We all know that organic is best, if a little more expensive, when it comes to food and skin care, so why not for coffee? And does it really make a difference to my health? And will it taste better?
With around 12 billion pounds of coffee produced from around the world per year, farmers have needed to meet the already high and growing demand and maximize their profits which has brought changed to areas of planting and methods of growing.
Conventional (non-organic) coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods produced in the world. The plants are treated to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Not only does the environment suffer from this overload, 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 during harvest. The surrounding communities are also impacted through chemical residues in the air and water. These chemical presences are not just unpleasant; many are highly toxic and detrimental to human health. These toxins and chemicals are absorbed into the plant and become part of it’s structure, it is impossible to remove all toxins after harvesting.
What is of a greater concern is that the third world countries that produce coffee such as Ethiopia, Peru, Indonesia and Africa, have little or no regulations when it comes to pesticides so the dangers are increased for absorbing harmful non-regulated poisons.
The non-organic crops are often planted in cleared land so it is easier to tend and apply the fertilizers which reduces natural flora and fauna, as well as disrupts the natural ecosystem of the area. Taste is perhaps the casualty of sun growing that most directly affects consumers. Because coffee fruits ripen faster in the sun, they have less time to develop the positive qualities looked for by coffee connoisseurs. One study found that shade-grown beans are larger, less bitter (owing to greater carbohydrate accumulation), and more complex in flavour compared to their sun-grown counterparts.
In the case of organic coffee there are no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or chemicals used in growing or production, which means cleaner beans, air, land, and water. The coffee is grown with only organic fertilizers, like coffee pulp, chicken manure, or compost. Organic farms also combat climate change by emitting less carbon than chemical farms, while also sequestering significant amounts of carbon.
By contrast, organic coffee is grown traditionally in forested or shaded and protected beds. This enables the plants to keep their soil during heavy rainfall, to receive nutrients from birds and insects who live in the more dense growth areas.As a bonus, organic coffee beans are richer in healthful antioxidants, and many people attest to taste the difference.
Your health, and the health of the planet, both get a boost from choosing organic. How to help the farmers, environment and increase your health benefits from drinking coffee? GO ORGANIC, fairtrade and certified!
Kimberley Coffee Company is proud to have created a repeatedly award winning organic fair trade blend - Mintaka
Vote for the environment every time you enjoy your daily cup of coffee!