Morning cup of pesticides?
Coffee is so popular that commercial farms have pursued a slew of methods to produce as much coffee as they can, as quickly as they can. Along with clear cutting and using heavy fertilizers, perhaps the worst practice of them all is the the spraying of pesticides - a whole lot of pesticides. In fact, over 250 pounds of pesticides are used per acre of conventionally sun grown coffee, making non-organic coffee one of the most heavily chemically sprayed crops in the world.
The thing is, all those pesticides are not only harmful for the planet, they’re also harmful to us. But before we dive into just how unhealthy pesticides are, let's talk about coffee.
Is Coffee Good for You?
Coffee is already known to be healthy. It is a nutrient-dense drink that's full of potassium, magnesium, niacin, antioxidants and over 1,000 bioactive compounds. The British Medical Journal, for example, has published research that shows that some of the nutrients in coffee may be linked to helping to prevent conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver conditions. To add to that, caffeine is associated with boosting the metabolism and improving athletic performance.
Of course coffee can be dehydrating, so don't forget your 4L of water every day, but its fair to say that coffee is a superdrink.
Yet, that's coffee in its natural state. As soon as you start using pesticides to commercially grow coffee, you threaten to negate all of those benefits. Let's talk about pesticides.
Are Pesticides Harmful to Humans?
The short answer is "yes, definitely". Pesticides, including herbicides, are known to cause harm to human reproductive systems. I’m talking infertility in both men and women, developmental disorders and developmental defects in babies. Serious stuff!
For those who aren’t planning to have children, you're not off the hook. Pesticides are still a cause for concern. They’ve been shown to cause hormonal disorders and even can be linked to various types of cancer. And pesticides can reduce the normal amount of healthy microbiome in your gut.
Pesticides are bad news for the planet as well.
Pesticides remain in the soil and the water supply for years - which affects the entire ecosystem. Once pesticides get into the water supply, it’s very difficult to remove them, and they are known to flow down rivers to oceans, causing “ocean dead zones.” Yikes!
Not only do pesticides end up causing ocean dead zones, but they also negatively impact flora and fauna in their area, reducing biodiversity. In fact, conventional commercial coffee farming is a direct contributor to deforestation. This leads to huge habitat loss, including for migratory songbirds. (You may have heard of bird friendly coffee certified by the Smithsonian.) Bird friendly coffee is typically organic, shade-grown coffee that ensures a habitat for migratory birds.
Ready to skip to the good part?
Thankfully, you do have options. You can buy organic and biodynamic coffee. At Peak State, our coffee is certified organic. Our coffee farmers, ecology at origin, the planet, and your body are all better off because of it.
Organic coffee is not only free of pesticides, chemicals, and toxins, but organic farming has also been shown to result in greater nutrient density - so you get an extra punch of antioxidants in your morning vitality drink. But what about taste?
Does organic coffee taste better?
Yes! Organic coffee is often more flavorful.
Conventional coffee is most often grown in full sun on clear cut monocrop farms, which results in more acidic coffee. Organic coffee, meanwhile, can be shade grown, resulting in a less acidic - and less bitter - coffee fruit (and a practice that is much more sustainable). So - your organic cup of coffee is smoother and less acidic and less bitter tasting than a conventional cup.
Is organic coffee mold free?
Another plus of organic coffee is that it’s often grown with single origin beans at higher altitudes than conventional coffee, meaning it’s less likely to have toxic molds. Climates at high altitudes are not hospitable for mold.
You may have never heard of this - but dangerous molds such as mycotoxins and aflatoxins can be found in coffee. High amounts of these molds are associated with health issues. In fact, one type of mold that can be found in coffee is associated with chronic fatigue - that’s not what you want from your morning cup.
Organic coffee tastes better, saves ecology, and mitigates the possibility of mold. Not a bad combination.
To recap - why by organic coffee?
- Organic coffee ensures our morning cup of joe is even more nutrient dense
- Organic coffee protects us - and farmers - from pesticides linked to cancer, infertility and bodily harm
- Organic coffee protects our planet - birds, ecology, and the rain forest (our greatest carbon sinks)
- Organic coffee is less likely to be moldy
- And of course, organic coffee tastes better
So - is buying organic coffee worth it?
A resounding yes. A healthier body, a healthier planet, healthier farmers and a tastier cup is a convincing argument for us. And if you’ve gotten this far in this blog, so we hope you agree. Visit our online store to buy some of our organic, shade-grown coffee and keep the good stuff coming.