that post here. But today we are talking coffee. I feel like coffee kind of gets forgotten about when it comes to organic vs. conventional. If not forgotten, then typically just ignored because of the fact that the big box coffee places often don’t carry it. It isn’t always a choice or option, but we need our morning cup right? And we are on the go, so what do we do? We get our coffee and go. But have you ever thought about your conventional cup of coffee and the coffee beans that went into it? Have you thought about where they come from and what they went through before they hit your cup?
Coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world – with over 12 billion pounds of coffee produced annually. – Equal Exchange
Because of the high demand for coffee, farming methods have been altered and developed to maximize production, but often at the expense of the environment as well as our own health. These popular methods produce the non-organic, conventional coffee that many are used to consuming regularly today.
Conventional coffee (non-organic coffee beans) is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is sprayed and then steeped in synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Did you get that? Just to make sure you did… the beans that went into your morning cup of conventional coffee were treated with and washed in a bath of toxic, synthetic chemicals!
The certification process for organic requires that a farm use only organic farming techniques for a minimum three years before the farm can be certified organic. For growing coffee, this means no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are allowed, and a USDA inspector must determine the farm is complying with the guidelines.
Due to the certification process, organic foods may cost slightly more, but a little extra in cost can bring huge health savings. Conventional, or non-organic, coffee may contain residue from synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These residues have been linked to causing cancer, nervous system disturbances, hormone imbalance or irritation to skin and eyes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When you consume organic coffee, you won’t get any chemical residues or harmful health side effects.
Not only does the environment suffer from this overload of synthetic chemicals, but so do the people who live in it. Farmers are exposed to a high level of chemicals while spraying the crops and while handling them. The surrounding communities are also affected by chemical residues in the air and water. These chemical presences are not just unpleasant; many are highly toxic and detrimental to human health.
So just think, by choosing organic coffee you are also helping the coffee growers that produced it. Coffee growers that grow organic coffee aren’t exposed to the toxic chemicals and pesticides that conventional growers are. In addition, these farms are more environmentally friendly because they use fewer non-renewable resources, such as petroleum, than non-organic farms do. On organic farms, no chemicals leach into nearby soils or drinking water and none are carried in the air to nearby families or farms.
You can do one better and buy organic, Fair-Trade coffee, which ensures sustainable and healthy living conditions, along with proper pay and economic growth for coffee farmers. Triple-certified coffees come from farms that hold Quality Assurance International’s organic certification, are fair trade-certified and also hold the Smithsonian Institution’s shade-grown certification. Triple certified Arabica beans are the highest-quality organic beans you can buy.
Lastly if you aren’t convinced yet, you should taste the cleaner difference. Because organically grown coffee is free of chemical residues, many connoisseurs claim it has a fuller, richer flavor than conventionally grown coffee.
Reminder: I am not an expert. I’m just taking the information I have gathered and trying to help educate and build awareness on the topic. I always encourage my readers to do their own research and make their own choices based on what they find. I also believe in balance. I won’t lie to you, I do occasionally visit Starbucks and get a peppermint mocha latte for example. Do I know it’s not the best for me for multiple reasons aside from the fact that it’s non-organic? Yes, but that’s why I consider it an occasional treat and don’t make it a habit of going every day or even every week, but more so maybe once a month. That’s what works for me. Find what works best for you and what you weigh out as most important and effective for your health.
Lots of love and good health,
Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie